By Tobi Awodipe
In a bid to improve the skills of students and young ones, Siemens Stiftung recently partnered with Empowering Africans through Education Initiative to launch the BeMINT Project in Lagos State. The programme is a first-of-its-kind hands-on Information Technology (IT) training project for high school students and fresh graduates in Lagos.
The year-long training programme, funded by BMZ and other partners will train 300 students and 60 teachers from low-income communities in other to prepare them for the future of work.
100 students in high school and 200 school graduates will receive IT training in smaller groups. Beneficiaries will also attend workshops with private sector employees, giving them a taste of real-work scenarios through company visits and learning how to use digital platforms to exchange information with potential employers.
Chioma Aniagolu, Project Manager, EAE said: “Nigerian youths hold the key to unlocking the country’s economic prospects. They need up skilling in IT to diversify our largely agricultural economy to the growth-enhancing digital sector. This project will contribute to the educational equity and offer opportunity for the youth from low-income households through after-school STEM and digital literacy education training, ultimately improving their job prospects.”
BeMINT (MINT is the German abbreviation for STEM: mathematics, IT, science and technology) is a year-long project providing IT and life-skills training for students and fresh graduates. The partnership will ensure that youths and individuals remain innovative by up skilling and expanding their mindset to sustain relevance and make them more competitive in a globally changing work environment.
Germany’s development cooperation aims to increase employment, especially for youth and women. It supports the Nigerian Government in improving living conditions of the broader population and strengthening the transition to a climate-compatible and socially equitable economy.
Deputy Head of the Division for Cooperation with Civil Society at BMZ explained: “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics – the links between theoretical knowledge and practical skills have never been more important. Siemens Stiftung’s approach will equip both students and teachers with this expertise. The project is tailored to meet the growing demand in Africa’s largest economy.”
Dr Nina Smidt, Managing Director and spokesperson of the Board at Siemens Stiftung, said the demographic boom in Nigeria makes technical and vocational training crucial to integrate youths into the labour market and to combat poverty. He said: “We are thankful to BMZ for identifying our field experience in Africa and tasking us with implementation of IT and soft skills training for students and teachers from underserved communities in Lagos.