AfDB partners FG, Microsoft to create 9m jobs in 10 years

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) has launched an eLearning Digital platform to create nine million jobs in Africa’s digital economy in the next 10 years.

AfDB partners with FG, Microsoft to create 9m jobs in 10 years

According to a statement from the bank’s website, the Federal Government and Microsoft launched the Digital Nigeria eLearning Platform to provide marketable digital skills for the country’s youth.

The platform will leverage the AfDB’s Coding for Employment initiative and build linkages between the public and private sectors.

Mr Isa Pantami, Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, said the platform would support the development of a large pool of digitally literate and skilled citizens.

“We are championing a paradigm shift that lays emphasis on skills. This is a growing trend across the globe.

“The digital literacy and skills pillar recognises the fact that citizens are the greatest assets in any economy, including the digital economy,” the minister said.

Ebrima Faal, Senior Director for the bank’s Nigeria Country Department, said the new normal had accelerated the demand for digital services and fourth industrial revolution technologies across all sectors.

“From artificial intelligence, the internet of things, social media communication, digital learning platforms, augmented and virtual reality, drones, 3D printing and so much more–the world has undergone a massive disruption.

“The African Development Bank is committed to supporting the Nigerian government to realise a fully integrated digital agenda,” Faal said.

Ghada Khalifa, Middle East and Africa Director for Microsoft Philanthropies, said that Microsoft was committed to creating inclusive economic opportunities in light of the economic crisis created by COVID-19.

“We are investing in building the capacity of five million African youths by 2025, and excited about our collaboration with the African Development Bank and the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy in Nigeria with the launch of the Digital Nigeria platform to provide Nigerians with access to digital skills to meet the demand of the job market,” Khalifa said.

According to the statement, the eLearning Platform is a key component of the Digital Nigeria Programme, which aims to empower innovators and entrepreneurs with the skills to thrive in the emerging digital economy.

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It offers courses in web development, content creation and data science, among others.

The platform also uses gamification techniques to teach problem-solving, collaboration, creative thinking and basic coding.

It would be continually updated with new courses and leverage partnerships to provide training certifications.

Content will be accessible via a website and a mobile app.

The Digital Nigeria programme aligns with AfDB’s strategic agenda to create 25 million jobs in agriculture, information communication technology and other key sectors by 2025.

The agenda would also equip 50 million African youths with competitive skills.

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