By Funmilola Gboteku
Telecommunication company, Airtel Nigeria, says it has partnered with UNICEF to empower Nigerian youths through the newly launched Generation Unlimited (GenU) initiative.
Airtel in a statement on Tuesday said that the multi-sector partnership was aimed at empowering 20 million young Nigerians by 2030 with education, skills acquisition, employment and entrepreneurship while leveraging access to digital platforms.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that GenU is aimed at urgently supporting expanded education, training and employment opportunities for young people aged 10 years to 24 years on an unprecedented scale.
The collaboration is a global multi-sector partnership that was initially launched in September 2018, in collaboration with over 200 partners.
Segun Ogunsanya, Airtel Nigeria Chief Executive Officer, said the initiative aligns with the telco’s philosophy of connecting, empowering and helping young Nigerians to become more productive to solve some of the pressing problems affecting the country.
“At Airtel, we believe that leveraging on technology, digital platforms, mobile broadband and innovation can make a huge difference in creating both access and opportunities for youth even among those in the remotest and hard-to-reach locations in the country,” he said.
Ogunsanya pledged that Airtel would support the GenU initiative by providing connectivity and access to the Internet for every school and learner by zero-rating data cost.
He said the telco would also offer internship opportunities to participants as well as provide awards to some of the beneficiaries at the end of the training.
“In the long term, Airtel will fully support GenU through a partnership to develop an investment case for school connectivity leveraging our technical competence.
“It is our belief that through this partnership, we will go a long way to improve the skillsets of millions of young Nigerians across the country, which is one of the cardinal objectives of the government,” Ogunsanya said.
Also, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President, commended Airtel, UNICEF and other stakeholders for backing the GenU initiative with a clear deliverable of providing education, training and entrepreneurship opportunities for 20 million Nigerians in 10 years.
The Chief Executive Officer, of GenU, Mr Kevin Frey, also commended Airtel for its pledge of providing connectivity, access, internship opportunities and awards for the beneficiaries, noting that the success of GenU in Nigeria was success for Africa and the world.
Frey said that during the pilot phase of the programme, Airtel would focus on providing zero-rated data to support 200 schools in Lagos and Kano States.
NAN reports that GenU has reached more than 100 million young people globally through innovations and programmes in more than 40 countries across six continents. (NAN)