IN the past few years the digital economy has transformed the world, people now seek more ways to connect and find technological solutions to the different challenges of the 21st century ICT world.
IN tandem with this, the Ondo State Government has a huge vision of setting up “Tech Hubs” in each of the eighteen local government areas of the state, with the potential to completely transform the face of technological development and youths engagement in the state.
TWO of the eighteen are at advanced stages of completion, one in Ondo in Ondo West Local Government Area and the other at Uso in Owo Local Government.
AT the Ondo centre, training has already begun while that of Uso centre will soon begin operation, as the structures have already been completed, with youths thronging the two centres, showing how timely, popular and potentially impactful the initiative is.
THE project, which is in partnership with America Tower Corporation is aimed at providing ICT infrastructure for the benefit of the communities where they are located and their environs.
AMERICAN Towers Corporation in a global company with presence in 170,000 locations in 15 countries, and five continents. It offers a variety of wireless infrastructure solutions around the world, including towers, Distributed Antenna System (DAS) networks, backup power systems, project management and site development services.
THE Nigeria arm of the company provides wireless towers, in-building and outdoor DAS, small cell and Wi-Fi networks, managed rooftops and services that speed network deployment for the wireless and communications infrastructure sharing community.
THE ‘Tech Hub’ is to provide the infrastructural backbone for seamless connectivity to the online world, and a place where training in ICT is taking place all the time, towards creating a pool of young people who are not only technologically savvy, but also digital entrepreneurs, rather than joining the army of unemployed youths in the society. It could be raised as the next generation of digital giants.
IT has the potential to reduce youth restiveness as they would be able to use their time to horn their digital skills, and apply their time on the internet for things that are socially transformative, rather than idling away, as they get themselves ready to feature prominently in the economic narrative of the future.
THE youth, being the target of this initiative, the secondary school leavers and the unemployed graduates, would be able to develop ICT skills that would give them an edge in this digital world, expanding their horizon and bridging the digital gap between the advanced countries and the third world countries like ours.
ONDO State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu had on Thursday, October 11 commissioned the Digital Village project with an assurance that it would reduce rural-urban migration as well as youths unemployment.
IN the words of the Governor. The reason for this foray into digital training is because one of the cardinal points of my administration’s transformational agenda is to make Ondo State a technology and innovation destination of choice for Africa and the world at large.
CHAIRMAN of the State lnformation Technology Agency, (SITA) Mr Olumbe Akinkugbe said: “lt is the intention of government to develop various ICT skills in the teeming youths so as to make them self-reliant or employable in the digital economy.
“THIS project, in line with the cardinal programmes of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, will not only eliminate digital divide and create employment, but it will also solve the recurring rural-urban drift in the state, especially among the young ones”.
THE project is unprecedented in the history of this country and has the potential of bringing the state to the forefront of digital innovation and revolution, having to do with the cutting edge of skills development in the 21st century world.
WE commend the state for taking this giant step as it could serve as a template for other states to follow, with the Ondo state government taking the lead by providing the requisite leadership to ensure the sustainability of the programme.
THIS can also attract investments into the state. As digital giants world over look for places to set up their business interests, they usually consider where there is a pool of people with the requisite skills they need.
THIS Digital Village Project is a strong foundation being laid for the future, as the hubs also create a platform, not only for training, but also for collaborations and linkages for future projects with people with whom one shares interests.
WITH the skills to be acquired in those places, the youth who take advantage of the opportunity may be able to start earning income in foreign currencies as they can be employed by global digital technology companies, and they do not have to travel as this is the era of virtual offices.
TECHNOLOGY companies are constantly on the look out for young talents and country of origin is not a barrier, rather what you can deliver. That is the trend in this increasingly virtually connected world.
THE confidence of the participants would be built to compete favourably with their peers around the world. It can also serve to boost the economy of the state as we seek to diversify. Among the youths would possibly be those who will develop products that will take the world by storm and put the state on the global map and not only that, it will generate income for the state as they develop as digital entrepreneurs.
THIS would definitely turn people’s lives around, as their mind become exposed to digital realities and possibilities, able to create products and think digitally as a way to solve the different problems of the society.
AMONG the skills that need to be developed is website development, app development, ethical hacking, software design, internet security, and other areas of digital innovations. Not only those, but also how to secure funds, set up start-ups and build businesses.
THE HOPE commends in strong terms this initiative of the Akeredolu-led administration for tapping into this laudable project for it is a big opportunity to transform the lives of the people.