AfricanPlan Foundation has selected 20 graduates to participate in the inaugural edition of 2022 Hackathon Africa in Enugu
The Program initiated by the foundation which kicked off on Thursday, 1, September 202, is an intensive software coding boot camp for fresh graduates aimed at tackling the steep digital skills deficit in the Southeast region and creating opportunities for the enterprising youth to tap into the burgeoning technology industry.
The foundation explained that with Nigeria’s unemployment rate recording more than 35 percent, the program provides unique opportunities that must be explored to creatively tackle the unemployment crisis through an inclusive and strategic digital upskilling program that creates opportunities for the next generation of young Nigerians to play an active part in the digital economy.
Oni Chukwu, founder of AfricaPlan Foundation, while speaking at the opening ceremony lamented the dearth of digital skills in Africa, which is hampering the ability of the continent to fully tap into the economic opportunities of the technology revolution.
Chukwu noted that advances in technology, especially in software development have disrupted virtually every industry resulting in a greater disadvantage for any economy without sufficient or commensurate digital skills to meet industry needs.
He urged policymakers, governments at all levels, and concerned individuals to embrace the new reality and put in place deliberate measures that will refocus the energy of the youth and equip them to tap into the technology sector
Israel Chukwu, one of the graduates selected for the Hackathon said, “I finished school about 5 years ago and after the NYSC programme without a job, it puts you in a depressing state; you see your dreams slipping through your fingers. I stayed in Lagos for about two years and now I moved back to my hometown to take up this golden package. I feel glad. I tried coding at age 13 but could not continue. HackathonAfrica is a life-changing opportunity for me and I thank Oni Chukwu whom I have never met before being selected and the team for being thorough in their approach to the program.”
Similarly, Jonah Onah, project coordinator, HackathonPlan 20222, reiterated that the programme is anchored on three main objectives including upskilling, empowerment, and sustainability, adding that AfricaPlan Foundation will leverage the initiative to provide excellent training that will equip youth in Southeast Nigeria with improved skills required to harness opportunities in the software technology space
AfricanPlan assured that it will ensure that it will deploy the graduates to HackathonAfrica’s partner organisations within and outside Nigeria for their internship, with a stipend from the AfricaPlan Foundation after completing their three months of training.
According to Chukwu, this will create a pathway to launching successful careers in technology, as well as a pipeline to creating a talent pool for organisations that rely on digital skills on the continent.
The HackathonAfrica programme will last for three months and will encompass intensive hands-on practical training on Fullstack Web Development (MERN) and in the latest and more commonly used software coding programs and databases in tech today.