Abuja - The Skills Initiative for Africa programme was launched in Abuja, Nigeria on 28 February by the NEPAD Agency.
Speaking on behalf of HE Engr. Babachir David Lawal (Secretary to the Federal Government of Nigeria) during the launch, Honourable Roy Ugo, Permanent Secretary of Cabinet Affairs in Nigeria, commended the programmatic interventions of the NEPAD Agency on the continent, particularly in Nigeria.
Hon Ugo stated that the Skills Initiative for Africa programme is timely and aligns with the current administration’s Change Agenda, to create economic opportunities in the country, especially amongst the youth. He pledged Nigeria’s support to the programme, to ensure that it produces the desired positive effect on the employment sector.
Mrs Estherine Lisinge-Fotabong, NEPAD Agency’s Director of Programme Coordination and Implementation, informed attendees at the launch that the programme is informed by the need to address skills gap on the continent. In her opening remarks, she pointed out that there is a disconnection between education, training systems and the labour market.
“Therefore, it is incumbent upon the continent to think differently and come up with skill sets that could fill the employment opportunities, create entrepreneurs, as well as provide mentorship to trainees, so that the can effectively succeed in businesses after vocational training,” Mrs Fotabong said.
The launch of the Skills Initiative for Africa programme was co-hosted by NEPAD Nigeria under the leadership of Hon (Princess) Gloria Akobundu, the National Coordinator/ CEO of NEPAD Nigeria. In her remarks, Princess Akobundu explained that the Skills Initiative for Africa presents an opportunity for the missing middle of society to actively engage in the economic activity of the country, through gainful employment and entrepreneurship. She called on Nigerian youths to make good use of the opportunity provided by the initiative.
The launch, which was followed by a consultative workshop to identify the country’s priority for the programme, was attended by various stakeholders from both private and public sectors, including: Nigerian high level dignitaries, senators, members of the National Assembly, as well as members of the diplomatic corps and civil society organisations.
Source: NEPAD Agency