GenU 9JA : Nigeria Makes Significant Push In Learning To Earning Initiative 

The Lagos State government has lauded the huge investments  in Nigerian youths  through the United Nations Children Fund(UNICEF) GenU 9JA  initiative.
GenU 9JA has been a cornerstone in addressing the digital and skills gaps, as well as amplifying the voices of millions of young people in an endeavor to support their transition from learning to earning.
Mobolaji Ogunlende, Hon. Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Development, praised the initiative:.
A statement  made available  to journalists by Blessing Ejiofor,Communication Officer,UNICEF Nigeria said  “UNICEF GenU 9JA embodies our commitment to youth empowerment. By equipping our youth, we’re investing in Nigeria’s future, fostering a generation poised for sustainable development and economic prosperity.”
The quantum leap was acknowledged  during a  high level meeting  between private sector, including notable companies like IHS Towers, Microsoft, Airtel, Unilever, ATC, Jobberman, Cisco and MTN along with government, youth, development partners and UNICEF officials
The engagement  was to assess the progress made in 2023 by the GenU 9JA public-private-youth partnership platform. GenU 9JA has been a cornerstone in addressing the digital and skills gaps, as well as amplifying the voices of millions of young people in an endeavor to support their transition from learning to earning.

With the current education crisis in Nigeria, this partnership has markedly enhanced digital access, learning, and soft and job-related skills for Nigerian children, adolescents and youth.

Cristian Munduate, UNICEF’s Representative in Nigeria and host of the GenU platform, emphasized the urgency of such initiatives, stating, “With a significant portion of the Nigerian population lacking access to quality services, a public-private-youth partnership platform such as GenU 9JA is critical for our nation’s future. It’s a testament to the power of collaboration between public and private sectors as well as youth as generational agents of change”.

Iruka Ndubuizu, Director Partnerships at Tony Elumelu Foundation, highlighted the importance of partnerships for youth development: “The private sector’s involvement in this platform is aimed at providing holistic support to young people and nurturing a resilient economy fueled by our most valuable asset – our Youth”.

Key Achievements of GenU Naija in 2023 as contained in the statement included;  Connectivity and Digital Learning: Exceeding targets, the initiative with private sector contributions benefitted over 2 million young people through connected underserved communities and 820 schools and boosted learning through platforms like the Nigeria Learning Passport (nearly 750,000 users) and the Youth Agency Market Place, YOMA.

Part of the success story was the  Workplace Readiness: The initiative has equipped over 800,000 young Nigerians with essential skills and livelihood opportunities, with platforms like YOMA linking users to diverse learning and engagement opportunities provided by private sector partners.

Others are ;  Youth Engagement: UNICEF’s U-Report is reaching nearly 5.5 million young people and youth have been benefitting from volunteering experiences, in support of campaigns, thereby enhancing their work experience whilst driving change for children in Nigeria. Young volunteers contributed to registering the birth of nearly 8 million children during the recent e-birth registration campaign across the country.
As GenU 9JA looks to the future, today’s meeting was a reflective and strategic session aimed at further empowering Nigerian youth. The public private partnership remains committed to creating a nurturing environment for every young Nigerian to thrive and contribute meaningfully to their society.

Members of GenU 9JA are :The Federal Ministry of Education, The Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Development, The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, Airtel, IHS Towers, ATC Nigeria, Impact Hub, Jobberman, PwC, Tech4Dev, Microsoft, MTN, Cisco, Unilever, DSM-Firmenich, TEF, EME Entertainment, Vanguard Newspapers, Troy Media

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