By Lawrence Olaoye
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that job creation is pivotal for the reduction of illegal migration of African youth to Europe in search of greener pastures.
According to a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo made the declaration yesterday at the Africa-Europe High-Level Forum in Vienna, Austria, which had in attendance other African and European Heads of States or Government.
Osinbajo, who maintained that Africa and Europe must work together to advance and harvest the economic benefits of digital economy, and at the same time prevent a counter-productive widening of the digital gap, said “Given our fast-growing population in Africa, we are, of course, keen to work together to boost the job creation potential of new technologies rather than concentrating on jobs destined to disappear in the digital age. Faster growth, sustainable development and job creation are also vital for reducing irregular migration from Africa to Europe. In our globalized world, people can see disparities in standards of living across regions quite easily. This means there must be increasing openings for entrepreneurship and jobs in home countries for those who would otherwise embark on risk journeys in search of opportunities. In Nigeria we are taking urgent and practical steps to provide such opportunities for our rapidly increasing youth population.”
Speaking on the forum’s theme ‘Taking cooperation to the digital age’, the Vice President noted that investments in digital technology can make important contribution to growth and development by fostering productivity gains from continuous innovation.
Osinbajo who also highlighted the strides made by the Buhari administration in developing Nigeria’s technology sector through supporting public-private sector initiatives and the advisory group on technology and creativity, noted that the advisory group has been working to build an ecosystem for funding, training, infrastructure and intellectual property protection.
He added that the country’s Social Investment Programme has been leveraging on technology tools to drive it in its bid to improve the economy and lives of Nigerians.
He said, “Under our social investment programme, 75,000 young people are being trained in coding, software development, hardware maintenance, animation and data management, and we’re set to train another 200,000 young men and women. “
The Vice president also thanked European countries for their support, while calling on other EU member states to partner with Nigeria and Africa to impart skills, raise resources, promote investment and provide infrastructure to build a digital economy.
Several African and European Heads of Government attended the High-Level forum.