Minister Launches Computer Village to Empower Citizens for Digital Future

In a major development aimed at empowering Nigerians with digital skills for enhanced livelihoods and employment, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Uche Nnaji, has launched an innovative online platform named Computer Village.

Unveiled under the government’s flagship TechAdvantage initiative in Abuja, Computer Village seeks to build technical capacities among Nigerian youth by providing e-learning modules on phone, laptop and desktop repair.

As Nigeria continues its push towards a digital economy and knowledge-based society, platforms such as Computer Village can enable wider access to specialized skills training beyond formal education channels. The portal offers bite-sized courses and practical learning content for anyone seeking technology-focused careers.

Noting its potential for job creation and innovation, Nnaji described Computer Village as a key ecosystem player under TechAdvantage. By virtually connecting apprentices, business owners, budding entrepreneurs and industry experts, the platform promotes skill-sharing and collaboration for a robust innovation environment.

The Minister emphasized how the academy, jobs board, e-commerce and community elements of Computer Village cater to different needs while collectively furthering technology adoption. Equipping youth with maintenance and troubleshooting skills for devices can boost both employment and digital inclusion.

Developed by leading digital solutions provider, Sapphital Group, the platform translates the company’s technology expertise into tools of empowerment and growth for Nigerians. As CEO Amu Ogbeide outlined, Computer Village aligns with Sapphital’s focus on leveraging innovations to uplift African communities.

In addition to the Ministry’s backing, the launch drew support from key government stakeholders like National Centre for Technology Management DG Olushola Odusanye. In his address, Odusanye endorsed the platform’s capacity building mission, noting digitally skilled citizens can transform Nigeria.

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As the country sets its sight on becoming a knowledge economy, Computer Village exemplifies the vital role of online education. By democratizing access to digital skills, the portal can equip youth with livelihood means while nurturing local innovation.

Initiatives such as TechAdvantage and Computer Village underscore the government’s commitment to harnessing technology for prosperity. With rising digital adoption, online skills portals can empower millions unable to pursue higher education. With remote access and affordability, e-learning platforms like Computer Village are poised to drive employment and entrepreneurship for the new economy.

The portal’s niche in device repair training spotlights the needs-driven approach to skills building for societal uplift. As connectivity and computing permeate everyday life, maintaining the growing inventory of devices necessitates a wider technical workforce. Beyond mobiles, training on diverse hardware can open up jobs in IoT, electric vehicles, solar and more.

For sustainability, the portal incorporates different monetization avenues from paid certifications to transaction fees on jobs and sales. This can incentivize continuous enhancement of learning materials in response to technology shifts and student feedback.

Since soft skills complement technical abilities, integrating communication and marketing modules can boost employability and earnings. Offering pathways to self-employment via mentorship and start-up support can also magnify impact.

As Nnaji noted, the community section, events and forums on Computer Village promotes knowledge exchange essential for growth. Connecting students across states can inspire innovations while experts can volunteer as online mentors. Tie-ups with device makers and e-retailers can unlock internships, app development support and seed funding opportunities.

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In congratulating the Minister on the launch, Odusanye noted the bigger goal of advancing Nigerian innovation capacity and global competitiveness. As technology permeates society, building homegrown platforms and talent must supersede reliance on foreign infrastructure and experts. This underscores the wider mission of Computer Village in localizing technology education, fuelling startups and steering Made-in-Nigeria innovations.

The portal’s promise and potential impact makes it a template for nationwide skills building. By revealing student demand and industry needs, it can inform development of customized e-learning tools across manufacturing, agriculture, creative arts, journalism and more. The Minister noted that extending the TechAdvantage model to all critical sectors is crucial to actualize Nigeria’s ambition of becoming a talent powerhouse.

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