#TheWorkPlan2019: How Rise Networks Is Leading Nigeria Into Fourth Industrial Revolution

Rise Networks, a Social Enterprise, the first & the notably the biggest Policy focused Program on ‘The Future of Work & The 4th Industrial Revolution in Africa’ powered by local content to upskill Nigeria’s Successor Generation tagged, “#TheWorkPlan2019” . The event held on December 17, 2019 recorded over 2000 attendees. 

 

 
 

Industry leaders emphasized that the acquisition of coding and digital skills, as well as investment in Nigeria’s education sector, remain sacrosanct, Justice Godfrey Okamgba reports.  

Key players and notable speakers from 16 States, 12 Universities; different industry sectors including the President of the African Development Bank, AfDB, Akinwumi Adesina and Google Nigeria Country Manager, Juliet Ehimuan were all present at the just concluded conference by Rising Networks in Lagos.

 
 

The event which was themed “The Future of Work and the Fourth Industrial Revolution Powered by Local Content” specifically harped that Nigeria must take a leading role in the 4th industrial revolution by churning out a generation of people who are armed with the requisite skill set to meet industry and workplace demands.

Nigeria’s chances of becoming a globally competitive economy in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution hinge on critical investments in relevant areas.

With the continuous emergence of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Science, Quantum Computing, industry leaders urged Nigerian youth to ensure that they are acquiring relevant skills that would make them valuable in the workplace.

With robots and machines already taking away mundane jobs from humans, It, therefore, becomes germane to take advantage of digital and coding skills.

Coding, Education and Digital Skills

According to Adesina, in his speech delivered via a video recording, he stressed the importance for more young Nigerians to learn to code – the programming language used to develop apps, websites, and software.

By learning coding which he describes as “the currency of the future,” he said youths from Nigeria and the rest of the continent can develop apps that replace popular ones like WhatsApp and Facebook.

The African Development Bank boss said he does not believe in the youth empowerment program in Nigeria instead Nigerian youth need investment.

On digital skills development in the continent, Dr. Adesina informed participants at the event that the AfDB is partnering with Microsoft to establish coding centers across the continent.

He believed coding will be one of the critical digital skills for Africans to acquire in the 21st century.

The future of work incorporating Machine learning will help accelerate growth – Juliet Ehimuan, Country Director, Google in West Africa, said in her keynote presentation at the Conference.

Ehimuan said the world is currently undergoing the fourth Industrial Revolution which is characterized by Big Data, Cloud Computing Artificial intelligence (Machine Learning), Virtual & Augmented Reality, Advanced Security Systems, Internet of Things.

She urged Nigerian youth to take advantage of the Internet and learn upscale their skills. She explained that the information available to an American or Chinese is also available to Nigerians.

Ehimuan narrated instances of different persons who have tapped into the enormous opportunities on the Internet.

The Founder of Rise Networks; the conveners of TheWorkPlan2019, Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji, spoke about the importance of changing Nigeria’s curriculum arguing that no one can solve today’s problem with outdated methods.

 
 

To keep up with the times, she said, “Data science, machine learning, Artificial intelligence must be part of our curriculum going forward.”

She revealed that there is an ongoing conversation with Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo on the need to incorporate courses like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Science into the curriculum.

“After this event, we are meeting the Vice President and our desire is to achieve this course in 2020,” said Toyosi.

Religious Leaders

With the influence of Clergies and Islamic Cleric in the Nigerian society, it is believed that Nigerians would become an asset to their country and world at large if there is a balance between solving practical social-economic problems and achieving heavenly desires.

 

According to Godman Akinlabi, the Lead Pastor of Elevation Church has urged religious institutions to raise a generation of people who will solve a practical socio-economic problem.

The clergy emphasized that the Fourth Industrial Revolution which is the era of the internet requires that Nigeria plays a leading role and not just being part of it.

Akinlabi said it is not just enough for the religious leaders to guide its followers towards making heaven, hence, the need to start solving earthly problems.

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