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Redefining Education in The Developing World by Nelson Tosin Ajulo PhD

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Education has been identified as the ultimate route to escape poverty. It is widely held that if you attend school, graduate, and get a lucrative job, your economic status will automatically be boosted or improved. This is still the case in today’s competitive world. However, it is hugely dependent on the nature or type of education you are receiving.

Sadly, the type of education delivered to African students and many other developing nations can not get them out of poverty. This is why we have millions of young graduates out there that are not employable.

The World Bank reports that youths account for more than 60% of all of Africa’s jobless population, and a large chunk of them are taking to crime, internet fraud and other anti-social activities to make ends meet.

According to the Accra-based African Center for Economic Transformation, a policy think tank, almost 50% of current university graduates in Africa do not get jobs.

For the African Development Bank (AfDB), it reports that of Africa’s nearly 420 million youth aged 15-35, one-third are unemployed and discouraged, another third are vulnerably employed, and only one in six is in wage employment.

The crucial challenge here is a disconnection between the education these graduates are getting and what the labour market needs. So what they need to get them out of extreme poverty and get them the much-needed job is quality education.

What is quality education? Quality education is the education you receive that would enable you to compete in the global marketplace. Any education outside of this is irrelevant.

Quality education is not necessarily about attending university for four years and afterward graduating. Even if you leave with a distinction, and your skills are not in demand, you will find it very difficult to get a job.

No apologies. Countless people are used to this type of education that is primarily theoretical. Unfortunately, governments and educational institutions across these developing countries are yet to understand or realise it. They keep pumping funds into this weak education system and expecting a different outcome. This is impossible. As long as there is a mismatch between the education received by students and what is in demand in the global marketplace, this problem will continue to linger. And if not addressed, youth crimes would persist in the fragile society.

Hence, governments and educational institutions must understand this and give youths quality education. Education that would empower them with skills that would get them well-paying jobs. These are digital skills, and they are currently in high demand. Skills like software development, cybersecurity, product design/development and UXUI designer, among others. Today, you do not need to attend a university where you would spend four years plus intermittent industrial actions to become a junior software engineer and earn money.

A platform like Zwart Academy, the edtech arm of the Zwart Talent Foundation, offers quality education to young people between the ages of 15 and 22 by equipping them with IT skills that will quickly get them out of poverty earn them their desired lifestyle.

Zwarttalent does this by training young people within the earlier age bracket in digital skills for six months. Upon completing the intensive and efficient training, they join Zwarttech for a one-year internship to work on projects and gather practical experience. After completion of the internship, they are connected with international IT jobs and start earning. The training comes at no cost. The students only need to commit their time and energy throughout the training and internship.

Importantly, you must have observed that the Zwarttalent approach is quicker, faster and well-planned. For example, it takes less than two years to become a software engineer, and there is no cost implication until the engineer starts working. This means that they can quickly get out of poverty, and the crime rate would significantly and drastically decline.

The developing world is faced with such myriads of challenges. It is also critical that sustainable solutions are deployed to tackle them. Therefore, it is only reasonable to learn the right kind of education to allow young people into poverty. With this, we can create a just, equitable and fair world. The governments and educational institutions must adjust to these realities and support or partner with an edtech like Zwart Academy to offer safety nets for young people.

Ajulo is the Chairman of the Zwart Talent Foundation

 

Business

FINTECH SUMMIT 5.0: FIRSTBANK TO HIGHLIGHTS THE IMPACT OF OPEN BANKING ON FINANCIAL INCLUSION  

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Dr. Adesola Adeduntan - FirstBank CEO

 

 

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s leading financial inclusion services provider, has announced that the 2021 edition of its annual FINTECH Summit is scheduled to hold on Thursday, 7 October 2021 by 10:00 am. The virtual event is opened to everyone, but participants are required to register via the link  https://firstbanknigeria.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_NmkYfeckQqu4vjTWy5lr5w

 

The 2021 edition of the summit which is the fifth in its series is themed; “Open Banking and its Derivative Opportunities for the Financial Ecosystem” and will be discussed by experts, policy influencers, regulatory officials as well as key and leading players in the Nigerian financial, banking and technology climate. 

 

Prof Ndubuisi Ekekwe, the Lead Faculty of Tekedia Institute with a PhD in engineering from John Hopkins University, USA, will be leading the discussion as the Keynote speaker alongside other panelists; Ankit Sharma, Director at Strategy&, a part of the PwC network, based out of Mexico; Ope Adeoye, CEO (Chief Plumber) at One Pipe; Aminu Maida, Executive Director, Technology & Operations at Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS),  Musa Jimoh, Deputy Director, Payment Systems, CBN and Olayinka Situ, Head, Corporate Transformation, FirstBank.   

 

The need for Open Banking in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized as the importance goes beyond just convenience to its game-changing impact in transforming value creation, product conceptualization and closing the financially excluded gap.

 

Through standardized and accessible open API technologies, innovators and product developers alike are now availed a wealth of big data and attendant insights, with the potential to completely redefine standards for product conceptualization, customer satisfaction and service delivery across Africa’s largest economy. This is the focus of this year’s theme; exploring the depth and range of these derivative opportunities set to be triggered by the application of an Open Banking regime in the country. 

 

Building up conversations into the event, the Bank recently hosted several podcasts with speakers sharing insightful tips that will impact an end–to–end growth of financial technology in the country. The podcasts are enhanced with useful nuggets as there is new and useful information for everyone. 

 

Guests discussants in the podcasts include; Joshua Chibueze, Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of PiggyVest, a Nigerian FinTech company committed to giving everyone the power to better manage their growth and finances; David Peterside, Chief Operating Officer of Okra, a fintech company committed to empowering companies and developers to build products with seamless access to inclusive financial data and secure payments. The podcasts which are opened to everyone are available on the Bank’s official Instagram handle – firstbanknigeria.

 

Speaking on the event, the Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank, Dr Adesola Adeduntan said, “our annual FinTech Summit in the past four years has been a platform of leading conversations and practices that have impacted the financial technology and electronic banking eco-system which has been integral to bridging the gap and digital divide of modern banking in today’s global village. Participants at our summits have been enlightened on ways to optimally carry out their digital transactions and business activities in safe and seamless ways.

 

Financial services have continually evolved in Nigeria and the world over and we intend as in previous years to use our FinTech summit this year to discuss different views on Open Banking and its associated opportunities with the goal of building on the successes achieved in the past’’.

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Opinion

Social Media, Best Tool for Political Liberation – Yinka Rahman

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The advent of social media has in recent years redefined human communication and public engagements in different ways. Before its advent, in existence were the traditional media; Print, Radio and Television. These traditional media served as major tools for political mobilisation and engagement, such that without them, it was relatively difficult for citizens to access their Nation’s political affairs.

Delving into the import of political communication, one would realize that it is difficult for a Nation to grow if there is no medium of engagement between the Government and the governed due to the fact that communication between the duo has a robust role to play on carrying the citizens along about the political affairs of their country and especially, their political participation.

Consequent upon the above, it is important to note that participation of citizens in political matters will amount to productivity, transparency, accountability and checks and balances.

This was what prompted me to tweet that “to achieve a just and egalitarian society is to achieve a just and egalitarian political system.”

To achieve a just and egalitarian society cum political system, citizens must be allowed to play a participatory role in the governance of their country.
This participation can be achieved when the media is effective and given freewill to operate within the ambit of the law.
This is because, media bridge the gap of communication between the Government and the citizens.

However, as exceptional as the traditional media may seem, one of their limitations is that they can easily be compromised.
Unlike the New Media, the traditional media could be threatened by any incumbent administration so as not to criticise their policies or publish any negative story about it.

Social Media on the other hand has globally bridged the long gap between the Government and its citizens. Social media also promotes citizen journalism.

Even though every medium of communication has its own disadvantages, there are numerous advantages of Social Media in political liberation and participation.

Some of these importance are that; People can now demand for their rights by conducting protests online, they can project the candidate of their choice for others to follow, and of course, the fact that the achievements of Government, be it Local or National can easily be accessed and analysed through social media cannot be overlooked.

The Liberation of every political system lies with the relationship between the government and the citizens which can only be achieved through effective communication and mutual understanding.

Interestingly, Social Media is a right tool for effective communication and at that; it should be treated with utmost importance.

As noted earlier, Social Media has made virtually everybody a journalist. Citizens now have access to platforms to publish socio-political issues as they unfold and also express their pleasure and displeasures about a particular administration and/or its policies.

Alas, as robust as the advantages of social Media are, so are the disadvantages.
Hate speech and fake news are great limitations mitigating against the growth of social media. These two are capable of causing turmoil in a Nation as already experienced in some countries across the globe.
They have also proven to be instrumental to causing an abrupt end or suspension of social media.

Taking a trip down memory lane, virtually all wars that happened in history emanated from misinformation and hate speech. A good example was the civil war that occurred in Libya as a result of hate speech and fake news, the Rwanda Genocide of 1994 and most revently, the EndSars protest of 2020 that was staged across major Southern States of Nigeria and the FCT.

This is why social media users are enjoined to desist from spreading hate speech and the fake news. Instead, their energy should be channeled towards an effective usage of social media for correction of social vices and for the development of their Nation’s political system.

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Tech

Zwarttech Launches New Website to Optimise Experience of Hiring Senior IT Experts Within 24 hours

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Zwarttech, a social impact startup that connects businesses with vetted Senior IT experts in Africa, has launched a new website to optimize the experience of hiring new Senior IT experts within 24 hours. The new website, which builds on the previous one, spells out in clear steps how businesses can hire senior IT experts within 24 hours, shares testimonials from happy clients from around the world and highlights the organizations partnering with Zwarttech to bridge the tech gap by removing obstacles, mitigating risk, and providing access to the global market. It also features videos to showcase Zwarttech services and FAQs. 

 

Significantly, the website improves on its interface, thus making it easy for visitors to navigate. Furthermore, the website aligns with its brand identity, mission, vision, and values, which are to connect senior IT experts from Africa with international jobs and promote diversity and inclusion. As a result, Zwarttech has in its database the top 1% of African tech experts.

 

Zwarttech founder/CEO Nelson Tosin Ajulo PhD said: “Zwartech is always looking for innovative ways to make our services straightforward. This is what we want to achieve with this new website. Beyond its colourful and beautiful interface, we are guaranteeing clients that applications for senior IT experts received on the website will be given the highest priority, and they will get their experts within 24 hours or less. This makes us the fastest out staffing and outsourcing platform.”

 

Ajulo adds: “With this approach, we believe we can create a just, equitable and inclusive world.”

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