Google, through its philanthropic arm Google.org, has unveiled a substantial N1.2 billion grant for the “Mind the Gap” initiative.
This innovative program aims to equip 20,000 Nigerian women and youth with critical digital skills, aligning with the Federal Government’s ambitious commitment to create 1 million digital jobs.
The “Mind the Gap” initiative will encompass a comprehensive training framework covering diverse domains such as data science, artificial intelligence, web development, and mobile app development.
The program will utilize a combination of online and in-person training methods to cater to the diverse learning preferences of participants.
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The initiative, open to individuals across Nigeria, intends to engage those with a strong passion for digital technology, a promising educational background, and a deep commitment to making positive contributions to their communities.
By providing participants with the tools to thrive in the digital era, “Mind the Gap” seeks to empower a new generation of skilled professionals who can drive innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic progress.
Vice President Kashim Shettima expressed the government’s determination to collaboratively address the challenges of unemployment and digital skills gap.
He emphasized the importance of partnerships with organizations like Google to leverage Nigeria’s vast youth population for creating millions of digital jobs.
Vice President Shettima stated, “We need to think outside the box and pave the way for more job opportunities. As a nation, we must walk the talk. It’s straightforward to discuss ambitious plans, but the real challenge lies in bringing these ideas to life. I want to assure Google and all our partners that this administration stands ready for collaboration. Nigeria is open for business. Our current President is deeply committed to leaving a legacy that will make Nigerians proud for generations to come. We have a unique opportunity to harness the potentials of our huge youth population to create millions of jobs in the digital sector. With a larger English-speaking populace than many countries in Africa and beyond, Nigeria stands out. We may have missed out on the agricultural and industrial revolutions, but we are now in the knowledge-driven, post-industrial age. The potential we have is immense, and we’re uniquely positioned to bridge the anticipated global talent gap. Our intent to partner with Google is clear and unwavering. We seek to work hand in hand with you for the betterment of our nation.”
The “Mind the Gap” initiative comprises three distinct components. The ‘Digital Onboarders Program’ targets equipping 5,000 youth who are not engaged in employment, education, or training with essential digital skills. These individuals will subsequently integrate into consumer-centric businesses across 12 states in Nigeria.
The ‘Arewa Tech4Ladies’ program aims to provide digital education to 5,000 women and girls in four semi-urban and rural communities in Kaduna State, focusing on areas like data science and artificial intelligence.
Lastly, the Engage Nigeria initiative will offer training and mentorship to 10,000 talented young individuals across the nation, bolstering the burgeoning creative industry.
Olumide Balogun, Google Nigeria’s Country Director, highlighted the transformative potential of digital technologies and the significance of the grant from Google.org.
He stated, “We see immense potential in Nigeria, particularly among the youth. Digital technologies aren’t just tools, they’re gateways to countless opportunities. With these platforms, our dynamic youth can step forth, becoming pivotal players in the digital economy. Our grant from Google.org is not only an investment but a testament to our belief in Nigeria’s bright future. We’re honoured to support the Federal Government’s admirable goal of creating 1 million digital jobs and will continue to be steadfast partners in this transformative journey.”
The launch of the “Mind the Gap” initiative underscores the ongoing partnership between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Google.
It demonstrates a shared commitment to equipping Nigerian women and youth with the skills required to thrive in a digital-first world, while also propelling the nation towards an inclusive and prosperous digital future.
For further details about the initiative, interested parties can visit skilsprint.ng to learn more and engage with this transformative program.