Nigeria: Federal Government Spearheads Youth Digital Skills Development, Calls for Collaboration in 16 States

Federal Government Spearheads Youth Digital Skills Development, Calls for Collaboration in 16 States
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In a significant move to foster youth talent in coding and digital skills development, the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy has initiated a collaborative effort across 16 states, including Abuja, the federal capital territory. The ministry has called for host organizations interested in partnering to activate Code Clubs in its 17 Digital Knowledge Exchange Centres spread across Nigeria.

This initiative aligns with the federal government’s vision to train three million Nigerian youths in digital skills, aiming to drive digital innovation across the country. The Strategic Blueprint for 2023-2027, released last year by the ministry, outlines the commitment to building a pipeline of young digital literates and innovators.

The Code Club initiative, developed in partnership with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, targets young Nigerians aged 7 to 17 years, offering them opportunities to learn coding and various technology-related subjects, including Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The government believes this effort will play a crucial role in nurturing a new generation of digital talents and innovators.

Industry stakeholders anticipate that this government-led initiative will enhance Nigeria’s demand for digital skills and elevate its share of STEM employees within the African workforce. Current statistics highlight Nigeria’s digital skills demand at 12%, with the federal government’s program expected to address this gap positively.

Special Adviser to the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Osibo Imhoitsike, announced the initiative and emphasized that the existing Knowledge Exchange Centres in 16 states and Abuja would serve as original prototypes. The government plans to expand this initiative to more locations nationwide, encouraging organizations with expertise in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics training to express their interest in partnering with the government.

The Knowledge Exchange Centres are currently established in Gombe, Nasarawa, Ekiti, Kogi, Imo, Delta, Ogun, Oyo, Edo, Enugu, Borno, Katsina, Jigawa, Taraba, Osun, Lagos, and Abuja. The minister’s strategic blueprint for 2023-2027 outlines a comprehensive framework focusing on Knowledge, Policy, Infrastructure, Innovation-Entrepreneurship-Capital (IEC), and Trade. The government aims to leverage knowledge, invest in research, and achieve 70% digital inclusion by 2027 through this strategic roadmap.

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