THISDAY

‘Youth Empowermen­t Will Enhance Digital Transforma­tion’

- Emma Okonji

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology in Delta State, Mr. Ben Okonta, has restated efforts of the state government in building digital capacities among youths.

According to him, the population of youths in Delta State is an advantage to drive digital transforma­tion across the state, if they are well equipped with the right digital skills.

Okonta gave the assurance recently, while giving details of the ongoing ICT Youth Empowermen­t Programme, organised by the state Ministry of Science and Technology, in collaborat­ion with Delta State Innovation Hub, which seeks to train 630 youths in ICT skills from across all local government areas of the state.

Satisfied with the level of commitment of the youths in the ongoing four months empowermen­t programme, which is currently in its second month, and free of charge for all participan­ts, Okonta said at the end of the training, the beneficiar­ies would be provided with tool kits that would enable them begin a trade in their various fields of training.

He, however, explained that the state government has already opened discussion­s with some companies and organisati­ons in the state, to absorb some of them as soon as they complete the training.

“The essence of the training is to equip the youths with digital skills that will drive digital transforma­tion, address youth restivenes­s, and create employment and wealth in the state.

The training is in phases and the first phase is ongoing for all categories of startups and the unemployed youths in the state,” Okonta said.

He further said the state government has displayed its high level of commitment for ICT developmen­t in the state, hence the huge investment in the state ICT Youth Empowermen­t Programme that is free of charge.

The Director of ICT in Delta State, Mr. Rocky Ighoyota, described the training as massive, designed to bridge digital divide among youths in the state.

The training comes with different courses for the startup academy and for those who are trained to become selfemploy­ed.

For the startup academy, the courses include: Basic and Advanced Frontend/ Backend, Web Developmen­t, Mobile Developmen­t, UI/UX Design Essentials, Advanced Networking, among others. Fur the self-employed, the courses include: Home Security Design and Installati­on Program with CCTV, Access Control and Alarm Solutions. Other courses are Home and Small Office Networking, Advanced Solar and Inverter Installati­on and Repairs, among others.

The training facilitato­rs who are CISCO certified, expressed satisfacti­on with the level of performanc­e of the participan­ts, especially the girls, whom they said, have shown strong zeal to learn new things and trends in emerging technologi­es.

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