MTN Uganda has today revealed winners of the MTN Foundation youth empowerment program, and will offer technology training to 100 youths, in the key thematic areas of: Agriculture, Education, Health, Technology and Youth Empowerment —as the country embraces the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
The empowerment program that was launched in December last year aims at designing and delivering practical knowledge, skills experience for youth for the 4IR.
While announcing the winners, MTN Uganda CEO; Mr. Wim Vanhelleputte said, “The overwhelming numbers of the applications that we received are a good indicator that the youth of this country are keen on technology and are eager to become the very instruments of growth and development in their communities.” He explained that the initiative is one of the many that the telco has put in place to enable the youth tap into the limitless possibilities of the 4IR to the benefit of both communities and businesses in the country.
Vanhelleputte also revealed that five winners of the MTN For Good Campaign; Douglas Smith, Joseph Semayengo, Julius Tusingwire, Tony Ayebare and Brian Mawere, will be the first beneficiaries of the Youth Empowerment program.
The program is focusing on skills that will drive co-creation of innovative digital products and solutions to solve the country’s problems in education, youth empowerment, health and agriculture. This comes at a backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic that has demonstrated the immense need of digitalized systems to keep businesses and communities afloat in times of catastrophic circumstances.
The program will be implemented in partnership with software development firm; Ubunifu Systems. Ubunifu has cut its niche in professional mobile and web development with a focus on innovative, personalized and fully functional solutions that deliver value and satisfaction.
MTN is committed to integrating the youth in its programs as envisaged by its past engagements with them. Since the youth are the majority in Uganda, with 77% of them aged below 25 years, they are a big and essential component in the country’s growth and development. It is against this background that the MTN Foundation chose to involve them to stimulate local innovation, which in turn will help them find gainful employment through community transforming innovations as we enter the new era of the 4IR.
In 2019, MTN invited the youth to develop applications that use MTN MoMo APIs, to monetize both consumer and business opportunities digitally, a task many of them executed successfully.
The following year, they [MTN] in partnership with Ericsson awarded youth that participated in the MTN Mobile Money Open API challenge with a share cash prize of USD$6,000 (approx. UGX22.06 million) and a trip to the Ericsson innovation Centre in Sweden, for the overall winner. They were challenged to develop products that can be used with MTN Mobile Money leveraging 10 million of MTN customers registered on the platform.