Jim Ovia, Zenith Bank, Nigerian Man

Founded in August 2003, the Jim Ovia Foundation is a non-profit organisation that aims to foster social and educational inclusion through the upliftment of underserved youths through the support of educational scholarships and ICT empowerment programs in Nigeria.

The Jim Ovia Foundation aims to equip the future of our nation by increasing the knowledge base and skills of our youths with education and Information Communication Technology (ICT). To date, the Jim Ovia Foundation has supported over 1,500 college students and entrepreneurs with over One billion Naira in educational and entrepreneurial grants through nationally recognized programmes- the Jim Ovia Scholarship, Jim Ovia ICT Entrepreneurs Program and most recently, the Jim Ovia Foundation Leaders Scholarship (JOFLS) Fund (in partnership with Africa America Institute (AAI) which is worth Two million Dollars.

Infact, most Jim Ovia Foundation beneficiaries have overcome tremendous challenges to pursue their dreams to excel. Secondary school graduates, University students and aspiring ICT Entrepreneurs who meet the eligibility requirements may apply for support to the various applicable Jim Ovia Foundation programmes.

Mission: Jim Ovia says the mission is to invest in the Nigerian youths’ unlimited and untapped potential as the key to socioeconomic growth to enhance the standard of living of the society and increase human efficiency.

Vision: Jim Ovia says the vision is to equip the future of our nation through the paramount avenue of Education and Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Jim Ovia Foundation long-term goal is to bridge the knowledge gap to enable our youths compete in a global economy and to incorporate ICT into the Nigerian education policy as a fourth science to ensure progressive and continuous learning.

Jim Ovia Approach: To support and empower Nigerian youths in extreme poverty by providing educational opportunities through scholarships. To empower marginalized youths with ICT training with the opportunity to innovate and protect the future. To promote and provide content on e-learning platforms to address digital illiteracy and enable dissemination of ICT knowledge and digital skills acquisition. To encourage the adoption of the ICT training among youths to encourage a knowledge based economy and contribute to shifting the Nigerian economic activities towards a service-oriented economy.

The Jim Ovia Foundation recognises that lack of quality education and poverty are intrinsically linked, and as such, the Foundation has embarked on the critical issue of closing the economic gaps created by these lags.

In fact, the educational and digital gap is vast, wide and concerning in an age when formal and digital literacy are entry level requirements for most corporate positions. The lacking infrastructure and financing has attributed to the decline of well-trained local talent to support the business landscape.

It is important to note that youths make up a vast majority of the world’s population and therefore play a crucial role in the production and consumption patterns of our global world. Furthermore, in less than three (3) generations, 41% of the world’s youth will be Africans, of which Nigerians make up 1/6th of that demography. Additionally, 43% of Nigerian youths are below the age of 35 years while 60% have attained at least a secondary level education with only 32% having access to the internet, and only about one-third owning a cell phone. These statistics indicate a social and economic challenge that can be addressed with the right empowerment approach.

Jim Ovia Foundation believes that ultimately, the economic advantage and competitiveness as a country will be dependent on equipping the millennials with the necessary competitive skills. It is the mission of the Jim Ovia Foundation to break the marginalization cycle with skills development thereby facilitating underserved youths’ integration into the formal labor market and competitive global economy.