Cameroon has concluded a deal with Danish logistics and shipping company, Maersk, to equip the country’s youth with skills in Information and Communication Technologies, ICTs, in professional training institutions across the country. The partnership was signed in the capital, Yaounde, on 16 June 2020 between Cameroon’s Minister of Employment and Vocational Training, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, and the country Director of Maersk, Thomas Theeuwes.

Apart from the deal signing activity, Maersk also donated computers and software to the Ministry, destined for a specialized ICT technical employment training centre in Yaounde.

Cameroon's Employment and Vocational Training Minister, Issa Tchiroma Bakary.

Deal will help prepare Cameroon's youth for better jobs

Tchiroma said the deal falls in line with the vision of 87-year-old President Paul Biya in giving the Cameroonian youth adequate professional training to prepare them for a challenging job market marked by supersonic changes in digital technology.

He said in this age and times, it would be very difficult for a youth to find a job if they were found wanting in certain ICT skills, hence the need for such Public-Private Partnerships to boost skill acquisition.

“We are very happy to have signed this convention today with Maersk. These are the kind of deals we need with the private sector, which will enable our youth receive the necessary ICT skills, out of which they can have a good job or even become employers. I urge other companies to open their doors to the youth so they can have better training and find decent jobs in our nation,” said Tchiroma.

The Maersk country Director said he hoped their assistance will go a long way in helping young Cameroonians get quality ICT training and surmount challenges in the pursuit of their professional careers.

His words: “Maersk is very happy for this convention and to have donated well-equipped computers to the Ministry of Vocational Training. Our goal is to help in the formation of young Cameroonians to overcome the challenges they have, and to help government better train them so they can succeed in their professional lives.”

The deal with Maersk is also expected to help fight youth unemployment which is about 4%.

Cameroon’s efforts in youth ICT training

As part of a government programme to transform Cameroon into a fully digital economy by 2035, Cameroon has made ICT training part and parcel of its educational curriculum at all levels. ICT is taught as a subject beginning from class one in elementary schools.

Early this week, the Cameroon government, through its national agency that promotes small and medium-sized enterprises, launched a youth programme, dubbed Proto-Fund, which is intended to support innovative ideas especially in the digital technology domain.

The new funding scheme targets youth below the age of 35 and will see government provide financial support for the best 20 innovative projects that will be selected. The youth have till 15 July to submit their projects for selection.

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