Over 600 young women and men graduated from YouthMobile project in Nigeria
Outstanding creations of youth: Over 135 mobile apps were developed by enthusiastic students, showing the innovative ideas, entrepreneurship and creativity of the young people in Nigeria.
The YouthMobile training covered four area councils of the territory (Abaji, Gwagwalada, Kwali and Kuje) for over a period of ten months, thanks to the continued support of the Federal Capital Territory Administration for a UNESCO project aiming at opening employability opportunities for young people in the ICT industry.
“I encourage you to use the skills you had acquired to build the world you want to see”, said UNESCO’s Regional Director Yao Ydo congratulating the students at their graduation. He also invited them to learn from each other and to promote African values for solidarity, hospitality and mutual support. “UNESCO”, he added, “will continue to engage and collaborate with young women and men, in promoting peace, preventing violent extremism”, reiterating UNESCO’s commitment towards building Peace, through Education, the Sciences and Culture.
Among the training’s key achievements is the diversity of skills that were built among the participants: out of the 600 graduated, about 48% had developed websites and mobile apps, and that 40% had been empowered on networking and general computer hardware repairs.
In 2018, UNESCO engaged some of the participants as facilitators of Africa Code Week’s training workshops for them to share their acquired skills with young Nigerian kids. Despite many efforts however, ensuring gender balance and participation of women remained a challenge in this project. Future trainings must tackle this challenge, said Mr Ydo, in line with UNESCO’s efforts to promote gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goal 5.
UNESCO Abuja and the Federal Capital Territory Administration celebrated the graduation ceremony of over 600 young women and men for the UNESCO-FCTA YouthMobile Project in May 2019.
Dignitaries present at the event included the Honourable Minister of FCT, the Representative of the Honourable Minister of Communication, the Representative of Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Information, Country Director of UNESCO, and representatives from UNICEF, UNODC and UNFPA.
The Honourable Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, expressed his gratitude to UNESCO for the laudable project. He said it was effective in reducing youth unemployment. The Minister added that he was proud of the achievements of the project and encouraged future investment on youth and ICT.
During the event, participants of the UNESCO YouthMobile training had the opportunity to showcase some of the mobile applications they had created. They expressed gratitude to UNESCO for giving them the opportunity to acquire skills in apps development, networking, hardware repairs and entrepreneurship, which are opening doors of career development and quality jobs.
“I believe in the potential of digital skills. I think it can create solutions for everybody in society.” A visually impaired young participant expressed his optimism towards the future. Likewise, a student who previously dropped out of his former university told the audience that the training had improved his labor market perspectives.
Part of UNESCO’s long-term strategy to develop youth digital skills, the first phase of this YouthMobile project in 2018 already trained over 400 young women and men covering two area councils (Abuja Municipal and Bwari Area).
The UNESCO YouthMobile Initiative was launched globally in 2014 and is currently deploying projects worldwide. It empowers its students with the capacity to develop mobile phone applications, promoting bottom-up approaches to innovation and youth involvement. For more information, please see website link.