Earlier today, Friday, August 6, 60 (sixty) youth graduated from the MTN Foundation youth skilling program after having acquired both digital and technical skills.
This was the first cohort of the MTN Foundation youth skilling program which (the program) is a partnership between the foundation and Ubinufu systems and it is aimed at inspiring and empowering youth with the goal of creating practical ICT driven solutions to challenges in society.
While speaking at the graduation ceremony which was held online, Enid Edroma, the MTN General Manager Corporate services and Legal, congratulated the youth upon the accomplishment urging them to utilize the skills obtained to improve their society.
“It is such a milestone to see this many youth attain digital and technical skills centered on innovation. Youth are a key pillar of society that drive innovation and it should now be geared towards the society. This will not only plug the unemployment gap but also boost the economy as youth contribute greatly to the productive economy,” Edroma said.
She also highlighted the need for digitization and local innovation which has been accentuated during the pandemic characterized by limited movement of people and heightened loss of jobs.
“Local innovation has been critical to survival during this period as everything moved to digital. However, ICT still presents a lot of opportunity and space to innovate and create jobs in areas of health, hospitality and education which have been severely affected by the outbreak of the virus. The youth skilling program seeks to create a world of job creators and entrepreneurs to mitigate the challenge of unemployment. I urge you to employ the skills attained here to create solutions for people around you.” she advised.
The MTN youth skilling program implemented a three pronged approach tackling digital and technical skills plus an incubation phase for aspiring entrepreneurs focused on four thematic areas including agriculture, health, education and youth empowerment.
Brian Oluka, who is the team lead Ubinufu systems, revealed that the training provided an in depth understanding of financial literacy like legal and taxation, product management, customer experience, leadership essentials plus computer and online essentials.
“The focus areas were selected with the knowledge that the future is digital and familiarity with computers will be necessary as the world embraces the fourth industrial revolution,” Oluka elucidated encouraging even more youth to pick a leaf towards innovating for social entrepreneurship.
The program which started in December of last year, chose 100 beneficiaries from university graduates, small and medium enterprises plus young innovators.
Nagawa Hajara, one of the graduates in the program, who quit her job during lockdown to pursue urban farming appreciated MTN for the support saying she has been encouraged to start her business in spite of limited capital.
“The modules were perfectly curated to cater to our needs as business people and now I have learnt record keeping and financial management, taxation, innovation and digitization etc. I have learnt that even with the limited resources you have, you can still achieve what you want,” she shared.
The inaugural graduation of the MTN youth skilling program comes after government allotted over Shs130b in the 2021/22 budget for digitization of the economy, something which speaks to MTN’s alignment and continued support towards the country’s national priorities.