‘Graduates must embrace entrepreneurship to bridge unemployment gap’
Nigeria’s unemployment figure will witness a significant reduction if young people are encouraged to embrace entrepreneurship, particularly in the informal sector, Co-founder of an online market place for connection and vocational skill acquisition, Ijeoma Oguegbu said.
With more than 20.3 million graduates already without jobs in Nigeria and projections that about 122 million young Africans will enter the labour force by 2020, Oguegbu told The Guardian in Lagos that there is urgent need for innovations and deliberate efforts to generate jobs for youths in Africa.
She said: “Most graduates keep rushing for the few jobs available in the formal sector. But research shows that the informal sector forms a greater percentage of the total workforce, which comprises 72 per cent of businesses in sub-Saharan Africa with 74 per cent and 61 per cent of this percentage being owned by women and men respectively.”
Oguegbu, a Computer Science first class graduate from Wisconsin International School of Technology, Accra, who said the platform connects people to top professionals to enable trainees gain practical knowledge and hands-on experience by interacting physically, said: “Beavly broadens the possibilities for self empowerment, facilitating skills acquisition in small scale industries. We enhance job creation and promote entrepreneurship with idea that creates a fully sustainable cycle and brings innovation around talent-focused careers.”
Lamenting that the country’s education system is only based on theory, she urged government to support entrepreneurs and create avenues that would make it easy for young Nigerians to gain skills applicable in the real world.
She disclosed that the platform currently focuses on making connections in fast growing vocational industries such as hair styling, fashion design, beauty and makeup, catering, skills such as bead making, ankara accessory design and other listed programmes in IT training.