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Airtel, UNICEF’s GenU To Provide Free Internet, Upskill 20m Nigerian Youths

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Airtel Nigeria, a telecommunications services provider, has partnered United Nations International Children Education Fund, UNICEF, to empower Nigerian youths .

With newly-launched Generation Unlimited (GenU) initiative, the duo will provide free internet access to 20 million Gen Zs by 2030.

The partnership will also upskill the youths with digital skillset to remain relevant in the technological ecosystem.

It will also provide employment and entrepreneurship to the youths while leveraging access to digital platforms.

The Promise:

The Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, disclosed this to newsmen on Monday.

Airtel’s Vice President, Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility, Emeka Oparah, represented Ogunsanya at the launch.

Speaking during the formal launch in Abuja, Monday, Airtel said GenU initiative will also provide free online education to youths.

He said the initiative aligns with the telco’s philosophy of connecting, empowering and helping young Nigerians to become more productive.”

He also noted that GenU agrees with goal of empowering youths to solve some pressing problems affecting the country.

ALSO READ: Sustainable Upskilling Of Nigerian Youths Pivotal To Ensuring Employability – Microsoft

“At Airtel, we believe that leveraging on technology, digital platforms, mobile broadband and innovation can make a huge difference.”

He said the difference is “in creating both access and opportunities for youth.”

Ogunsanya added that the access is “even among those in the remotest and hard-to-reach locations in the country.”

Specifically, Ogunsanya pledged that Airtel will support the GenU initiative by providing connectivity.

He also said Airtel will provide access to the Internet for every school and learner by zero-rating data cost.

He also said it will offer internship opportunities to participants as well as provide awards to some of the beneficiaries at the end of the training.

“In the long term, Airtel will fully support GenU through a partnership to develop an investment case for school connectivity leveraging our technical competence. It is our belief that through this partnership, we will go a long way to improve the skillsets of millions of young Nigerians across the country, which is one of the cardinal objectives of the Government.”

Nigerian government speaks:

Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, at the occasion, commended Airtel, UNICEF and other stakeholders for backing the GenU initiative.

The stakeholders supported with a clear deliverable of providing education, skills training, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for 20 million Nigerians.

GenU head speaks:

Chief Executive Officer, GenU, Mr. Kevin Frey, thanked Airtel for its pledge of providing connectivity, access, internship opportunities and awards for the programme beneficiaries, noting that the success of GenU in Nigeria is success for Africa and the world.

During the pilot phase of the programme, Airtel will focus on providing zero-rated data to support 200 schools in Lagos and Kano States.

About GenU:

GenU is aimed at urgently supporting expanded education, training and employment opportunities for young people aged 10 years to 24 years on an unprecedented scale.

The collaboration is a global multi-sector partnership that was initially launched in September 2018, in collaboration with over 200 partners.

It has reached, to date, more than 100 million young people globally through innovations and programmes in more than 40 countries across six continents.

Implication for you:

With GenU, you can access free online learning materials without paying for data.

Also, connectivity will be available for you even if your location usually has poor internet access.

Meanwhile, you must be within the age bracket of Gen Zs to benefit from this initiative.

The GenU will first be enjoyed by students in Lagos and Kano states.

So, if you are not in a school in these two states, you just have to wait a little.

A major significance of GenU is that you will have skills in demand when you leave school.

Anthony Chinonso Ogbonna is the editor of Techuncode media. He is a seasoned journalist whose stint cuts across broadcast, print and, especially, the online media. A graduate of Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Anthony holds a Masters Degree in Multimedia Journalism. He aligns his belief with those of world tech communities, holding tenaciously that the world is solely driven and can only be best with tech. Furthermore, Anthony believes that technology is simple, fun and is not what one, especially Africans, should be scared of, hence, his passion for telling compelling stories about tech in ways relatable to the ordinary user. He has his hobbies in reading and designing (new hobby though.)

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