By Chioma Obinna
As the world marks this year’s International Youth Day, a development expert and the Executive Director of Diamond Development Initiatives, DDI, Mr Adamu Garba, has unveiled plans to equip no fewer than 15,000 Lagos youths with relevant skills in the next five years.
Disclosing this in a statement to mark the day in Lagos, Garba said DDI in collaboration with the United States African Development Foundation, USADF, and the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, LSETF, was providing industry— and trade— relevant skills to 15,000 beneficiaries.
He said the programme tagged “USADF-LSETF Employability Programme” will be facilitating the provision of globally-competitive and sought-after skills to young people in Lagos State to enable them to actualise their dreams as well as contribute to the development of the country.
Garba said: “For us at DDI, every day is the Day of Youth. This year’s theme is ‘Youth Engagement for Global Action’ and as a non-for-profit that is paying attention to, and contributing its quota towards the attainment of the 2030 agenda of a global commitment to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development by 2030, we are concerned by the urgent need of having economically empowered youth who are not afraid of their voices to be heard; who are not intimidated to be engaged for positive global action.”
He added that as an organisation that complements the role of development agencies, donors and other funding organisations by providing technical assistance in the design, planning and implementation of various development initiatives, DDI is currently facilitating the engagement of training centres to provide in-demand skills to over 210 youth in Lagos State.
“Though the programme was not designed for a pandemic era, we are fully complying with physical distancing guidelines, hence piloting digital classrooms for the first cohort of the exercise, to ensure that target beneficiaries are not denied of the intended project gains.”
Garba remarked that for the pilot edition, 33 trainers were currently being supported to provide “industry-relevant and in-demand technology-oriented skills” like cybersecurity, virtualisation, 2D/3D design, cloud computing, software engineering, interior design, etc. to the 210 young trainees comprising 45 percent females and 55 percent males.
He added that about 50 percent of all beneficiaries of the programme would be placed in paid employment or internship — in collaboration with industry players.
August 12 was endorsed by the UN in 1999 as the International Day of Youth – a day that “gives an opportunity to celebrate and mainstream young peoples’ voices, actions and initiatives, as well as their meaningful, universal and equitable engagement.”