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The TEFoundation To Address Nigeria’s Technical And Vocational Skills Gap

The Tony Elumelu Foundation is an African based and funded non-profit institution, dedicated to the promotion and celebration of excellence in business leadership and entrepreneurship across Africa; the foundation was founded in 2010 by Tony O. Elumelu C.O.N., The Foundation’s aim is to drive the continent’s economic growth from within by grooming business students, young entrepreneurs and CEOs of African corporations at various stages of their development.

As part of The Tony Elumelu Foundation effort to enhance private sector competitiveness across Africa, the foundation announced its “Putting Nigeria to Work with Technical and Vocational Skills” programme as the Foundation’s formal commitment at the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting in New York, USA. The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) was established in 2005 by President Clinton, the CGI convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

The programme, which is to be replicated across Africa, is to tackle two major problems facing the Nigerian labour Market, which are: high youth unemployment rate, and the vast vocational skills gap.

Dr. Wiebe Boer, CEO of The Tony Elumelu Foundation announced at the CGI meeting in New York that “In spite of substantial employment opportunities, the current state of the Nigerian technical and vocational training system – along with the national curriculum and certification process – has not been set up to deliver results in a practical and affordable way. This commitment seeks to address the dual problems of the skills gap and youth unemployment by introducing low cost scalable and sustainable solutions to large scale and practical technical and vocational training in Nigeria.”

The Tony Elumelu Foundation is pledging to design and deliver a technical and vocational training curriculum over a five-year period in order to address the two key issues. The programme is beginning with a focused development strategy in Lagos, where Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola has recognised the importance of technical and vocational education to the development of the state.

Lagos is a vital commercial centre for Nigeria and has reported a need for 150,000 skilled plumbers, electricians, and welders. With Lagos as a pilot, the programme will expand to other key Nigerian cities including Port Harcourt, Abuja and Kano, by 2014, with other African cities to follow.

The Foundation will deploy a combination of human resources, grants and impact investments as well as engage in policy advocacy, to deliver on this ambitious goal, and will seek to partner with innovative technical partners, and other interested Nigerian, African, and international philanthropists and impact investors. Relevant private sector industrial and construction partners will also be sought to develop an appropriate apprenticeship ecosystem for students receiving technical and vocational training.

Sunny Varkey Chairman of GEMS Education, and majority shareholder of Everonn India, a partner with The Tony Elumelu Foundation to deliver on this commitment said, “Everonn has developed an innovative, low cost, and scalable model to deliver various types of technical and vocational education to improve the skill levels of Indians in trades as diverse as welding, plumbing, and retail services.”

He continued, “We believe that Nigeria’s demographics make the country a good candidate for a successful transfer of the model to address the country’s skills and jobs shortage and are pleased that The Tony Elumelu Foundation is seeking to partner with Everonn as the service provider to deliver on that promise.”

Upon completion of the business plan and formation of relevant partnerships, The Tony Elumelu Foundation will aggressively drive execution so that courses are delivered within six to nine months, ramping up quickly over the ensuing three years. In parallel, The Tony Elumelu Foundation will work with state and federal level bodies to influence the broader curriculum, certification process, and public technical and vocational training system towards a more practical approach to training for the needs of the current Nigerian market.

Tony O. Elumelu, C.O.N., Founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation said, “Developing the human capacity of a nation to build a more competitive business environment is the key for any flourishing economy targeting sustained growth. By developing the raw talent and training young Nigerians to become skilled vocational workers, The Tony Elumelu Foundation will be helping Nigeria to take its place on the world stage.”

I hope and Pray for the success of this programme, this programme will surely be a giant step toward curbing unemployment in Nigeria. May God Bless Nigeria.

[image via Flickr/ a_dit.]

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Growth Academy’s Search For Skilled Developers Continues

The Growth Academy program is in for a disappointing start so far; it seems there are no developers with product ideas good enough to kick-off the 3 month program.

If you read the first call for in-takes, you’d know that applications for the Growth Academy closed at 6pm on October 3rd, 2012 (that was two days ago). After this initial deadline, of which 10 start-ups were to be recruited into the program, it seems the Academy does not have enough entries. Even worse, considering the qualifications criteria, not all entries are eligible to participate.

What makes a start-up eligible?

  • Have brilliant ideas for apps that address specific needs in finance, education, healthcare, agriculture, small business development and the environment, including technology and entertainment.
  • Have developed a working prototype of this app in Java ME (J2ME).
  • Have at least 2 core members, including a lead developer.
  • Are willing to commit 3 full months to developing their idea on the program.

Nokia and the Co-Creation Hub have decided to extend the application deadline till October 13th, 2012 in the hopes that by this time, the program admission quota of 10 qualified start-ups will be filled.

Possible Implications

One wonders if there are no developers skilled enough to meet the Growth Academy enrollment criteria. Or is word not getting out to these developers about such benefits as mentoring, product and business development, and funding that come with being a participant? Is the Growth Academy approaching this the wrong way? Should there be a ‘pre-school’ in place to teach people how to code first?

Perhaps Nokia and the Co-Creation Hub should look towards recruiting individuals from tertiary institutions – they could even include Aptech and NIIT – who can form teams, develop product ideas, pitch them and stand the chance of getting into the Growth Academy.

If you do know any start-ups that qualify, please let them know about this opportunity.

[Event] Mobile Entertainment Africa 2012, August 29 – 30, Cape Town #MEA2012

As a piece of technology the mobile device has had an incredible affect across the world. The geographical nature of Africa as a continent and the lack of previous fixed line telecommunication development has meant the mobile device’s status has multiplied compared to more emerged continents and countries.

For the many citizens of the many countries that make up Africa, the mobile device is not the 6th screen but in fact the 1st screen – an illustration of its importance and its potential. This has been covered in many different articles, papers, presentations, interviews, tweets and conversations. As facts go this is right up there with ‘the world is round’. – MEA

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She Will Innovate With Intel Corp and Ashoka Changemakers – #MoMoNigeria

Intel Corporation and Changemakers recently launched She Will Innovate: Technology Solutions Enriching the Lives of Girls. This challenge is designed to promote information and communication technology solutions that improve the lives of girls and women.

The aim of the program is to break down barriers to ICT access, ideas that accelerate digital literacy, and projects that use ICT to empower women to lead better lives.

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#CardExpoAfrica | Card, ATM and Mobile Expo Day1 Recap

Card, ATM & Mobile Expo Africa 2012  kicked off yesterday with a large numbers of Attendant, Exhibitors and Sponsors among including: Skye Bank, Access Bank, GTB, Zenith, Diamond, UBA, Ingenico, Chams, MasterCard WorldWide and other big players in the ePayment industry.

Why the need for this exhibition in the first place? Below are the reasons we got from Intermarc the organizer of Card, ATM & Mobile Expo 2012:

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Apps For Education – Temitope Arinola, Google Student Ambassador

Editor’s Note: Igure Temitope Arinola is a 4th year student of the Benson Idahosa University, Benin. She’s an ardent enthusiast for technology, enjoys photography, reading, and writing. She shares her experience and states the perks of Apps for Education by Google.

Being a student can, pardon me, ‘is’ really tiresome especially in these parts of the World. Let’s narrow it down to my Institution. With the advent of ‘cloud’ and ‘open source’ there are lots of free course ware and materials for interested scholars. Notes, lectures, tutorial time, and documents (especially ‘.pdf’s are essential to learning. All these are sometimes very hard to manage as they’ll be scattered or misplaced in transit.

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Google Announces 2012 Campus Ambassador Application for Sub-Saharan Africa

Are you currently a student and technically savvy? Do you love technology and enthusiastic about Google products? Then, the Google Campus Ambassador role might interest you. You will be expected to be knowledgeable about your school and motivated to bring new opportunities to your peers?

What is Google Campus Ambassador Programme?

The Google Campus Ambassador Programme is an opportunity for you to be a liaison between Google and your university. Ambassadors plan and host events during the school year, introduce students to new Google products and features, and also act as a campus contact for Google teams. Read more…