Frequently asked questions
Digital Explorers programme
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.
Becoming a Digital Explorer
What is the eligibility criteria to become a Digital Explorer?
The first and most important criteria is your strong motivation to be a true Digital Explorer - be ready to spend up to 6 months in Lithuania, take the best out of it and contribute to the success of the company that you will be placed at. Besides that, you are eligible if:
- You are an entry-level Female Nigerian Data Analyst / Data Scientist who has a Bachelor's degree and currently resides in Nigeria;
- You have at least one year of relevant Data Analysis / Data Science experience (relevant internships and/or work experience);
- You are able to participate in the whole selection process if shortlisted;
- You are able to relocate to Lithuania in January 2021 to spend up to 6 months as part of the programme.
- You have a valid international passport by November 2020 (during the application process) and it's valid at least until January 2022.
When is the deadline to apply?
The call for applications will be closed by the 22nd of November 2020.
When will I hear back about my application?
Applications for Digital Explorers programme will be reviewed on a rolling basis and practical tests will be distributed to the selected applicants on a rolling basis as well (and by the 25th of November at the latest). After evaluation of practical tasks the best applicants will be invited for the Digital Explorers interviews stage.
When will I know if I am selected for the traineeship?
The final selection decision depends on the interest of Lithuanian ICT companies, offering placements. The representatives of the companies will perform additional interviews and technical assessments with shortlisted candidates. Final selection decisions shall be made by February 2021.
Am I guaranteed a traineeship placement?
Yes, if during the selection process we find out that there is a perfect match between you and one of the ICT companies in Lithuania that will be part of this programme.
Moving to Lithuania (visa, finances and other practicalities)
Is there a fee to be part of the programme?
Digital Explorers is an EU funded pilot project between Lithuania and Nigeria and it does not include any fees for Nigerian participants.
How will I get my visa to Lithuania?
If you successfully go through the whole selection process, get a traineeship offer from an ICT company in Lithuania and sign a traineeship programme contract, the programme team will facilitate your visa and other migration related documentation processing. We will guide you in gathering and submitting different documents needed to be able to apply for National D visa. The National D visa will allow you to spend up to 6 months in Lithuania to be part of the traineeship programme. If the contract for the programme is terminated, your National D visa will also be terminated. National D visas for successful applicants will be issued in Nigeria and the costs of the process will be covered by the programme.
Is it a guaranteed visa if I am a successful applicant?
The programme team will guide and assist you to make sure that you submit all the documents needed to get the National D visa. However, the final decision will be made by responsible authorities and we cannot therefore provide guarantees.
Would I be allowed to travel with my family?
Unfortunately, the National D visa does not allow you to bring family members to reside with you in Lithuania.
Will my travel costs be covered?
Your flight tickets Nigeria-Lithuania-Nigeria will be covered by the programme.
Is it a paid traineeship?
You will receive a monthly stipendium of approx. 600 EUR during your time in Lithuania, in addition, your accommodation costs will be covered by the programme.
How will I find where to live in Lithuania?
You will be provided with accommodation for the whole period of your stay. Specific type of accommodation is yet to be identified, but most likely it will be a place to be shared with another fellow Digital Explorer.
Do I get a health insurance while on the programme?
You will have essential travel insurance for the whole period of your stay in Lithuania that covers essential medical needs.
Working and living culture in Lithuania
What does it mean to live in Lithuania?
It might be hard to move to a new place, especially when that place is not in your home country. We understand that, but can assure you that your time spent in Lithuania will be worth it. To familiarize yourself with a place you would be moving to you can watch this cheerful video (https://youtu.be/WH9mTk1mxkI) about Lithuania that will serve as a crash course on the country’s history, weather, food, nature and leisure time. Here (https://youtu.be/-QOWeMSl8pc) and here (https://youtu.be/JO5BP0WM7nM) you can also see experiences of previous Explorers.
What will I find in the Lithuanian ICT ecosystem?
Lithuania’s ICT ecosystem has been buzzing and growing for a while already so there is a lot to experience once you come here. In case you want to familiarize yourself with what is there straight away, you can read about Lithuania’s Fintech field and innovative initiatives by the Bank of Lithuania, take a look at e-Lithuania - Lithuanian IT company cluster that aims to spread the word of Lithuania‘s ICT sector, and catch a glimpse of Lithuanian startup ecosystem. Speaking of which, Lithuania offers startup visas, regulatory sandboxes, and many other tools for streamlining non-EU businesses. No wonder it is #11 in the global Doing Business ranking, leading the whole Central and Eastern Europe.
What about my social life in Lithuania?
We know that you will be busy working and studying, but will make sure that you also have fun and enjoy your social life in Lithuania. There will be a number of community and network building activities planned for Digital Explorers (both for you as a group, but also with Lithuanian counterparts) as well as local buddy (a person who would help you figure out your life in Lithuania) assigned for each of you.
Coming back to Nigeria
What happens after up to 6 months in Lithuania?
At the end of the journey, Digital Explorers will participate in reintegration activities in Nigeria organized by Ventures Platform. The reintegration programme will be designed based on the needs and interests of participants and will aim to support their efforts in re-establishing themselves upon return to Nigeria.
Digital Explorers will also join the alumni network to further facilitate knowledge transfer and relationship building between the two countries.