MTN Invests UGX4.5bn in the Second Phase of MTN ACE Program

MTN Uganda's Chief Executive Officer, Sylvia Mulinge speaking at the launch of the second phase of the MTN ACE Program at the National ICT Innovation Hub in Nakawa. MTN Uganda's Chief Executive Officer, Sylvia Mulinge speaking at the launch of the second phase of the MTN ACE Program at the National ICT Innovation Hub in Nakawa.
<center>MTN Uganda's Chief Executive Officer, Sylvia Mulinge speaking at the launch of the second phase of the MTN ACE Program at the National ICT Innovation Hub in Nakawa.</center>

Earlier Tuesday morning MTN Uganda’s corporate social responsibility arm, MTN Foundation launched its second phase of the MTN ACE program to continue equipping youths with digital skills.

This initiative underpins the company’s ambition of leading digital solutions for Uganda’s progress based on the belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life. The three-year initiative, with an investment worth UGX4.5 billion, aims to create 150 startups and equip 8,000 youths with digital skills transforming Uganda’s population into a digitally skilled workforce as the country positions itself to reap its dividend from the ongoing Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

For this second phase, the telco collaborates with the Ministry of ICT & National Guidance, the National ICT Innovation Hub, Centenary Technology Services, MUBS Entrepreneurship Innovation & Incubation Centre, and Engage Consult to ensure the program’s success and sustainability.

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The second phase of the MTN ACE Program was launched at the National ICT Innovation Hub in Nakawa with the State Minister for ICT and National Guidance, Hon. Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo, Ps. for the Ministry of ICT & National Guidance, Dr. Aminah Zawedde, CTO at Centenary Technology Service, Peter Kahiigi, and Steven Kirenga, Head of Product & Business Development at Centenary Technology Service, among others in attendance.

While speaking at the launch event, MTN Uganda CEO, Ms. Sylvia Mulinge remarked that as the second phase of the MTN ACE program takes shape, the telco is more committed than ever to empowering the youth to become innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders in the digital age.

“The MTN ACE program seamlessly aligns with MTN’s Ambition 2025 of leading digital solutions for Uganda’s progress and supporting the government’s development goals in the National Development Plan III and Vision 2040, especially in addressing the high youth unemployment rate—a challenge projected to grow as the population expands,” explained Mulinge.

Hon. Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo appreciated the partners’ effort in developing a digitally experienced and empowered generation. She encouraged innovation and productivity across people, organizations, businesses, and government.

Partners of the second phase of the MTN ACE program pose for a group photo after the launch event held at the National ICT Innovation Hub in Nakawa.
Partners of the second phase of the MTN ACE program pose for a group photo after the launch event held at the National ICT Innovation Hub in Nakawa.

The first phase of the MTN ACE program which has been running since December 2022, saw 185 youths graduate across three distinct programs; MTN ACE Tech, MTN ACE Career program, and MTN ACE Skills program. Additionally, 20 enterprises were selected for ACE Tech acceleration, and 15 for incubation, demonstrating the program’s significant impact on nurturing youth skills and enterprises.

Also read:

MTN Uganda has sunk UGX1.5 billion in the first phase of the program.

With UGX4.5 billion earmarked for the second phase, a bigger reach is promised. MTN will set up four regional ICT and innovation hubs in the main national public universities; Makerere University (Central), Gulu University (North), Kabale University (West), and Busitema University (East). These hubs will be established in close collaboration with the program partners.

The hubs will create an environment for ICT innovators who face challenges with workspace, limited internet connectivity, and the need for creative spaces that spur innovative thinking. The construction of these hubs in these regions is to showcase that the program is national, ensuring that youth from all regions of the country can participate and benefit from the program.

The MTN ACE program continues to focus on three key areas (1); the MTN ACE Tech which upskills youth interested in tech-related innovations, (2); the MTN ACE Career empowers fresh graduates with workplace skills and internship placements, and lastly (3) the MTN ACE Skills is tailored for youths in or out of school, equipping them with entrepreneurial skills to start businesses. You can join any of the programs here.

Beyond the MTN ACE program, the MTN Foundation is involved in several other youth empowerment initiatives, including MTN Skills Academy and MTN Internet Bus —providing the youth with digital skills, and enhancing their employability and entrepreneurial capabilities in Uganda and beyond.

MTN Uganda remains dedicated to fostering digital literacy and innovation to drive economic growth and development.

The second phase of the MTN ACE program is a testament to the telco’s commitment to empowering the youth and transforming Uganda’s digital and subsequently, economic landscape.

ALSO READ: MTN UGANDA BOOSTS DIGITAL LITERACY AND PROMOTES EDUCATION IN KARAMOJA

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