Why one in three Kenyan youths wants to go abroad

BY EDWIN OKOTH

More than one in every three Kenyan youths would leave the country to find a better job abroad, escape poverty or pursue an education if given a chance, a new survey has found.

The study conducted by a pan-African research network, AfroBarometer, reveals that at least 35 percent of Kenyan youth have at some point considered leaving the country to live abroad.

The research released yesterday was conducted in 33 other African countries.

“The most popular destination among potential emigrants is neither Europe nor North America, but another African country. This suggests that if you have a country near you that is thriving economically then you better move there so Europe should now start considering how to boost Africa’s economic growth because clearly they may not have a lot of desire to go to Europe,” Afrobarometer Executive Director Gyimah Boadi said.

Kenya was ranked 20th among the countries comprising youths who have high desire to migrate from Africa, behind its neighbours Uganda and Sudan where more people wanted to leave and stay abroad.

Cape Verde, where only 42 percent of the citizens want to stay, had lowest score, followed by Sierra Leone where 59 percent want to migrate and Gambia where 56 percent have thought about migrating. Togo and Sao Tome complete the five worst performers with 54 percent of residents in both countries angling to leave for a better life abroad.

Mauritius had the best record, according to the survey.

A 2017 World Bank survey found Kenya had the highest rate of youth unemployment in East Africa, with 17 percent of all young people eligible for work lacking jobs. Neighbouring Tanzania and Uganda had comparable rates of 5.5 and 6.8 percent respectively.

Mr Boadi said that contrary to popular belief that most Africans would like to move out of the continent, intra-continental migration is a fast-growing phenomenon.

The survey found that young adults and highly-educated citizens are most likely to consider leaving Africa, pointing to a potential brain drain on the continent.

Potential emigrants are also more numerous among men (40 percent) and urban residents (44 percent) than among women (35 percent) and rural dwellers (32 percent).

At 65 percent of its population not considering migration, Kenya ranks better compared to Nigeria where 64 percent want to stay. In Tanzania though, only 14 percent want to leave, ranking among the least countries where people want to migrate from. Madagascar reported only 13 percent of potential emigrants.

Europe still remains a strong attraction for African emigrants compared to North America with the two regions attracting 27 and 22 percent of potential emigrants from Africa.

“Migration in most cases is not a bad idea since both the destination country and the country of origin stand to benefit. Africa receives close to $34 billion every year from their emigrants living abroad. We however need a fundamental change on how we approach employment and traditional forms of agriculture to make people comfortable at home,” said Jeffrey Labovitz, IOM Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa.

Source Business Daily Africa

Job-hunting can exacerbate poverty for unemployed SA youth, study finds


The cost of job-hunting is one of the reasons many young people remain unemployed in South Africa.


Unemployment in the country has increased from 21.5% to 27.2% over the last decade.

Researcher Lauren Graham is part of a team that’s collecting data for an ongoing study that explores the cost of looking for work.

The Siyakha Youth Assets for Employability Study assess whether government programmes are effectively helping young people in their efforts to find employment.

Young people are engaged in fairly intensive job search activities – which we would expect given the high rates of unemployment – but they are spending exorbitant amounts on the cost of work-seeking.

— Lauren Graham, Director at Centre for Social Development In Africa – University Of Johannesburg
The study has found that young South Africans spend an average of R938 a month looking for work, Graham explains.

Transport, internet access, printing, application fees and agent’s fees are some of the expenses jobseekers face.

Graham argues that job-hunting has become a process that exacerbates poverty for low-income households.

They come from poor households, where the household income is about R2500 a month. The cost of work-seeking is a significant chunk of household income.

— Lauren Graham, Director at Centre for Social Development In Africa – University Of Johannesburg
We argue that this makes it a poverty exacerbating process. Households have to make difficult decisions and it becomes complex for young people.

— Lauren Graham, Director at Centre for Social Development In Africa – University Of Johannesburg
The study recommends that the government should invest more in labour centres and other support services to lessen the burden on young people and help them improve their prospects of finding work.


Source Cape Talk


Uganda: African Economies Must Accommodate Youths, Says Yoweri Museveni


By Paul Ampurire


Uganda President Yoweri Museveni has highlighted the emerging concern of youths who continue to be sidelined in the economy amid Africa’s rapidly growing population, arguing this must be addressed.

The President made the comment while in Davos, Switzerland where he is attending this year’s World Economic Forum. Museveni was Thursday speaking at interactive pannel discussion titled “Peace Building in Africa”, on the sidelines of the ongoing forum.

The discussion was moderated by Bineta Diop, the African Union Chairperson’s special Envoy on Women peace and security.

“Besides the traditional political and ideological conflict Africa has always faced, there is a new but healthier conflict posed by it’s growing population, which now stands at 1,3 billion people,” the president said.

“The bigger concern is the youth segment which is not accommodated by the economies,” he said, adding “it is these socio – economic issues that we must address while avoiding the usual ideological conflicts.”

He also pointed out the need to address challenges of infrastructure development, electricity and skills in order to embrace a new revolution.

Museveni arrived in Davos on Tuesday to join global thinkers and leaders in politics, business and culture, to discuss how to make globalization work for everyone – the theme for this year’s summit.

During the past few days, Museveni has met and held discussions with among others Prof Klaus Martin Schweb, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.

The President informed Prof Klaus that Uganda was willing to host the next World Economic Forum on Africa. He said it will be an honour for Uganda to host a meeting of such significance. The last WEF (on African) was held in South Africa.

Museveni also met with the executive director of the World Food Programme, David Beasley, and his team. The two leaders discussed “Means of Strengthening co – operation” between Uganda and World Food Program.

World Food Program is involved in several Humanitarian operations in Uganda given the over 1 million refugees that are currently hosted in the country.

Still in Davos, President Museveni addressed a roundtable meeting organized by the Africa strategy Group, themed on shaping Africa’s agenda in the global context.

At the meeting, Museveni said that “part of our lagging behind was the attitude governments had against the private sector” but added that this has changed.

“The people excited about artificial intelligence are those who already have developed infrastructure and a development human resource,” he noted.

According to Museveni, artificial intelligence alone without infrastructure development such as railway and electricity can not be useful.


Source Soft Power


EU approves assistance worth 305 million euros for Tunisia


By Tarek Amara


The European Union has approved a 305 million euro (267 million pounds) financial assistance package for Tunisia to help youth find jobs and boost local development, the bloc said on Wednesday.


The EU said in a statement the record financing deal reflected its strong ambition to create better chances for Tunisian youth. “The adopted programmes will facilitate access to the job market for young Tunisians, boost entrepreneurial innovation and ensure that local communities are not left behind,” Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said in the statement.

The North African country has made a transition to democracy since former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was toppled in 2011, the only “Arab Spring” country to avoid conflict as in Syria or further bouts of political turmoil like Egypt.

But an economic crisis has eroded living standards and unemployment is high as political turmoil and lack of reforms have deterred investment needed to create jobs. That has forced the government to launch austerity measures to please donors and lenders including the IMF.


Source Channel News Asia


Job Creation Is The Real Key To Helping Working Families


By Carrie Lukas


President Obama dreams of an American economy in which all workers have ample paid leave benefits, maximum flexibility, and, of course, receive more than a living wage. Yet in making his case for this vision, in this oped that appeared in the Huffington Post in conjunction with the White House “Summit on Working Families,” the President—perhaps unsurprisingly, given his Administration’s economic record—seems unfamiliar with the costs associated with greater benefits, the tradeoffs that workers and employers must consider when creating compensation packages, and the sad reality that the biggest problem facing many Americans today isn’t that their jobs pay too little or offer too few benefits, but that they cannot find enough work at all.

Indeed, lack of employment, not low wages, is the biggest factor creating poverty today. According to the U.S. Census, in 2012 (the most recent data available), just under one-in-ten working age adults living in poverty had full-time, year-round work, while two-thirds had no work at all. Proposals to raise the minimum wage or increase mandatory benefits will do nothing to help these Americans who lack employment, even worse would make it even less likely that they find work.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the President’s proposed minimum-wage hike to $10.10 per hour would result in 500,000 fewer jobs nationwide. The President should at least acknowledge that there are tradeoffs that come from increasing employment costs and the availability of positions, particularly for those with the fewest skills and experience. Already American teenagers who are seeking those vital first jobs, which provide value and experience far greater than just their paychecks, are suffering from unemployment rates well in to the double digits. That problem is particularly pronounced for minority youths: Nationwide, the unemployment rate in March 2014 for African-American teenagers was almost double the rate for whites, a jaw-dropping 38 percent. A higher-minimum wage will make this problem worse.

The President doesn’t just want to require companies to pay higher wages; he also wants more generous benefit packages. He laments that too many workers lack the ability to receive time off for a school play, can’t work from home when a child is sick, or take leave for a new baby or to care for a sick loved one. He writes, “the United States is the only developed country in the world without paid maternity leave.”

First, this is a gross mischaracterization of the American economy and work world. The United States lacks a law that requires employers to provide paid maternity leave, but that does not mean that paid maternity leave and other leave benefits are non-existent in America. In fact, most full-time workers have paid leave benefits and make use of those benefits following the birth of a child. The Census Bureau reports on the leave practices employed by working women after giving birth: 56 percent of full-time working women used paid leave following the birth, 42 percent used unpaid leave, 10 percent used disability leave, 19 percent quit their job, and nearly 5 percent reported being let go (this adds up to more than 100 percent because some women used more than one category of leave). Part-time workers were more likely to quit (37 percent reported quitting their jobs) and had less access to benefits: 20 percent used paid leave, 46 percent used unpaid leave, and just 2 percent had disability leave.

Certainly this data doesn’t live up to the vision of all workers enjoying generous leave packages, but it does indicate that most businesses recognize the need for time off and believe it makes good business sense to provide such benefits, even absent a legal requirement. The President himself provides examples of companies that are models of family-friendly workplaces, but he misses that this is evidence that the market can encourage advancement in that direction and that one-size-fits-all government programs may actually discourage such innovation and flexibility.

The President should keep in mind that not all workers have the same preferences for benefits over take-home pay, and different jobs lend themselves to different kinds of flexible work arrangements. Government mandates, however well intentioned, prevent employers and employees from finding mutually beneficial arrangements. And while the President suggests that women would be the greatest beneficiaries of more aggressive government mandates, women also end up paying a high price in terms of lost economic opportunity. Supporters of family leave mandates often point to Western Europe as a model, but American women are far more likely than their European peers to be breaking glass ceilings. Undoubtedly, one reason why is that European business leaders know that women in their childbearing years are likely to disappear for months, even years, at a time, and therefore don’t consider them for leadership positions. That’s hardly a culture encouraging women to “lean in.”

The best way to ensure that people have the benefits and resources they need is to create an environment in which there are plentiful jobs. That way employers must compete for workers, and workers can select compensation packages that make sense for them. Sadly, that’s not the situation that we have in America today, and the President’s prescription for more government mandates and higher employment costs would take us farther in the wrong direction.

Carrie Lukas is the managing director of the Independent Women’s Forum and author of a chapter on work-family policies for YG Network’s Room to Grow.


This article was first published at Forbes


Youth Voices Acting to End the Stigma of Homelessness and Menstruation in Africa


By Cleopatra Okumu


Imagine, on a day when you had your period, if you had to choose between buying food or pads. What would your priority be? This difficult decision is a reality for homeless women each and every month.

The routine tasks of managing personal hygiene and basic needs present them with a tough choice.

An organization based in Cape Town is tackling this dilemma by providing homeless and underprivileged girls and women with menstrual products. Since 2016, Girls with Wiings has been assisting 250 girls and women in 11 locations with sanitary products every month.

“Our most powerful tool when it comes to menstrual health management is action. It’s the power of getting involved, speaking up and taking action,” says Koinonia Baloyi, 28, founder of Girls With Wiings.

Using fitness as a platform to raise resources

True to her words, in 2017 she completed the London Marathon and raised R21,000 (about $1500) for her organization. She uses fitness and well-being as one of her platforms to mobilize funds to provide menstrual health products to girls and women.

“We are giving women a safer and more hygienic alternative to using cloth material and napkins, as well as restoring their dignity,” she says.

Ms. Baloyi initiated the Fitness for a Cause Campaign, which hosted a public outdoor fitness camp in in 2018. She was motivated to do so by commitments made at the first East and Southern African Regional Symposium on Menstrual Health Management, which was organized by UNFPA East and Southern Africa Regional Office and the Department of Women in the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa, in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2018.

The #Fit4Wings event, which was conducted by local celebrity fitness instructors, saw Girls With Wings raise R50,000 (about $3650). The money purchased 1000 bags containing reusable sanitary pads, soap, a face cloth and underwear.

“This campaign has contributed significantly towards the advocacy of menstrual health management,” says Ms. Baloyi. “We have seen an increase in both awareness and participation in menstrual heath issues by large corporates, as well as men, through active partnerships, sponsorships and participation in these events.”

Inspiring continuous action

With their aspirational name, Girls With Wiings is about inspiring continuous action and not allowing homeless and underprivileged girls, women and other people who menstruate to be alienated from society because of their inability to manage their menstrual health.

“Menstrual health management is something we need to keep talking about until it is a normal part of our everyday conversation, until it is something we don’t shy away from,” she says.

Ms. Baloyi is one of 400 practitioners who have joined the African Coalition for Menstrual Health, the aim of which is to strengthen the voices of its members. She believes her involvement will amplify the voices of practitioners and activists who have come together to address the menstrual health challenges of those who are so often left behind – including girls, women and other people who menstruate, the homeless, and those in prison or fleeing a humanitarian crisis.


Source UNFPA


Report: 36 Million Poverty Hit Children In Ethiopia

An estimated 36 million of a total population of 41 million children under the age of 18 in Ethiopia are multi-dimensionally poor, says a new report by a government agency and the UN agency for UN children.
The report indicated that the children are deprived of basic goods and services in at least three dimensions. The report studied child poverty in nine dimensions – development/stunting, nutrition, health, water, sanitation, and housing. Other dimensions included education, health related knowledge, and information and participation, according to the study conducted by the Central Statistics Agency and UNICEF.

The study, “Multi-dimensional Child Deprivation in Ethiopia – First National Estimates,” finds that 88 per cent of children in Ethiopia under the age of 18 (36 million) lack access to basic services in at least three basic dimensions of the nine studied, with lack of access to housing and sanitation being the most acute.

Given their large population sizes, Oromia, Amhara, and Southern regions are the largest contributors to multi-dimensional child deprivation in Ethiopia.

These three regions jointly account for 34 of the 36 million deprived children in Ethiopia, with Oromia having the highest number at 16.7 million, SNNPR at 8.8 million, and Amhara at 8.5 million. Regions with the lowest number of poor children are Harar at 90,000, Dire Dawa at 156,000, and Gambella at 170,000.

“We need to frequently measure the rates of child poverty as part of the general poverty measures and use different approaches for measuring poverty. This requires all stakeholders from government, international development partners and academic institutions to work together to measure, design policies and programmes to reduce child poverty in Ethiopia,’’ said Mr Biratu Yigezu, Director General of Central Statistics Agency.

The report adapted the global Multi-Dimensional Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA) methodology and used information available from national data sets such as the Ethiopian Demographic and Health Surveys of 2011 and 2016. MODA has been widely used by 32 countries in Africa to analyze child well-being.

The methodology defines multi-dimensional child poverty as non-fulfilment of basic rights contained in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and concludes that a child is poor if he or she is deprived in three to six age-specific dimensions.

The report’s findings have been validated through an extensive consultative process involving the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth, National Planning Commission, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs together with the Economic Policy Research Institute, among others.

“Children in Ethiopia are more likely to experience poverty than adults, with distressing and lifelong effects which cannot easily be reversed,” said Gillian Mellsop, UNICEF Representative in Ethiopia.

“Ethiopia’s future economic prosperity and social development, and its aspirations for middle income status, depend heavily on continued investments in children’s physical, cognitive and social development.”

The study reveals that there are large geographical inequalities: 94 per cent children in rural areas are multi-dimensionally deprived compared to 42 per cent of children in urban areas.

Across Ethiopia’s regions, rates of child poverty range from 18 per cent in Addis Ababa to 91 per cent in Afar, Amhara, and SNNPR. Poverty rates are equally high in Oromia and Somali (90 per cent each) and Benishangul-Gumuz (89 per cent).

Additional key findings from the report indicate:

High disparities across areas and regions of residence in terms of average number deprivations in basic rights or services.

For example, the differences in deprivation intensity (average number of deprivations in basic rights and services that each child is experiencing) between rural and urban areas are significant; multi-dimensionally deprived children residing in rural areas experienced 4.5 deprivations in accessing basic rights and needs on average compared to 3.2 among their peers in urban areas;

Although there has been progress in reducing child deprivation, much more remains to be done. The percentage of children deprived in three to six dimensions decreased from 90 per cent to 88 per cent between 2011 and 2016 and the average number of deprivations that each child is experiencing decreased from 4.7 to 4.5 dimensions during the same period.

Most children in Ethiopia face multiple and overlapping deprivations. Ninety-five per cent of children in Ethiopia are deprived of two to six basic needs and services, while only one per cent have access to all services. Deprivation overlaps between dimensions are very high in rural areas and among children in the poorest wealth quintiles.

The report makes the following recommendations:

  • Speed up investments to reduce child poverty by four per cent each year for the next decade if Ethiopia is to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal on poverty reduction;
  • Accelerate investments in social sectors prioritizing child-sensitive budgeting at the national and regional levels to enhance equality and equity; and
  • Improve collaboration among different social sectors to ensure that the multiple needs of children are met.

Source Newbusinessethiopia


How Your Spending Habits Affect Your Stress Levels


By Larry Alton Independent business consultant @LarryAlton3


If you get your spending under control, you may be able to significantly decrease the stress and anxiety in your life.

We’re all painfully aware that there’s a psychological and emotional element to our financial habits. No matter how emotionally intelligent you are, you might be vulnerable to emotional spending (or impulse spending), and you likely feel a boost of happiness or satisfaction when your paycheck lands in your bank account.

What you may not realize is that the way you choose to spend (or save) your money has a direct impact on your levels of stress and mental well-being; and if you get your spending under control, you may be able to significantly decrease the stress and anxiety in your life.

Worrying About Your Savings

First, you should know that the amount of savings you have and the amount of debt you owe can seriously affect your stress levels. According to one study, 37 percent of Americans felt moderate to high anxiety when thinking about their retirement savings, and money is the number one source of stress, beating both personal relationships and work. With the average United States household carrying $137,000 in debt and most Americans behind on retirement savings, it’s no wonder why we’re so stressed about money.

Taking the time to pay those credit cards down (instead of trying to buy a bigger house or afford that lavish vacation) and build up your emergency savings can take a serious load off your mind. You’ll feel more stable, more secure, and most importantly, more in control.

Impulse Buying and Remorse
How often do you make impulse purchases? Are you tempted to pick up a few extra items when you’re in line at the grocery store, or do you add a few small products to your cart when you’re shopping online because they were advertised to you? Research shows that engaging in impulse shopping elicits self-conscious emotions, like guilt and shame, which can negatively affect your wellbeing.

If you’re naturally vulnerable to the temptations of impulse buying, your options may be limited. You can reduce episodes of impulse shopping by preparing a strict budget and adhering to it, and by creating a firm list of things to shop for–preventing yourself from deviating from that list. Then, if you do make an impulse purchase, think carefully about it, and follow through only if you feel strongly that you won’t experience feelings of remorse afterward.

Buying Experiences vs. Things

Empirical studies suggest people are happier when they buy experiences than when they buy things (in general). For example, you’ll probably get more happiness out of taking a vacation than you will from buying a set of brand-new furniture. There are a few possible reasons motivating this preference, including the fact that experiences are tied to memory, and stronger, more positive memories lead to greater overall happiness and health. The allure of objects and items also wears off quickly, even if you keep them for a long time.

Saving Time

Studies show that when you spend money in an effort to save yourself time, you can reduce your overall stress; in one survey, people who made purchases specifically to save time reported higher life satisfaction than those who didn’t. For example, you might spend money on an oil change rather than doing the work yourself, or pay extra for a cab, rather than waiting around for a bus. Having more time to comfortably handle your responsibilities, or spend more time with your friends and family is worth far more than the money you spend to save that time.

Unnecessary Frugality

We’ve established that it pays to be frugal; reducing your expenses and saving money for an emergency fund (and/or to pay off your debt) can reduce your stress. But there’s also evidence to suggest that being overly frugal can stress you out, too. Forcing yourself to eat food you don’t like or make yourself uncomfortable for the sake of saving a few dollars, will probably do more harm than good, and constantly worrying about every dollar you spend will fill you with anxiety.

The Other Direction

Of course, we should also consider the mutual relationship between stress and spending habits. Spending money the wrong ways could significantly increase the stress in your life, but that stress may fuel your irresponsible spending habits–resulting in a vicious, endless cycle. If you want to break out, you’ll need to create structure for yourself, and break out of the spending cycle that keeps you locked in at this level of financial health.

Extremes in any dimension of your spending habits can result in additional stress, so try to find a balance. Resist impulse purchases whenever you can, but don’t be too strict with your spending habits. Save money so you have a cushion for a financial emergency, but don’t be afraid to splurge on an occasional vacation. The “right” balance is different for everyone, so it might take some experimentation to figure out what works best for you–but when you do, you’ll be glad you took the effort.


Featured photo credit: Getty Images


This article was first published at Inc


How to Financially Prepare Your Business for a Future Recession


By Ami Kassar CEO, MultiFunding.com @amikassar


Now is a good time to consider your cash-flow options.


Is a recession looming? That’s a question you hear every day as the market careens down, soars back up, and then flutters again.

I’m not an economist, but you don’t have to be one to see there are some potential warning signs staring us in the face. And any upper-level collegiate finance major has heard more than once how people tend to forget (especially after a lengthy bull market) that things always go in cycles.

In any case, if you think a recession is coming — or even if you don’t — now’s a good time to prepare for the inevitable rainy day. One of these days, there will be a recession.

If Cash Flow Is Tight

In poor economic times, financial liquidity is exceptionally important. In other words, it’s the cash flow, stupid.

So, what can you do? A couple of things come to mind.

If you’ve accumulated some short-term debt, consider restructuring it by obtaining a 10-year Small Business Administration-backed loan that will decrease your monthly payments and give you added wiggle room. I’ve suggested numerous times that the SBA is a much-underused resource by entrepreneurs, so if there was ever a time to explore its options, now is that time.

In addition, now is the time to secure a line of credit, which can be more affordable than a straight loan because you only pay interest on it when you tap it. You may never use the line of credit — and that’s certainly fine — but knowing you have available cash if something unexpected occurs will give you peace of mind. And if a recession does occur, lenders generally will tighten their standards and offer less favorable terms, so get in while you can.

As for the line itself, you should seek an amount that’s equivalent to roughly 10 percent of your topline sales or 85 percent of accounts receivable or 50 percent of your inventory — whichever is greater.

A beneficial side effect of restructuring loans or obtaining a credit line is the chance to further build your credit history and improve your credit rating.

If Cash Flow Is Good

If your cash flow is in good shape, consider a few other measures.

If this applies to your business, maintaining lean inventories may prove helpful. Analyze your inventory to see where savings can be made in terms of acquisitions, maintenance of said inventory, and tracking the items.

Diversification should be pursued as well. If you rely on a handful of major clients, the impact might be brutal if a couple of them run into problems of their own and suddenly scale back or stop their orders with you. Perhaps you can focus on different industries or promote other uses for your product.

Keep an extra-close eye on those clients by carefully managing invoices and payments; be on the lookout for clients whose payment habits change, and, early in the process, work with them to make sure you’re still getting paid.

Finally, be careful about taking on new expenses. If you need to buy something, buy it, but if a purchase can wait, hold off until you get a feel for how a recession is impacting your business.


Featured photo credit: Getty Images


This article was first published at Inc


IBM to spend $25m on youth empowerment in Nigeria and other Africa countries

The International Business Machines Corporation is to spend 25 million dollars (about N9 billion) in Nigeria and some other African countries for youth empowerment in the next few years.

Director, IBM Venture Capital Group, Ms Deborah Magid, stated this at the 21st Century Women and Youth in Innovation Technology themed ‘Turning Promises into Action’ held at the UN headquarters in New York.

The event, organised by Silicon-Valley-Nigeria Economic Development in collaboration with Global Connection for Women Foundation and UN Women, aimed at deepening participation in developmental programmes and technology for sustainable growth.

Magid, who is Director of Software Strategy and represents IBM’s $25 billion software business in Venture Capital Group, said Nigeria is one of the strategic countries for IBM in Africa.

“We are going to spend $25 million just on education for youth to help them have the right skills training for jobs in the future,” she said.

Magid said $25 million investment is just for the youth, and did not include the other IBM’s investment in Nigeria and the region.

According to her, the American multinational information technology company also supports universities to fund research and develop curriculum, including making free software and computers for universities.

“We do have programmes in Nigeria. We have a fairly large office in Lagos and smaller office in Abuja and we have a lot of clients in Nigeria and we work throughout West Africa from these offices.

“We have about 120 employees in those offices in Nigerian. They do all kinds of work – they work with customers, they do services, they develop technology and they also work with the universities, some of the government ministries.”

Founder/CEO Global Connection for Women, Dr. Lilian Ajayi-Ore, stressed the need for global technology giants to invest in manpower development in Nigeria and across Africa.

“I think the biggest area for these companies to invest is manpower if they intend to reap, and I will speak for Nigeria and part of Africa.

“We are an English country, so in terms of resources, this is an opportunity to employ more of the manpower and it will be cheaper to employ this manpower rather than bringing them from America,” she said.

Source – Punch