by Kolapo Olapoju
The jobs and employability portal Aiki.ng, powered by The Future Project and Microsoft held another of its offline empowerment programmes in Port Harcourt last week. The Aiki.ng Employability & Entrepreneurship Conference was held at the Atrium Hall on 26 July 2014.
It was presented by Nigeria Dialogue, an organisation aimed to foster a new generation of Nigerians who are committed to solving problems wherever they find themselves.
The conference furthered Aiki.ng’s goal of bridging the gap between school and the job market and gathered thousands of recent graduates, undergraduates and other youth across Rivers. It featured hands-on sessions on skill acquisition, entrepreneurship, navigating the employment market and other practical needs.
“A key feature of the program is www.aiki.ng a web based Job/training resource centre that aims to provide a guide for young Africans,” said Bukonla Adebakin, who is project associate for The Future Project. “We empower young people in the areas of career planning, skill acquisition, entrepreneurship development, Job sourcing and small business sustainability and this project takes that mission directly to youth across the country.”
Speakers at the conference included Executive Director of Sahara Group, Tonye Cole; Chief Operating Officer of Red Media Africa, Adebola Williams; Founder of Nigeria Dialogue, Eniola Bankole, and Port-Harcourt based speakers that included the Head of Business Development at Suffix Nigeria, Toyin Yussuf and the chief executive officer of Esejets, Reke Okpanobo.
Comedian Dan’ D Humuorous also took a session on ‘Entertainment as a Business’.
“Nigeria Dialogue is focused on driving the conversations and collaborations required to further the Nigerian project on a macro, intellectual level,” said Bankole. “However, we also understand the crucial imperative of meeting the practical needs of Nigeria’s teaming youth population, and right now that’s jobs and enterprise. It was very productive to take the combined efforts of Nigerians in the diaspora to empower young people in the country.”
The event also featured artisan workshop where participants were divided into sessions to take the training they choose. Trainings included Pastry making, Insecticide/Soap manufacturing, Makeup Artistry and Ankara shoes and bags. Four secondary schools were present at the conference and received free Mathematics and English text books from Nigeria Dialogue to help in their academics.
For more information about Aiki.ng and updates on activities, visit www.aiki.ng, follow @aikinigeria or email [email protected] The Future Project can also be reached on www.thefutureafrica.com, or @tfaafrica on Twitter and Instagram.