FILE PHOTO: African youths
Photo credit: Youth Opportunities

The United Nations, says it has commenced training of 10 million African women and youths on digital skills to enable them run sustainable enterprises.

Dr Amos Obi, Principal Innovator and Director, Hetafy Academy endorsed by the UN Science Technology Innovation (STI) Programme said this on Tuesday, in Abuja.

Obi said that the programme tagged “United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, entrepreneurship training for youths and women”, will help towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

“So we have teamed up with the International Association of World Peace Advocates and other NGOs to train youths and women on skills that will help them to run sustainable enterprises.

“Our training is usually for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) entrepreneurship, turning the United States Global Goals into sustainable businesses. Our programmes are with the UN, helping them to actualise the grassroots movement of the goals.

“The training is structured for learning, working and earning because we introduce them to digital means of earning a living while they are being trained. The focus is sustainable development and green enterprises innovation.

“It means we are training the people on how to formulate local businesses in line with nature example; snail farming, fish farming and vegetable farming. “We also train the people on digital entrepreneurship which is the drive of the UN right now,’’ Obi said.

He said that the training programme will last for four weeks.

“However, the advanced professional diploma programme in sustainable development innovation and green enterprises will last for six weeks.

“We normally have 100 participants per batch, it can be more but the minimum is 100.

“That is one of the technology we take advantage of, we designed a digital form on Google and people fill it through the telegram platform.

“Sometimes we use WhatsApp platform, it is very easy to join the class anywhere in the world. With this nobody can be idle; schools can be on for 24 hours, we just graduated the first 300 batches.

“In Africa, we are far behind that is why we are going the extra mile to meet up. Many schools are not aware of the SDGs. It will be good if people and government join hands with us to drive it,’’ he said.

The innovator further said that going by the UN Secretary General’s report in June, the implementation of the SDGs in Africa was insignificant as it was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On payment, he said that tuition fee for startup kits programme was free while trainees will pay a token for their certificates.

“We are looking for partners both from the UN, federal, states and regional governments that will collaborate with us so that we can empower the people with startup kits.

“The Nigerian government needs reformation in the public and private partnership because most public institutions don’t know how to drive it but the private people have the technique, technology and ability.

“So the government needs to partner with the NGOs in the area of education reformation; there is a need to reform government institutions to go into online learning because this is the digital world.

“Much attention should be paid to the youths; they should be part of the system, groomed, mentored and empowered to start-up businesses,’’ Obi said.

He said that the government must therefore partner with the UN in running the programme to engage a good number of women and youths in the country.