International Council for Education, Research and Training

Advocacy of AI skills acquisition a panacea for youth unemployment in South-South Nigeria

Faithpraise, Fina Otosi1, Otosi, F. Bassey2

Idika, Delight O3, Efiong J. Eme4

Udie, Celestine A.5 and Orji, Evelyn Ijeoma6

1Associate Professor, Computer Engineering, University of Calabar, Cross River State- Nigeria.

2Lecturer II, Business Management, University of Calabar, Cross River State- Nigeria. 

3 Senior Lecturer, Institute of Education, University of Calabar, Cross River State- Nigeria. 

4Associate Professor, Department of Accountancy, University of Calabar, Cross River State- Nigeria. 

5 Senior Lecturer, Petroleum Engineering, University of Calabar, Cross River State- Nigeria.

6 Lecturer II, Institute of Education, University of Calabar, Cross River State- Nigeria. 



Advocating AI Skills Acquisition as a Solution for Youth Unemployment in Nigeria’s South-South Region” investigates the feasibility of incorporating AI skills education to address the pressing issue of youth unemployment. This study explores youth awareness, interest, and willingness to engage in AI skill acquisition using a mixed-methods approach that includes surveys with unique features such as AI mentor circles and micro-credential programs. The findings show a strong interest in AI education, notably through micro-credential courses and AI mentorship networks. These novel ideas provide interesting opportunities for increasing employment and encouraging entrepreneurship. The study emphasizes the necessity of synchronizing policies and educational initiatives to harness the power of AI in reducing young unemployment and supporting long-term economic growth in the South-South region of Nigeria.

Keywords: youth unemployment, AI skills acquired, early career modeling, decent jobs, AI mentorship networks, self-reliance, micro-credential courses

Impact Statement

The advocacy and acquisition of AI skills represent a transformative solution to address the pervasive issue of youth unemployment in South-South Nigeria. By fostering AI skills development among the region’s youth, we are not only empowering them with the tools to navigate the challenges of an increasingly technology-driven world but also catalyzing sustainable economic growth and prosperity for the entire community.

As AI continues to reshape industries worldwide, South-South Nigeria stands at the precipice of a paradigm shift in its economic landscape. Through AI skills acquisition, our youth gain the ability to harness the power of automation, data analytics, and machine learning. This enables them to contribute to high-value sectors such as healthcare, agriculture, manufacturing, and finance, unlocking new avenues for innovation and job creation.

The impact of this advocacy extends far beyond individual employment opportunities. It sets in motion a ripple effect that stimulates entrepreneurial endeavors, cultivates local expertise, and attracts foreign investments. As our youth master AI skills, they become active participants in the global digital economy, positioning South-South Nigeria as a hub for technological advancement and excellence.

Moreover, the benefits of AI skills acquisition reach marginalized communities and underrepresented groups, leveling the playing field and promoting inclusivity. By providing equitable access to AI education and training, we bridge the digital divide and ensure that no talent goes untapped.

In essence, the advocacy of AI skills acquisition serves as a catalyst for youth empowerment, economic revitalization, and societal progress in South-South Nigeria. It empowers our youth to shape their own futures, fostering a vibrant ecosystem of innovation, job creation, and sustainable development that transcends generations. Together, we are ushering in a new era of prosperity and resilience for our region.

About The Author

Fina Otosi Faithpraise, An Engineer and an Associate Professor in the Computer Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering and Technology at the University of Calabar, is responsible for addressing growing technological needs in Computer, electronics, and digital circuit design and related areas. She works closely with students and the populace to address requirements for electrical billing systems, electricity metering, and emerging energy measurement applications including renewable energy, Artificial intelligence, and expert systems. She received a B. Engr in Computer Engineering, from Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) Nigeria in 2001. An M.Sc. in Engineering Physics (Electronics /Communication) from the University of Calabar in 2008 and a Doctorate (Ph.D.) in Engineering and Design, image processing with a concentration in Automated Systems and Control from the University of Sussex, United Kingdom in 2014. She is a registered member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (MNSE) and the Council for the Regulation of Engineering Bodies in Nigeria (COREN).

Dr Evelyn Ijeoma Orji, is a very passionate university lecturer and researcher. Her PhD is in Educational Psychology obtained in 2021. Besides, administrative responsibilities in her institute (Students advisor, examination officer, etc). Her  research interest majorly focuses on educational, social and personality psychology; school intervention, which extends to developing socio-emotional skills of students, discipline and students’ rights advocacy. These include; for equitable and inclusive school conditions that favours special needs, poverty alleviation among women and the girl child. Her special interest is in issues of study habits, peace and climate action. In the area of study habits, she assists students to construct memories of their learning through effective use of memory strategies.  In terms of peace, she is particular about developing peace building skills in basic learners to become future peace advocates and ambassadors. In the area of climate action, her drive has been on sensitization and awareness creation on climate change mitigation and adaptation through adoption of greening measures, technologies and sustainable lifestyle. Dr Evelyn I. Orji has attended more than twenty conferences (local, international, and Zoom format). She has forty (40) research papers spread across books, book of proceedings and reputable journals. She is an Interdisciplinary researcher. She has bagged two academic awards; 1. The best graduating postgraduate student of the prestigious University of Calabar, Calabar Nigeria (2021), 2. The Education Excellence Award-2022 of the International Council for Education Research and Training ( Nov. 26,2022).She is a member of the team that won the Telfund NRF 2020 on “Development and Standardization of Test Batteries for Identification of Giftedness in Nigeria, headed by Dr Oluseyi Dada, of the University of Calabar .Dr Evelyn Ijeoma Orji is a  member of Nigeria Council of Educational Psychologist (NCEP) and Nigeria chapter of the World Council on Curriculum and Instruction ( WCCIC). She is a mother of four children.

Dr Delight Omoji Idika is a Senior Lecturer from the Department of Educational Foundations who is currently serving on Secondment (as Senior Research Fellow) to coordinate the research needs at the Institute of Education, University of Calabar, Nigeria. She is an innovative Education Researcher and has vested interests in Educational Research (R/D) & Statistics, Assessment, Measurement & Evaluation. She also teaches Philosophical and Historical Foundations of Education, Economics, Office and Business Management alongside intense supervision, training and mentoring of young researchers at the undergraduate and post graduate student levels. She is an award member of ICERT, member of several other professional associations, and has published extensively in local and international Journals
and Books to her credit.

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