No fewer than 25 young people with disabilities were trained over the weekend by Sightsavers Nigeria on Information Technology (IT) skills in Kano.
The exercise was part of the commitment by Sightsavers to promote equal economic opportunities for persons with disabilities in the competitive environment.
The Country Director, Sightsavers Nigeria and Ghana, Dr. Sunday Isiyaku who flagged off the exercise that held simultaneously in Kano, and Lagos explained that the training was designed to equip young men and women with disabilities with industry.
Dr. Sunday Isiyaku who was represented by Mr. David Okorafor, Project Officer – Economic Empowerment project, Isiyaku said the Academy was recognised certified IT skills to enable them to compete favourably in the labour market and start their own careers in the evolving digital economy.
The Project Officer revealed that the trainees would be trained and certified in courses such as CISCO networking and cybersecurity, data analysis, product management, cloud computing and ITEL service management.
“Whilst we help remove all disability-related barriers for people with disabilities to learn equally, one overarching goal for us is to ensure the academy becomes a source for a pool of IT talents with disabilities for employers,” he said.
The country director noted that Sightsavers is partnering with the government-owned Digital Bridge Institute that is hosting the academy in its Lagos and Kano campuses.
Adding that all trainees from the southern region are on the Lagos campus while those from the northern region are on the Kano campus.
“The IT Bridge Academy will harness the world-renowned CISCO Networking Academy curriculum, which has been carefully adapted to cater for the unique needs of individuals with disabilities.
“Our dream is to create an Academy that not only imparts technical knowledge but also fosters an environment of inclusivity, support, and encouragement,” he said.
He said the initiative was a clear demonstration of how public-private partnership could help remove barriers that deny people with disabilities from meaningfully participating, benefitting, and contributing to their local economy.
“It is a testament to Sightsavers’ unwavering commitment to promoting equal economic opportunities for people with disabilities,” Isiyaku said.
He said after graduation, students would acquire a certified CISCO networking associate alongside other tech and soft skills, with the expertise and confidence to thrive in the ever-evolving tech industry in addition to supporting and connecting them with companies for internship opportunities where possible.