The New Partnership for Africa’s Development NEPAD, has taken steps to drive the just launched Skills Initiative for Africa to the grassroots.  The National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer of NEPAD, Princess Gloria Akobundu while receiving the Chairman of Itesiwaju Local Government of Otu in Oyo State Hon. Adeniyi Adeagbo, said NEPAD will collaborate with the Local Government to empower youths in various skills and added that Atesiwaju is the first local government to partner with NEPAD.

Nigeria being one of the four countries selected for the pilot scheme, received the NEPAD Continental team during the launch of the Skills Initiative for Africa in Abuja recently. An African Union Programme, the Initiative is designed to address issues of economic and social inclusion of youths in the continent and also empower them in various skills. It is an attempt at confronting the increased global challenge of poverty and underdevelopment in the continent. The programme is aimed at strengthening occupational prospects of young people, especially women and youths in rural areas; raise the continents capacity and ability to create new employment and economic opportunities for African youths, offer opportunities to build desired skills, capabilities and enhance their employability while combating the underlying causes of youth restiveness, insecurity and other vices.

Speaking during the visit, Princess Akobundu noted that one of the biggest challenges facing the country today is that of unemployment. Adding that providing skills for the growing population of youths in the country will create employment opportunities that will stimulate accelerated socio-economic growth.

She added that NEPAD Nigeria involves multi-sectoral partnerships that include Government Agencies, the private sector, Non-Governmental Organisations, Development Partners as well as Civil Society Organisations; providing the platform upon which synergy between all collaborating partners can be made to work efficiently for people at the grassroots.

In his presentation, the Special Assistant to the Hon. Chairman of Atesiwaju Local Government, Mr. Ayotokunbo Ogunlade said that collaborating with NEPAD will ensure that the abundant human and natural resources  in the area are converted to programmes and activities that will promote economic growth and development.


Ekaete Umo

AD/Head of Media