Lagos — The U.S. government is committed to supporting economic and human development initiatives that help create job opportunities and facilitate improved sustainable economic growth and development.
The United States African Development Foundation (USADF) under its Employability Support Project in partnership with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) has supported a 2019 alumnus of the U.S. Consulate Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, Funke Medun, to train 70 young Nigerians on a digital and employability skills program.
The employability training program is aimed at creating more job opportunities for youths in the state, reducing unemployment and improving economic growth, and will also equip participants with digital and management skills that will enable them contribute to the growth of various organizations.
After an intensive six weeks training, more than 70 youths participated in the first cohort graduation ceremony, which was held at the American Space in Ikeja, Lagos. American Spaces are opened to young Nigerians looking to develop ideas, as well as leadership and entrepreneurship skills through programs and workshops designed especially for them.
Speaking at the event, U.S. Consulate Public Affairs Officer Stephen Ibelli highlighted the importance of small businesses in spurring economic growth and boosting shared prosperity.
“For Nigeria to succeed, the men and women who create businesses or hope to develop new businesses and job opportunities must succeed. Ideas for new products or improved services will produce the growth, jobs, and incomes that will lead to a more prosperous and stable Nigeria,” Ibelli said at the ceremony held at the Ikeja American Corner.
Ibelli explained that the U.S. Mission in Nigeria supports a variety of exchange programs each year focused on promoting entrepreneurship and technological innovation.
They include: the International Visitors Leadership Program, the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program, the Global Innovation through Science and Technology Program, the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, TechWomen, and the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).
“Through these programs, the United States government will continue to help create a more peaceful, stable, and prosperous future for Nigeria,” Ibelli added.
In her remarks, Medun acknowledged the commitment of the first set of participants to the successful completion of the six weeks capacity-building program and noted that the second batch of the training will commence in the next few weeks.
“We hope that they are able to leverage the skills they have acquired from their participation in this program to contribute to the growth of small businesses in their local communities,” Medun said.
The U.S African Development Foundation is an independent U.S. government agency established by Congress to invest directly in African grassroots enterprises and social entrepreneurs. USADF creates pathways to prosperity for marginalized populations and underserved communities across the continent.
The U.S. Department of State offers many programs for non-U.S. citizens wishing to come to the U.S. for cultural, educational, or professional exchange.