The U.S.-based Nexford University has partnered a leading Nigerian commercial bank, Sterling Bank and IBM to “prepare African students for skills needed for today’s workforce.”
The partnership will enable it to leverage on its graduate and undergraduate degrees along with the IBM Digital – Nation Africa programme – to up-skill students, including Sterling Bank employees, the university said in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos on Wednesday.
IBM’s flagship skills development programme aims to accelerate Africa’s digital literacy and empower youths in the continent by developing their technology and innovation skills and addressing three major gaps: skills, innovation and jobs, it stated.
“At IBM, being a trusted company means going beyond the technology we offer. We work with key institutions, such as Nexford, to address the societal impact of digital technology; leveraging our investment on education with platforms such as IBM Digital – Nation Africa,” said Dipo Faulkner, IBM Country General Manager, West Africa.
He added, “Our commitment – and our entire industry’s obligation – is to build a workforce that is ‘tomorrow ready.’”
According to the World Bank, in Sub-Saharan Africa alone, the digital revolution can increase growth by nearly two percentage points per year. When paired with stronger investments in human capital, impact across Africa could more than double, the bank reports.
It added that Nexford is also collaborating with Sterling Bank, to help empower bank employees to succeed in jobs of the future and master in-demand skills.
It noted that Sterling will sponsor 200 of its employees on Nexford’s online MBA degree.
“At Sterling, experiential learning is critical to enabling our most prized resource – our employees! We always look for innovative ways to support them to be the best versions of themselves,” said Temi Dalley, Sterling Bank’s Chief Human Resources Officer.
It stated that Sterling Bank Employee Scholarship recipients will learn the skills to help them advance in life, such as innovation, and global business management.
In addition to practising core business skills, learners can choose from elective courses or specialise in hot topic areas, including Sustainability, Managing Hyperconnectivity and Doing Business Across the World, the statement added.
“Sterling Bank is one of our biggest employee scholarships in West Africa. It further emphasises our value proposition to employers as well as our credibility in delivering workplace skills,” Olamidun Majekodunmi, Nexford’s Nigeria Country Manager, said.
It further noted that the university has also partnered with world-leading organisations, such as Microsoft, and has built partnerships across the world, including in Nigeria, Egypt and the Philippines.
“Partnering world-leading organisations aligns with Nexford’s business model.
“To create its curriculum, the university conducted a research with Fortune 500 executives who employ 2.5 million people globally, and used Artificial Intelligence to analyse more than 30 million job openings. It is the most affordable American university in the world, and only teaches the skills employers are looking for,” the statement read.