Rockefeller Foundation invests $.5m in Ajegunle IT project
The Rockefeller Foundation has announced a grant of $500,000 to Paradigm Initiative Nigeria for the expansion of its Ajegunle.org project.
The project has worked since 2007 from Ajegunle, an acclaimed underserved community in Lagos State, to connect Nigerian youths with Information and Communication Technology-enabled opportunities.
It employs a ‘train-the-trainer’ capacity-building model that uses a positive peer pressure concept to transform Ajegunle as a model for intervention in other underserved communities across the country.
The RF grant will enable PIN to design and inaugurate an awareness campaign to inform high potential but disadvantaged Nigerian youths about online work and provide training to help these youths access online jobs.
“Online work provides a low-barrier-to-entry opportunity for young jobseekers to earn an income, while building their skills and digital work experience. Through this support, PIN will also expand their successful training programme beyond Ajegunle to cover other locations across Nigeria, beginning with the South-East and North-East regions,” said PIN’s Executive Director, Mr. Gbenga Sesan.
He said, “Unemployment is a major challenge in Nigeria. Each year, tens of thousands of students graduate from tertiary institutions but only 10 per cent of them are gainfully employed two years after graduation.
“Disadvantaged communities account for a majority of these unemployed youths. The digital jobs campaign presents an opportunity for Nigerian youth to generate income and build their digital skills, while preparing themselves for future work in the digital economy.”
Sesan said the online work sector was estimated to grow to become a $5bn global industry by 2018, noting that the Federal Government had identified the potential to create online employment at a large scale for the country’s youths and had launched an initiative in May 2013 that resulted in an additional 10,000 Nigerians registering on online work platforms.