AfDB, Facebook, others plan nine million new jobs

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President, African Develoment Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina

The African Development Bank and a number of partners on Wednesday launched a programme aimed at preparing nine million Africans, including Nigerians, for high paying employment.

A statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Wednesday said the programme, known as Coding for Employment, was launched at the African Innovation Summit in Kigali, Rwanda.

It named the partners in the programme as the Rockefeller Foundation, Microsoft and Facebook.

By training youths in demand-driven Information and Communications Technology curriculum and matching graduates directly with ICT employers, this new programme prepares Africa’s youths for tomorrow’s jobs and unleashes the next generation of young digital innovators from the continent, the bank said.

It added that the Coding for Employment Programme would create over nine million jobs and reach 32 million youths and women across Africa.

The lender said, “The Coding for Employment Programme is at the centre of the AfDB’s Jobs for Youth in Africa Initiative, which aims to put Africa’s youth on a path to prosperity. By 2025, the Jobs for Youths in Africa Initiative will equip 50 million youths with employable skills and create 25 million jobs in agriculture, Information and Communications Technology and other key industries across Africa.

“Over the last 15 years, the AfDB has invested $1.64bn in programmes to prepare youths for careers in science, technology and innovation. Putting youths at the centre of Africa’s inclusive economic growth agenda is at the forefront of the bank’s investments and its ‘High 5s’ priorities — building businesses, feeding the continent, expanding power and integration, and improving the quality of life for the people across the continent by preparing the youth for today’s competitive digital world.

“As the world moves towards a fourth industrial revolution, the demand for digitisation across health, education and other sectors is on the rise. Digital innovations have the power to solve the continent’s development challenges and are generating new job opportunities.”

It added that the youth population on the continent was rapidly growing and by 2050, would be expected to double to over 830 million.

The bank regretted that the digital divide in Africa persists, while critical skills gaps pose serious challenges to youths securing quality and decent work in a rapidly changing workforce.

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