The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) has expressed satisfaction with the media coverage of its two-day Stakeholders Meeting on Skills Initiative for Africa in Abuja.
NEPAD’s appreciation was conveyed by Princess Gloria Akobundu, the National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer, NEPAD Nigeria, in her vote of thanks on Wednesday in Abuja.
Akobundu noted that there was low public awareness on the activities of NEPAD, hence her resolve to raise public enlightenment through the media and nationwide advocacy.
She therefore hinted that NEPAD would engage the media vigorously to scale up its visibility and educate Nigerians on its mandate.
The coordinator also disclosed that NEPAD would invest 35 million euros in media and Information Communication Technology (ICT) based approach to skill development and regional/continental skill competition, among others.
She added that the fund would also be spent on youth empowerment and skill development in five African countries, including Nigeria within a period of three years.
Other benefitting countries are Tunisia, South Africa, Algeria and Republic of Cameroon.
According to her, the fund will be invested on the construction of facilities, rehabilitation and extension of facilities, purchase of workshop equipment and entrepreneurship/mentorship programmes.
Among those eligible to apply for the fund are people from skill development institutions, vocational institutions, technology-based institutions, apprenticeship training centres and NGOs.
She also appreciated NEPAD Continental, African Union Commission (AUC) and German Government for their commitment toward bridging the skill gap in Nigeria.
“I deeply appreciate the media; they have been great and immensely useful in the coverage of this meeting.
“For three days, they have been working round the clock to ensure the programme is well publicised.
“To the German Cooperation, we are highly grateful; take the message to your government, whatever money you bring into Nigeria for this initiative will be judiciously used,’’ she said.
The coordinator said a NEPAD team would embark on an awareness tour to all states of the federation soon.
Akobundu said that the aim of the media engagement and national tour to re-launch NEPAD programmes in Nigeria and take its mandate to the door step of those at the grassroots.
According to her, this will help reintegrate the States and Local Governments into the numerous programmes of the government, NEPAD Continental and the African Union Commission (AUC) to be implemented by NEPAD Nigeria.
She said the programme would also work with relevant government agencies and development partners in facilitating NEPAD projects.