The ICDL Africa team visited Nigeria in late November as part of an Irish Government Trade Mission. This was the first time that anyone from the team had visited Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa, with a population of over 170 million people.
The Trade Mission was organised by Enterprise Ireland, the Irish Government agency which supports Irish companies abroad. Given ICDL Foundation is headquartered in Ireland, it was a key opportunity for ICDL Africa to join over 30 other Irish companies in promoting business in Nigeria.
The highlight of the week for ICDL Africa was an event in which Minister for Agriculture, Food, the Marina and Defence, Simon Coveney visited the Federal Road Safety Corps headquarters in Abuja to present ICDL certificates to their staff. Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon and Irish Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E Séan Hoy were also in attendance. The Minister spoke highly of ICDL and the importance of skills development in the workforce. He was very impressed by the achievements of the FRSC and their commitment to digital skills, where over 2000 staff having been training and testing in the ICDL programme to date. The FRSC Corps Marshal Boboye Oyeyemi was very happy to receive the delegation and expressed his desire to expand the ICDL programme within the organisation.
In summarising the trip, ICDL Africa General Manager Séamus McGinley noted that Nigeria will be a high priority for the ICDL Africa team in 2016. With a strong network of existing ATCs in both Abuja and Lagos, there are many opportunities for ICDL to grow, particularly in targeting students and those working in the public sector. The Trade Mission allowed ICDL Africa to meet with key stakeholders in the ICT sector and put ICDL on the agenda at a national level. With the support of our Accreditation Consultant and ATC network, ICDL will be able to make key strides in 2016 and looks forward to returning to the market to help achieve this.