October 26, 2021 / 10:39 AM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for WebTV / Header Image
It was another significant milestone for Nigeria's quest to sustain its leadership as Sub-Saharan Africa's primary fintech industry, as it launched the "Digistuds" initiative.
This was at the pre-event activities ahead of the 2021 Nigeria fintech week, the country's largest gathering of financial services and technology stakeholders.
In his opening remarks, the Vice President of Fintech Nigeria, Mr. Stanley Jacobs, described "Digistuds" as an initiative designed to catch young people for the fintech industry through talent development and capacity building.
According to him, "Digistuds" will serve as an opportunity for Fintech Nigeria to collaborate with Universities and source for talents in the fintech industry. He said the program had already received 2,000 applicants across the country, which was a welcome development.
In his brief presentation, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka Professor Charles Arizechukwu Igwe, believed institutions of higher learning should prioritize the development of skilled manpower for the soft and complex technology for competitiveness.
He emphasized the need for innovation centers to be built in Nigerian Universities, fostering entrepreneurship and technological advancement.
Professor Igwe said the UNN Innovation center is partnering with Fintech Nigeria to leverage "Digistuds" to boost digital skills in critical areas like product design, digital business models, cloud database, digital analytics, robotics, blockchain and cryptocurrency, amongst others.
Also speaking at the event, Professor Geraldine Ugwuonah, Director, University of Nigeria Technology Advancement Programme (UNTAP), stressed that Nigeria needed digital skills and talents to become an efficient and value-driven economy.
She was optimistic that "Digistuds" would bring Nigeria's long-awaited socio-economic transformation and challenged the youth to embrace the initiative.
CEO of Spark IT Adedipo Olagbeji lauded the "Digistuds' initiative, which is the first of its kind in Nigeria, and provides an opportunity for the nation to compete globally through digital skills, and take advantage of the enormous opportunities in the fourth industrial revolution.
At the formal launch of the "Digistuds", the President of the Fintech Association of Nigeria, Mr. Adeolu Bajomo, informed stakeholders that the fourth industrial revolution was the first that Africans fully participated in as a region.
Bajomo added that 200 students had been selected to pilot the "Digistuds" initiative, marking a positive turning point for Nigeria's digital economy.
He said Nigeria must brace up to the reality that 25% of jobs globally will require digital components and skills to achieve scale in the fintech industry.
The event featured a panel session on "Deepening Technical Skills and Tech-Enabled Businesses", which explored the future of work, strengthening the ivory towers to bridge the skills gap.