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U.S. trains young Nigerians to boost economy

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By Abiodun Okunloye

700 women have been taught how to make furniture out of used tires - Martins.

During the graduation ceremony of the 10 participants of the “Learn to Earn Project” at the American Corner, located on the Choba campus of the University of Port Harcourt in Nigeria, Mr. Will Stevens, who serves as the Consul General for the United States in Nigeria, has stated that the U.S. government will continue to collaborate with universities in Nigeria in order to improve the Economy of the country. According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), 10 young women have successfully completed the training program that was supported financially by the United States African Development Foundation and carried out by MOBA Designs.

The young women who took part in the program received six months of training in the utilization of recycled materials like tires and Plastic Waste to create durable, cost-effective furniture for use in African homes and businesses. In addition to providing leadership and business management skills and a means of financial independence, Stevens said the training was designed to increase the initiative of young women, cut down on Pollution, foster a more environmentally friendly community, and improve the overall health of the planet. He added that the United States has 11 corners in Nigeria where training is held, and afterwards, participants receive a sustaining grant from the Consulate ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.

Nigeria has the largest participants in the U.S. programmes in Africa.

Speaking on activeness, the Consul General afford that Nigeria is the leading member of the United States programs in Africa. Adding that the partnership exchange between universities in the United States and those in Nigeria, which was established on the basis of the democratic environment of the people, made their relationship far more extensive. The fact that U.S. students learn from Nigerian academics and Nigerian students learn from the U.S. makes it possible for them to work together in a partnership.

In the previous decade, discussions have been going on about the need to find African answers to African issues and work together to discover African solutions to global challenges during that time. However, they have gathered to collaborate in order to make it possible for amazing young African entrepreneurs to develop answers to challenges that are affecting the whole globe. They are concentrating their efforts at American Corner on delivering American opportunities and ideals to the people of Port Harcourt through its University, as well as to the people of Nigeria.

The country would have enough manpower if degrees and skills were combined.

Prof. Owunari Georgewill, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, said that it was clear that the training in the American Corner made a difference. He said that people came to the corner to learn skills that helped the country a lot with the help of the American government through its Consulate. Additionally, the University of Port Harcourt will always be grateful to the U.S. Government for what it has done for the school. The country would have enough workforce if degrees and skills were combined. He said that the Consulate had always helped the people at the American Corner with their problems but that there was still room for improvement.

Also, Beauty Martins, who is the Creative Director of MOBA Designs, expressed gratitude to the American Consulate for helping young entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Martins said that around 700 women had been taught how to make furniture out of used tires, and about 20% of them now run their own businesses in Port Harcourt as well as other cities in Nigeria. She, therefore, advised young Nigerians that if they want to improve their standard of living, they should take entrepreneurship classes.

The program would build women’s capacity to contribute more to the world.

Moreover, Stevens, the Consul General, said that he was quite pleased with his emphasis on women’s entrepreneurship. He affirmed that while women make up more than 30% of the world’s population, they only make up 40% of the labour force and contribute only 1% of the global solutions, and when women work, their earnings go toward the children’s Education and well-being at home. On the other hand, Stevens praised the institution for the ‘great work’ it was carrying out and for utilizing the funding to support additional Port Harcourt entrepreneurs.


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