The Mastercard Foundation has said it will provide support in the digital economy, agriculture and the creative sectors, which it described as pivotal in addressing the rising level of unemployment in Nigeria and Africa.
The foundation also reaffirmed its commitment to addressing unemployment in Nigeria by providing access to dignified and fulfilling jobs for 30 million young people under its Young Africa Works strategy, 10 million of which would come from Nigeria.
According to a statement by the foundation, the reaffirmation was made by the Country Head, Mastercard Foundation Nigeria, Chidinma Lawanson, during a panel session themed ‘Jobs crisis response’ at the 27th Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja.
She said, “Our focus is to create access to dignified and fulfilling work. In the area of agriculture, we want to show the youth that this can be done by helping them unlock opportunities in the agricultural value chain.
“Our approach is to change the narrative among the youth by ensuring that they do not see agriculture as menial and torturous labour but as a game-changer for the Nigerian economy.
“Also, the digital economy opens up multitudes of opportunities like it did in the fintech industry, part of our vision is to leverage partnerships and utilise digital platforms to solve problems in other sectors.”
According to her, the organisation is willing and open to more partnerships with stakeholders that will create opportunities for the youth and foster development for the Nigerian economy.
In his remarks, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo, explained that though the high rate of unemployment presented a challenge, the present administration was still making a series of interventions targeted at reducing employment rates in Nigeria.
Keyamo said, “We have been working with donor agencies such as ILO and GIZ to increase the capacity of the bandwidth so that we can have real-time analysis of the job market.
“When that is done, we can have a great response to the job demand.”
The Chief Executive Officer, Jobberman Nigeria, Rolake Rosiji, said Jobberman was partnering with MasterCard Foundation to create entrepreneurs and job creators.
According to her, many youths are currently being trained on soft skills to enable them to meet the demand of the 21st-century workplace.