January 11, 2023

Imo invests in youth’s digital skills with SkillUpImo Challenge

Mbaise New Yam festival

Prince Osuagwu

Imo State government has introduced a weekly youth competition tagged SkillUpImo Challenge to grow a mass of Imo youth who will be digitally literate. The competition is targeted at producing results which will see the state as one of the most innovative states in Nigeria.

SkillUpImo Challenge, is a sub-initiative of SkillUp Imo, a broader and premier human capacity development programme launched by the State Government in December, 2022. As a propeller and offshoot of the SkillUp Imo Project, the SkillUpImo Challenge will help to fire up digital innovation and ideas among students in the state with cash prizes handed to winner each week.

The SkillUpImo Challenge is expected to drive the overall objective of the SkillUp Imo Project, focused on empowering Imolites with cutting-edge digital skills that will keep them relevant in the 21st century; among others.

At the maiden edition of the SkillupImo Challenge held in Owerri earlier in the week, a student of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) Centre, Chucks Official was adjudged winner in digital skill innovation. He exihibited shared experiences, ingenuity and digital innovation, to be so adjudged.

While presenting cash prize to the winner, the Commissioner of Digital Economy and E-Government in Imo State, Dr. Chimezie Amadi, said the Challenge will accelerate the actualization of broader objectives of the parent programme.

The broader objectives, according to him, are to train 300,000 Imolites over the next three years, with 100,000 trained each year; connect 60 per cent of the graduands to high-paying jobs as well as empowering 40 per cent of the graduands to be their own bosses, becoming tech entrepreneurs and launching their own companies, among others.

According to him, as the training of the first batch of 100,000 youths progressesin 2023 under the Skillup Imo Project, which aims to train 300,000 over the next three years, the sub-initiative, SkillUp Imo Challenge has been created to sustain the interest of the youth and boost excitement in the digital skill acquisition programme.

Amadi, who described himself as a firm believer in innovation and creativity, said through the SKillUpImo Challenge, a student stands the chance of winning cash or other form of prizes each week for demonstrating great commitment to learning and putting good efforts to show workings of skills learnt.

He also stated that the first batch of 5,000 students from the 100,000 that will be trained this year, will be graduated by the end of January 2023, to immediately bring onboard the next batch of beneficiaries of the digital skills acquisition programme for training.