MTN Uganda expands digital skills training with graduation of 112 youths

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MTN Uganda’s corporate social responsibility arm, MTN Foundation, has today overseen the graduation of 112 youths in Computer Applications User Occupation, as it continues to expand digital skills among young people across the country.

The third cohort of trainees under the MTN Girls in Tech program includes eight males and 104 females, bringing the total number of graduates to 305 out of 385 assessed and 527 trained since the program’s inception.

These graduates completed a one-month intensive training, mastering essential software tools such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint at Smart Girls Foundation.

Beyond this, MTN Foundation is involved in several other youth empowerment initiatives; including MTN Skills Academy and MTN Ace program.

The third cohort of trainees under the MTN Girls in Tech program includes eight males and 104 females, bringing the total number of graduates to 305 out of 385 assessed and 527 trained since the program’s inception a year ago. The program targets training at least 400 youths annually.

These graduates completed a one-month intensive training, mastering essential software tools such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint at Smart Girls Foundation, a youth-led non-profit organization that focuses on equipping young girls and women with economic and vocational skills. The graduands were awarded with certificates from the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT).

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Speaking at the graduation ceremony held at the Uganda Institute of Information and Communications Technology (UICT) in Kampala, Josephine Nassiwa, Manager, Wholesale Accounts at MTN Uganda remarked on the significance of the increasing number of graduates in the digital skills training program.

“This graduation is a testament to the readiness of our youth to be employable in current workspaces that are reliant on technology for day to day operations,” she stated.

“It not only aligns with our Ambition 2025 strategy—leading digital solutions for Uganda’s progress—but also enhances diversity, equity, and inclusiveness in the communities we serve.”

Nassiwa emphasized MTN Uganda’s commitment to ensuring that everyone benefits from a modern, connected life, including access to opportunities irrespective of gender, to drive social and economic transformation in communities.

“We call upon more stakeholders to join us in this noble cause. By providing digital tools and skills training, we can bridge the gap and create a more inclusive digital economy, reinforcing our aspiration that Together, We’re Unstoppable,” she added.

Uganda, with over three-quarters of its population under the age of 30 according to the World Bank, faces significant challenges in youth unemployment. The Uganda National Bureau of Statistics reports a youth unemployment rate of 17%, surpassing the national average of 11.7%, with female youths disproportionately affected.

Smart Girls Foundation CEO Jamila Mayanja praised the graduands for their effort in enhancing their skills relevant in the modern era.

Smart Girls Foundation CEO Jamila Mayanja during MTN Girls in Tech graduation on May 29 2024 1
Smart Girls Foundation CEO Jamila Mayanja during MTN Girls in Tech graduation on May 29,2024

“Beyond this graduation, keep learning and remain disciplined in new endeavors,” she noted, adding that the training center is now attracting learners’ countrywide, signaling the youth’s growing appetite for technical skills.

Frank Kyazze, the Resident District Commissioner for Kasangati Town Council and the chief guest at the event, urged the graduates to make the most of their youth.

“Be ambitious, innovative, and creative as you pursue your dreams. Set meaningful targets in your life and cultivate friendships that add value. Let us strive to live valuable lives,” he said.

One of the learners at Smart Girls Foundation showcase of their engineering skills to MTN Foundation team and Kasangati Town Council leadership during the MTN Girls in Tech graduation on May 29 2024
One of the learners at Smart Girls Foundation showcase of their engineering skills to MTN Foundation team and Kasangati Town Council leadership during the MTN Girls in Tech graduation on May 29,2024

Meanwhile, MTN Uganda will be providing an additional UGX 271million to Smart Girls Foundation towards implementation of the second phase of MTN Girls in Tech program, equipping more than 500 youths with digital skills. The funds will be used to purchase of digital equipment including computers and tablets.

MTN Uganda’s journey with Smart Girls Foundation started in 2019 during the 21 days of YelloCare, an annual staff volunteerism initiative, with a donation of UGX30million to enhance the girls’ learning experience

In 2022, the MTN Uganda funded the establishment of a state-of-the-art skilling facility worth UGX 300 million at Smart Girls Foundation, capable of training 400 girls annually in various vocational programs. This facility is equipped with a modern computer laboratory, vehicle servicing bays, a washing bay, and renovated classroom blocks, all connected to the internet. The program targets school-going children, dropouts, teenage mothers, orphans, and vulnerable children.

MTN Foundation Senior Manager Bryan Mbasa and Josephine Nassiwa Manager Wholesale Accounts at MTN Uganda speaking to graduands during the MTN Girls in Tech graduation held on May 29 2024
MTN Foundation Senior Manager, Bryan Mbasa and Josephine Nassiwa, Manager, While Accounts at MTN Uganda speaking to graduanda during the MTN Girls in Tech graduation held on May 29,2024

Beyond this, MTN Foundation is involved in several other youth empowerment initiatives. These include MTN Skills Academy and MTN Ace program that seeks to provide young people with essential digital skills, enhancing their employability and entrepreneurial capabilities in Uganda.

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