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  In order to boost connectivity, create jobs through upskilling and establish digital transformation, the Federal government is partnering with Microsoft to accelerate the nation’s efforts in becoming a more digital economy.
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In a joint announcement on May 3rd, with the Government of Nigeria, Microsoft hopes to create over 27,000 new digital jobs in Nigeria. The partnership which is anchored on the 3 pillars is several projects aimed at intensifying the nation’s move to becoming a more digital economy. In addition, these programmes will also build strong foundations for a digital economy in Nigeria: connectivity, upskilling and digital transformation. Microsoft President, Brad Smith, said that Microsoft is excited as a company to add to their investments in Nigeria as they believe in the future of Nigeria. Upskilling the citizenry is necessary because technological infrastructure alone is not enough to ensure sustainable digital transformation. This is why Microsoft is committing to upskilling 5 million people over the course of the next three years. About 1,700 trainers will be providing a mix of online and in-person training for youth and government workers. The government will also be given the tools to digitally transform skilling, education, and employment methods to match job seekers with the right employers.
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The digital transformation element of the technology development plan consists of two initiatives. This initiative will help protect Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage using artificial intelligence as well as prevent corruption. The Internet penetration rate in Nigeria is said to be around 50 percent and the pandemic has forced an increased use of the internet. It is in the area of Internet penetration that Microsoft’s Airband Initiative which is cheaper and faster when compared to fibre cables will be deployed in bringing high-speed internet to rural communities in Nigeria. Microsoft Airband Initiative uses unutilised TV whitespace technology and it has been noted as the next frontier in rural internet connectivity. Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, remarked about the capacity development initiative drive;
“Working with Microsoft, we intend to upskill 5 million Nigerians through this increased internet access over the next three years in various digital skills which will increase both employability and entrepreneurship.”
To better monitor the progress and execution of the listed projects, a joint working committee to guide the investments will provide updates on the programmes. Featured Image Source: TechCabal
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This article was first published on 14th May 2021


Macaddy is mostly a farmer in the day who also dabbles into technology at night, in search of other cutting edge intersections. He's on Twitter @i_fix_you

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