At the end of last year, the MTN Foundation Uganda launched an exciting training opportunity for the youth, dubbed the Youth Empowerment Program with the aim of offering technology training to at least 100 youths, in the various areas of their interest as the country embraces the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The MTN Foundation Youth Empowerment Program is aimed at designing and delivering practical knowledge, skills experience for youth and young adults in preparation for the 4th Industrial Revolution. All this comes at a backdrop of the Covid19 pandemic that has demonstrated the immense need of digitalized systems to keep businesses and communities afloat in times of catastrophic circumstances.
While announcing the winners of the Youth Empowerment Program today, Wim Vanhelleputte, the MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer said that this is one of the many initiatives that MTN Uganda has put in place to enable the youth tap into the limitless possibilities of the Fourth industrial revolution to the benefit of both communities and businesses in the country.
“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,” said Vanhelleputte.
Applications were called and within the 14-day application window, an impressive 1,993 applications were received for the thrilling offer. The applications comprised of: 1,741 unique applications, with 71.2% male applicants and 28.9% female applicants, a good indicator that the females are starting to take up their Space in the Technology space.
The application call appealed to youths of various academic qualifications ranging from the Masters’ level of education to even those with no academic qualifications but a keen interest in the field of technology and innovation. The applicants included a plethora of university graduates, innovators and those engaged in Small and Medium with a mission of inspiring and empowering them towards harnessing the practical application of innovative ICT solutions to solve their communities’ most pressing challenges. The bulk of the applications came in from Kampala, Wakiso, Mbarara, Lira, Gulu.
Out of the above applications, 100 applicants were carefully selected and they will be trained in their various fields of interest, with the aim of empowering them to harness the limitless possibilities of Technology to provide solutions to the challenges in their communities in their selected areas of interest. The full list of winners is available at https://www.mtn.co.ug/impact/youth-program. The program participants will be trained in the key thematic areas of: Agriculture, Education, Health, Technology and Youth Empowerment
The MTN Foundation Youth Empowerment Program will be implemented in partnership with Ubunifu systems, a software development firm based in Uganda. Ubunifu systems 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.
In his announcement, Vanhelleputte also noted that the five winners of last year’s MTN #ForGood campaign will be the first beneficiaries of the Youth Empowerment program. The five winners are; Douglas Smith, Joseph Semayengo, Julius Tusingwire, Tony Ayebare and Brian Mawere aka Maw Brian.
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 Fourth Industrial Revolution.
MTN is committed to integrating the youth in its programs as envisaged by its past engagements with them. 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.
MTN and Ericsson awarded MTN Mobile Money Open API challenge with cash a combined cash prize of USD$6,000 (approx. UGX22.06 million) and a trip to the Ericsson innovation Centre in Sweden, for the overall winner.