On the 30th of September 2020, Africa’s single biggest online training and job placement platform, Jobberman held Nigeria’s largest-ever Virtual Career Fair. The career fair had 10,000 highly skilled employees and 250 potential employers in attendance. Among the employers were companies mainly from the agri-tech, digital, and the creative industry sectors with operations in Lagos, Kano and Kaduna.

The fair was designed to enable participants navigate the increasingly competitive job space and proffer essential employment tools alongside one-on-one interviews and preparatory sessions such as the CV preparation masterclasses.

Chidinma Lawanson, Country Head – Nigeria for Mastercard Foundation gave the keynote speech as she briefly spoke about Mastercard foundation and the partnership with Jobberman.

Following the key note speech was the creative panel themed “The making of an innovative creative.” Kayla Oniwo, OAP at Cool FM moderated  the session as she engaged the panelists; Bolanle Austen-Peters (MD, Terrakulture), Wale Adetula (Founder, Helium Media), Akin Morinho (Founder and CEO, Utopia media group), Mary Jane (GM, Zaron), Maryam Bukar Hassan (Alhan Islam), Pepper Yoana Chikezie (Founder, The Assembly), Dedun Olobayo (Founder of StyleMeAfrica online co) in a very insightful conversation.

While speaking, Mary-Jane Ohobu, emphasized the need to do more in projecting the works of creatives in Africa as more exposure is needed to expand their reach. Yoanna ‘Pepper’ Chikezie added the importance of being part of communities and platforms as a creative to navigate the industry. “Find communities and platforms that will help and guide you,” she said.

According to Olawale Adetula, it is important that creatives set standards that will guide their work. In his words, “you need to always set a standard for yourself. Be very intelligent, realistic and transparent about how you set a bench mark for yourself.”

The digital and tech panel themed “The new cool: The power of digital and data-driven solutions” was moderated by Moyosola Kara (Director of Communications, Nigeria at a leading health technology startup) who led the panelists; Enobong Kennedy (Group Marketing Director, ZOLA Electric), Tosin Faniro-Dada (Head of StartUp, Lagos Innovates LSETF), Adetola Salau (Executive Director, Reform Entrepreneur, and Educator in Lagos, Nigeria), Bankole Oluwafemi (Ex- Editor-In-Chief, Techbabal), Chika Nwobi (Founder, Decagon), and Jadesola Adedeji (Founder, STEM METS) on an enlightening session.

Bankole Oluwafemi talked about the digital world and how it has helped to virtualize different skillsets. Meanwhile Chika Nwobi went on to discuss the blockers that prevent youth from monetizing digital skills, citing power, internet and lack of apprenticeship as major blockers.

Enobong Kennedy spoke about the importance of building portfolio, data mining, and how essential data is towards building strategy. While speaking on building portfolio, Tosin Faniro-Dada highlighted the importance of developing a portfolio, saying that it would be difficult for anyone to work with you if you have no track record of what you’ve worked on.

The Agritech panel session, themed “Agriculture as a tool for a sustainable economy” was moderated by Tunde Kara. Speaking on the panel were: Folu Okunade (Hello Tractor), Esson Akolo Elijah (Tomato Jos), Banire Olayinka Sharafa (MD, Ojang & Founder, Bylink Foundation), Boluwasope Ogboye (BM Foodie), Sola Oyawale (COO Farmcrowdy), Yewande Kazeem (Founder, Wandieville) and Victoria Madedor (Bank of Industry). Talking about the role of the government in sustaining the economy through agriculture, Olayinka Sharafa said “the government should monitor the level of production at all levels to ensure there are standardized prices for products. Policies should also be out in place.” Victoria Madedor added to this, stating that agriculture is the new oil but it is an oil that requires patience and a lot of work. Hence, decisions taken by the government should be long term and sustainable as well as proper monitoring and evaluation of policies put in place.

Boluwasope Ogboye tried to guide the participants on the need to look into the entire agricultural value chain while looking for a job in the agricultural sector, as this would help them find a place where they can give value as well. According to Folu Okunade, “Agriculture will not be successful if transport, power, market and import and a lot of other factors are not successful.”

During the self awareness and personal effectiveness master class, Precious Imuwahen Ajoonu, Head, Youth Engagement and Learning, Jobberman Nigeria, spoke briefly on the topic. Being self-aware boosts your relationships, enabling you to attract the kind of people who are happy to be in your life. He emphasized the importance of intentionality in building one’s personal brand and connecting with people online.

After several panel sessions and master classes, the career fair came to an end with the closing remark given by Sheila Ojei. While speaking, she encouraged jobseekers to maximize the knowledge gotten from the different sessions and the resources and networks made available by the career fair.

About Jobberman

Founded in 2009, Jobberman is an online platform that provides training and placement for job seekers, as well as the best selection of candidates for companies hiring. It is the single largest job placement website in sub-Saharan Africa and has the vision to become the leading source of talent in every market it operates in by simplifying job searching and talent acquisition; matching the right set of skills with employers needs. For more information about the online placement platform click here.

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