Sixty (60) youth under the MTN Uganda Foundation Youth Skilling program have successfully graduated today having attained digital and technical skills from the program. The graduation ceremony was held online live via the MTN Uganda YouTube channel.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, The MTN General Manager Corporate and Legal Services, Ms. Enid Edroma congratulated the youth upon the accomplishment urging them to use the skills attained to improve their society.
“It is such a milestone to see this many youths attain digital and technical skills centered on innovation. Youth are a key pillar of society that drives innovation and it should now be geared towards society. This will not only plug the unemployment gap but also boost the economy as youth contribute greatly to the productive economy,” Edroma said.
Ms. Edroma highlighted the need for digitization and local innovation which has been accentuated during the Covid-19 pandemic characterized by the 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 that 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.
State Minister for Youth and Children Affairs at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Hon. Nyirabashitsi Sarah Mateke who was the Guest of Honor, said MTN youth skilling program graduates need to make use of the skills acquired from this program to impact the world positively.
The MTN youth skilling program is a partnership between MTN Foundation Uganda and Ubinufu systems kicked off in December 2020 targeted 100 beneficiaries aiming at inspiring and empowering youth with the goal of creating practical ICT-driven solutions to challenges in society. The beneficiaries include; university graduates, Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and young innovators.
The MTN Youth Skilling Program employed a three-pronged approach tackling digital and technical skills as well as an incubation phase for aspiring entrepreneurs focused on four thematic areas including agriculture, health, education, and youth empowerment.
Mr. Bruno Oluka, Ubinufu systems team lead, revealed that the training provided an in-depth understanding of financial literacy such as legal and taxation, product management, customer experience, leadership essentials as well as computer and online essentials to the graduates.
“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 (4IR),” Oluka explained —encouraging, even more, youth to pick a leaf towards innovating for social entrepreneurship.
Nagawa Hajara, one of the graduates in the MTN Youth Skilling Program 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 learned record keeping and financial management, taxation, innovation, and digitization, etc. I have learned that even with the limited resources you have, you can still achieve what you want,” Nagawa said.
The inaugural graduation of the MTN youth skilling program comes after the government allocated over UGX130 billion in the 2021/22 budget for digitization of the economy, which speaks to MTN’s alignment and continued support towards the country’s national priorities.