Youth Empowerment: Enugu Govt Establishes Technology Hubs

TECH DIGEST – The government says it targets 10,000 jobs and1,500 small scale tech businesses.

Following its recent approval for the establishment of Enugu Tech Hub and Youth Innovation Centres, at Enugu City and Obollo Afor, the Enugu State Government has begun the construction and renovation of facilities at the areas.

A statement by the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Obi Kama, said the project, initiated by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to bring technology-driven innovations down to the grassroots for digital economy, has reached an advanced stage.

Mr Kama said the target of the government “is to turn Enugu into a Tech tourism state within the next three years by bringing in the best Tech solutions and innovations through localization and consequently increase the state Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by at least 15 per cent.”

The Science and Technology Commissioner added that “the hub also targets to create more than 1,500 small scale tech businesses in the region; employing more than 10,000 youths within the short space of time.”

Mr Kama further disclosed that the services to be rendered at the Tech Hub centres for the benefit of the people of Enugu State, especially the youth, include computer training programmes, solar skills acquisition training, computer coding, web site designs, graphic designs, confectionaries and hands-on technical skills training, among others.

He stated that “the centres will be equipped with computer sets, solar power source, 100 KVA Generator, internet access, training tools and consumables”.

The commissioner explained that the facilities being installed at the centres are state-of-the-art “in line with Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s vision for ICT and technical skills acquisition for employment generation and wealth creation.”

He noted that “Enugu State, over the years, has been rated the highest academic hub of Southern Nigeria, hosting more than 10 indigenous Universities, Polytechnic and Colleges of Education”, which turn out great number of first class and second class graduates in the areas of Mathematics, Sciences, Engineering Technology and others.

The commissioner added that “some of these graduates travel abroad for more sophisticated skills acquisition”, stressing that the Enugu State Tech Hub intends to drive technology innovation at home as “it is designed to discourage our youths from travelling to Lagos, India, China, other countries, to acquire technical skills that will enable them fit into the modem society and compete favourably with other professionals, saying:“Those skills you travel abroad to acquire, will be provided them at your doorsteps.”

According to him “The hub will not only groom them, it will also provide a ‘Tech Cluster’ (temporary office accommodation) for ‘Tech Start Ups’ for those who want to own businesses but may not have enough capital to rent offices and start up. It will create an enabling atmosphere for them to start businesses with ease.”

Pointing out that target candidates for the programmes are graduates of Universities, Polytechnic, among others, who want to make a career in professional ICT and technology related disciplines, non graduates with some technical skills, entrepreneurs and prospective farmers and artisans, the Commissioner said the project will serve as an interface between Tech giants like Microsoft, IBM, HP, Alibaba, Google, Facebook etc and Enugu Tech Start ups.

He highlighted that the courses to be offered at the centres include web application development, mobile app, and software development; website design and hosting; professional graphics – Adobe Suits; data science and analytics; business intelligence; agro business and automation and Ease of Doing Business (EODB), among others.