These are indeed unprecedented times with the event of a raging global pandemic, the current youth unemployment rate in Nigeria hitting an all-time high at about 50%, and the projection that Africa will have the largest population of youths in the world by 2050. This is a similar reality for many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and so it has become crucial that African youths become equipped with the right skills that would give them competitive advantage in the future.
It was on the basis of this that The Workplace Youth Initiative (TWYI), a Non-Profit Organization which continually seeks to bridge the existing skills gap between the youths and the workplace as well as teach them entrepreneurial skills partnered with:
• Oracle Academy, an international organisation that works with institutions, educators, and partners across the globe to help millions of students become technology innovators and leaders.
• The Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), the umbrella organisation of all Information Technology Professionals, Interest Groups and Stakeholders in Nigeria.
• Nigeria Association of Computing Students (NACOS) that provides avenues for students (in any IT related field) to highlight and champion issues of interest in a coordinated and organised manner.
The goal of this partnership was for the three partnering organisations to collaborate and develop the skills of undergraduates to build functional enterprise apps with low code using the Oracle APEX platform. The low coding skills acquired by the attendees through the training offered them an opportunity to leverage on their new, marketable skills to achieve mini projects that would provide them funds that can augment their allowances and upon graduation, create jobs for them in the booming Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.
The APEX Bootcamp tagged ORACODE 4.0 was held between 23rd to 24th of March 2021 between the hours of 10am to 1pm. The training attracted students from different universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education across Nigeria as well as East Africa. Oracode 4.0 was the fourth edition of the training and the first one to be held virtually due to the Covid-19 restrictions on public gatherings. The previous editions were held in TWYI’s training lab with Oracle Academy being the main sponsor.
Mr. Abolade Toyeeb Olamilekan, the National President, Nigeria Association of Computing Students (NACOS), applauded the initiative for being timely and highlighting the fact that an individual does not necessarily need to be a programmer to be able to create solutions or solve problems.
He maintained that Oracle APEX was the low code platform of choice when building scalable, responsive, and secure enterprise applications. He also expressed gratitude to The Workplace Youth Initiative, Oracle Academy and Oracle APEX on behalf of the Association and added that they were looking forward to Oracode 5.0.
While giving his brief welcome address at the kick-off of the virtual training, the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) Dr. Ayoola Iyiola, commended TWYI and Oracle Academy for spearheading such an innovative programme and encouraged the students in attendance to take full advantage of the privilege presented to them in view of their training participation.
The Oracle Academy reiterated their commitment to Computing Education in Nigeria along with the provision of educators and their students with free relevant resources for teaching and learning. These resources include curriculum, learning resources, Oracle cloud technologies, software, support, and professional certifications.