By John Ewah

Obaseki grooming next generation of tech experts at Edo Innovation Hub
Godwin Obaseki

There is a silent but impactful youth re-skilling programme ongoing at the Edo Innovation Hub, an initiative of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration in Edo State, conceived to equip Edo youths with in-demand tech skills and knowledge of computer programmes.

The Edo Innovation Hub simply referred to as Edo Innovates, is a youth empowerment initiative and the state’s first technology hub to bring young people in ICT together to access opportunities in ICT training.

The hub bears testament to the steady evolution of the state into the epicenter of all things technological and creative.

At the tech hub, the state government has made provision for infrastructural, digital, human and social resources to equip these young people with requisite digital skills for a competitive advantage in the global ICT market.

This has generated employment opportunities as well as ensured self-reliance and sufficiency for many youths in the state.

According to Obaseki, “the world practically revolves around technology, and as such, technology must be leveraged in driving governance and empowerment.”

To suit words to action, the tech hub has churned out thousands of graduates who today are involved in various jobs with both national and international companies, earning more foreign exchange for the country.

Beneficiaries from the Hub have continued to recount their life-changing stories and impacts of Edo Innovates in equipping them with tech-based skills which have afforded them opportunities for development and economic sustainability.

Meet Glory, the Secondary School Leaver and Beneficiary of Edo Innovates Who Makes Genuine Money

Stories from beneficiaries like Glory Obasi give credence to the life-changing opportunities which Edo Innovates offers.

What makes Glory’s story not only interesting but also impressive is that she is just a senior secondary school certificate holder. In a world where majority of youths have resorted to diverse criminal enterprises for the ever-blazing get-rich-quick syndrome, a characteristic trend of the modern world, especially in developing countries like Nigeria, Glory chose to do something meaningful with her life by taking advantage of opportunities at Edo Innovates to equip herself with digital skills.

Today, Glory has extensive knowledge in graphics design and computer programming. While most ICT intervention programmes require some basic tech-knowledge from applicants, Edo Innovates offers young people mind-blowing opportunities which do not require prior knowledge of the computer as a prerequisite for admission. Entrants are taught the computer from scratch.

According to Glory “We learnt computers from the scratch; how to reconnect your computer, how to repair your computer when it is faulty. We were taught Word, Excel, Power Point, Microsoft Word, Photoshop, Illustrator, Web Development amongst other packages. In the second course of the training, we were told to choose what we love (area of specialty). For me, I love graphics, so I chose graphics”.

Like many youngsters, Glory had no idea of what to venture into after her secondary education. Such indecisiveness which has become common among most school leavers has prompted many to end up in the wrong circles. Lack of information about life-changing opportunities has also misled many youths today, and like sheep, they are led to the slaughter.

Glory, however, took advantage of Edo Innovates and started earning even before graduating from the training programme.

According to her, “Many people think it is only guys that can make money, but that is not true. As a lady you can make money for yourself. I have younger brothers that I also take care of today and even my mother, because of the empowerment I got at Edo Innovates. Now I am into graphics, I have an online business. Sometimes people ask me ‘how many businesses are you doing?'”

Glory’s story is one of the many success stories emanating from the Edo Innovation Hub. Today, young Glory makes genuine money to take care of herself and even her family. Her knowledge of digital marketing from her training at the Innovation Hub has improved her digital marketing skills immensely. Her online business is booming and she is facing the future with confidence.

You too can become an ICT expert and begin earning big like Glory. You can, you should, and if you are brave enough to start, you will. No sort of influence from any quarters is required to get admission into the progarmme. And the good news is, it is free.

The Edo State Government under the leadership of Godwin Obaseki is committed to youth empowerment and as such, has created this avenue to equip Edo youths with digital knowledge in order to give them a competitive advantage in the global market.

According to Governor Godwin Obaseki, “Everything about the world today is about technology, software, artificial intelligence, the internet of things. This is why we must leverage technology in driving governance and empowerment.”

Kelvin Edionwe, the Young UI/UX Designer from Edo Innovates

The likes of Kelvin Edionwe who are direct beneficiaries of ‘Edo innovates’ have shared their life-changing experience.

Many government-sponsored initiatives in this part of the world have been known to be shrouded in secrecy, as such, opportunities are only available to those with some level of influence.

Not many believe that you could actually work into the Edo Innovation Hub, apply to be trained in a year-long programme, and afterward, become a certified computer expert, for free.

Edionwe, who was simply told by a friend about Edo Innovates, walked into one of the regular enlightenment seminars organised by the hub, penned down his name as an interested participant, and a week later he was interviewed. That was simply how his journey to becoming a UI/UX graphics expert began.

He got admitted through Edo Innovates into the EdoBits programme, a one-year course where he gained advanced knowledge in Microsoft Word, WordPress, and other germane areas.

Today, he is an expert in UI/UX design. In addition to this, he, alongside fellow trainees, were taught how to attract clients from within and outside the country. It is a full package where one is not only trained but also given the necessary survival and business skills to ensure independent income.

According to Edionwe, “The training has impacted me greatly. I earn a lot now, even more than most graduates. Currently I work with three different companies remotely; one in Kenya, another in Canada, and one in Nigeria.”

Kelvin Edionwe is just another success story from the stream of stories that have evolved from the Edo Innovation Hub. Like Kelvin, simply show interest and you too can become an expert in whatever computer programme you choose to major in.

It is the commitment of the Edo State Government, under the leadership of Governor Godwin Obaseki, to empower Edo youths with ICT knowledge as the world today runs on digital skills. The digital space continuously seeks experts with diverse tech skills to fill the huge void in the market.

How Aguele Victory Became a Tech-Expert from Edo Innovates

Also, Aguele Victory, a beneficiary and graduate of Animal and Environmental Biology from the University of Benin who is currently a corporate service executive of Work Your Data Limited, recounted how Edo Innovates afforded her the opportunity of becoming a Data Science and Analytics expert which has enabled her to rise into her current position.

After her national youth service programme, Victory felt the need to build capacity in Data Science but was constrained by the high cost of enrolling for the programme. According to her, “Edo Innovation Hub changed my life. In my final year, I was practically this girl that was unsure of what the future would be. But then I had an interest in acquiring knowledge in data science.

“In my quest to learn Data Science and Analytics, I came across a website that offered the programme at the cost of one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500). I did not have that kind of money. This is the same opportunity that Edo Innovation Hub provided me for free”

Victory never knew anyone at Edo Innovates. All she did was to surf the internet to search for places she could learn tech skills and she came across Edo Innovation Hub. She applied and was admitted into the programme where she learned Data Science and Data Analytics.

Today Victory works at a Data Analytic Firm, Watch Your Data Limited. She has noted that Edo Innovates shaped her into her current position and also provided her access to a community of tech experts in her field. According to Victory, “I did not just learn tech-skills alone at Edo Innovates. They also gave my fellow trainees and I access to a wide community of tech experts”.

Subscribe to our youtube channel

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.