What the heck is Digital Explorers?
Digital Explorers is an ICT focused knowledge exchange initiative between Nigeria and Lithuania - two buzzing ICT markets - each different in its own right and therefore a source of valuable expertise to each other.
In a more specific sense the current track of Digital Explorers is a 4-6 months career advancement journey that will take up to 15 Female Nigerian Data Analysts / Data Scientists (DA/DS) to Lithuania for paid traineeship, consisting of skills enhancement training and placement in selected local ICT companies. Besides placement and training, the programme has different components that will also create network building opportunities between Nigerian and Lithuanian ICT professionals will assist participants to access employment opportunities back in Nigeria as well as promote institutional knowledge exchange between both countries.
Who is behind the Digital Explorers programme?
The programme is implemented by a consortium of partners well-equipped for the journey ahead:
- Enterprise Lithuania, a public agency established in Lithuania to promote entrepreneurship, support business development and foster export.
- Ventures Platform Foundation, is the impact arm of Ventures Platform that supports entrepreneurs and innovators leveraging technology to build the future of Africa.
- AfriKo, a Lithuania based boutique Africa research and consultancy centre that specializes in ICT4D field.
- Code Academy, an ICT training provider based in Lithuania offering courses designed and delivered by experienced professionals.
- Diversity Development Group, a think and do tank carrying out scientific, applied and infrastructural projects in the fields of diversity, migration, and integration.
Why is Ventures Platform part of Digital Explorers programme?
Ventures Platform Foundation (VPF) is the impact arm of Ventures Platform. The foundation believes that by leveraging technology, entrepreneurs and innovators will build the future of Africa. VPF supports entrepreneurs and innovators, especially those in underserved communities, who leverage technology to create solutions to Africa's most urgent problems.
VPF believes that Nigeria’s new economy is the digital economy and will provide huge opportunities for economic growth and development for the country if we invest in it. The Digital Explorers programme seeks to promote Nigeria’s digital economy by advancing the careers of selected Nigerian ICT specialists in the digital space.
VPF sees an alignment between the aim of the Digital Explorers programme and the vision of the organization - building the future of Africa through innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.
Why should I be interested in joining the journey of Digital Explorers?
- Be part of a highly motivated group of people ready to challenge themselves, experience new culture, grow professionally and personally together.
- Not only get opportunity to work on interesting and sophisticated projects in Lithuania, European ICT hub, but also get familiar with the local ecosystem.
- Have support from the programme team throughout your whole journey - be it soft landing in Lithuania or finding work opportunities upon return to Nigeria.
- It is a pilot programme between the two countries that had limited engagements before, so you would become a true pathmaker creating an unexpected yet mutually beneficial connections.
How will the journey of Digital Explorers look like?
After a thorough and competitive selection process Digital Explorers (up to 15 Nigerian DA/DS specialists) will be matched with top tier tech companies for traineeship placement for up to 6 months. While in Lithuania Digital Explorers will also attend skills enhancement training that will be designed according to their skills levels and market needs.
After up to 6 months in Lithuania, Digital Explorers will participate in reintegration activities in Nigeria that will be designed based on their experience in Lithuania and career interests upon return. Digital Explorers will also join the alumni network to further facilitate knowledge transfer and relationship building between the two countries.
What is the timeline of the programme?
October 2020 - February 2021 - Application and selection process
March/April 2021 - August/September 2021 - Traineeship in Lithuania
September/October 2021 - Reintegration in Nigeria
Can I take other jobs in addition to being a part of Digital Explorers programme?
Legally, while on the traineeship program, you will not be allowed to take any paid jobs in Lithuania. Besides, you will be rather busy during Your time in Lithuania - having training courses and various other activities that will help you to get exposed to the local ICT ecosystem. We expect you to commit your full attention and take the best out of this journey.
Who do I talk to if I get stuck on the programme?
If you have any concerns or problems during your journey as a Digital Explorer whether with your placement company, accommodation, etc. you can be assured of the support of the programme team who will monitor your experience in Lithuania with regular meetings/calls. Also, the team at AfriKo and/or the team at Ventures Platform will always be on hand to provide support to ensure you have a smooth stay in Lithuania.