Lagos launches upskill programme to bridge digital divide, empower youth

By Sodiq Adelakun

The Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Development has launched the Lagos State Upskill Programme (LAG-UP) in partnership with GFA Technologies and Wema Bank Plc.

The program is set to address the digital divide and equip young people in the state with essential skills for self-reliance and innovation.

At the launch event held at Alausa, Commissioner Mobolaji Abubakre Ogunlende emphasised the program’s importance in promoting innovation and enhancing learning opportunities for young people and SMEs across the state.

The LAG-UP program is set to play a vital role in empowering the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs in Lagos State.

He said, “We must embark on this transformative journey together. Technology is shaping our present and defining our future. The rapid advancements are creating new opportunities, industries, and solutions. It’s crucial to equip our youth with the skills and knowledge to navigate and thrive in this digital era.”

He reaffirmed the State Government’s unwavering commitment to investing in and supporting the development and growth of its young population, emphasising Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu’s dedication to ensuring everyone has the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential.

“The Ministry, in its efforts to achieve the Governor’s T.H.E.M.E.S Plus Agenda, will continue to implement impactful initiatives, independently or in partnership, to ensure our youth are empowered to take their rightful place as partners in development and contribute to the state’s economic growth,” he added.

Earlier, in her welcome address, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry,  Pharm (Mrs.) Toyin Oke-Osanyintolu described LAG-UP as a groundbreaking collaboration that will pave the way for the future of young entrepreneurs and leaders in Lagos. She highlighted the programme’s focus on providing participants with hands-on training in cutting-edge technologies, mentorship from industry experts, and exposure to real-world projects.

Oke-Osanyintolu urged participants to maximise the opportunity by giving the programme everything required to acquire the much-needed skills that will make them self-employed and be able to contribute their quota to the economic growth and development of the State.

On his part, Industry leader and CEO of GFA Technology, Mr. Debo Omololu disclosed the transformative potential of LAG-UP, saying, “The Ministry of Youth and Social Development plays a vital role in improving quality of life. When youths are employed, it benefits everyone. We should all be ambassadors for LAG-UP and work to transform the lives of our youth.”

He maintained that the LAG-UP initiative demonstrates the Lagos State Government and partners’ commitment to empowering young people for success in the digital age, adding that through the initiative, participants will gain the skills, knowledge, and support they need to thrive in the ever-evolving job market and contribute meaningfully to the state’s economic development.

Wema Bank Plc Head of SMEs, Mr. Arthur Ikeme, stated that the bank’s involvement in the Lagos State Upskill Programme (LAG-UP) is part of its corporate social responsibility initiative, aimed at promoting digital transformation in the community.

He further announced that Wema Bank will provide technical support, offer startup resources to participants, and connect them with experts in the tech ecosystem, thereby contributing to the growth and development of young people and SMEs in the state.

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