ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – Ophel Consult and Enterprise, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), organized a comprehensive training program for youths in Enugu aimed at equipping them with essential skills in technology, agriculture, and entrepreneurship, with the goal of fostering self-reliance and tackling unemployment.
During the training session, titled “Strategic Shift Conference” with the theme “The Language of the Future,” the Managing Director of the NGO, Obinna Enoch, emphasized the importance of this initiative in providing Nigerian youth with practical skills to navigate the challenges of modern life.
The conference sought to bridge the gap between young entrepreneurs and industry leaders, enabling them to build on their dreams and visions.
Obinna Enoch explained, “For this year’s conference, we looked at four major areas which include technology, entrepreneurship, finance, and agriculture.”
He went on to elaborate on the specific focus of each area: “On technology, we want to show young people how to transition into the tech industry.
“In finance, we aim to teach financial prudence and the use of digital and non-digital tools to generate income. Regarding entrepreneurship, we provide tools to help them run their businesses more efficiently and reduce overhead costs.
“In agriculture, we introduce them to the value chain processes within the agricultural sector.”
Enoch highlighted that the organization operates a mentorship academy where they guide youths based on their specific areas of interest over a three-month period.
The Managing Director stressed that the platform was created to enable young individuals to acquire practical knowledge that would facilitate their transition from their current circumstances to where they aspire to be.
The participants came from various regions, including Lagos, Ebonyi, Awka, Delta, Rivers, Enugu, and other states across Nigeria.
On his part, Chukwuma Okenwa, the Executive Director of Lead Network Africa, an advocacy group, emphasized the importance of investing in human capital development to ensure a prosperous future for African youths and the continent as a whole.
He pointed out that Africa possesses abundant human and natural resources, coupled with a youthful population and vast land, yet fails to realize its full potential due to inadequate investment in its youth.
During his presentation on the topic “African Human Development: An Examination of Future Human Capital Requirements,” Okenwa stressed that Africa should prioritize human capital development, particularly among its youth, to drive growth, development, and global competitiveness.
He called on African leaders to take an active role in addressing this issue, saying, “Africa needs to contribute to global welfare, be it in healthcare, technology, aviation, or other fields. We must invest more in research, vaccine development, and improving healthcare systems.”
Okenwa highlighted the need for Africa to advance in technology and aviation to compete globally and stressed that the continent should not be left behind.
He noted, “The world is moving toward 7G and other technological advancements, while Africa is still struggling with basic technology infrastructure. We need to catch up and invest more in research and development.”
The Executive Director also emphasized that African universities lack the necessary research funding, grants, and motivation for lecturers to engage in research, which hampers their ability to compete globally in terms of academic contributions.
One of the participants, Kelechi Ibeako, described the training as a “mind-blowing program” and expressed confidence that the knowledge gained would significantly boost their income-generating potential.