Building blocks for job opportunities, By Inyene Ibanga

Ultimately, many university graduates would use their digital entrepreneurship to create products and services that solve problems, create better opportunities for growth and sustainability…. Creative solutions and entrepreneurship open up job opportunities for citizens to earn an income and enjoy an improved standard of living.

Unemployment remains one of the perennial problems confronting all developed and developing economies.

However, this is relatively lower in developed countries, compared to the developing ones, where significant proportions of their populations are either unemployed or underemployed.

The current global health crisis exacerbated the lockdown that battered the global economy.

However, countries are gradually on the path to recovery from the effects of the pandemic through their a priori treatment and focus on creative and innovative entrepreneurship to revamp their economic fortunes.

Creativity and innovation form the driving force behind advancement in all sectors of human endeavor. No country or business organization can achieve great success without creative and innovative ideas.

The transformative impact of creativity and innovation enables society to solve its problems, improve lives and achieve progress. The unity of these twin concepts provides a conducive environment for nurturing sound economic, political, and social connections.

Creativity involves the ability to produce new and unique ideas, while innovating on the implementation of creativity. This leads to the continuous introduction of new ideas, solutions, products, and processes to better the lives of people.

By practicing creativity, we can change our lives, our communities, and the world around us for the better. But most importantly, we discover the potential to move from being unemployed to becoming employers.

Entrepreneurs leverage creativity and innovation to evolve new ways of improving existing products and services for the customer. These encourage people to think outside the box or search for solutions beyond the ordinary.

Nigeria represents one of those developing countries that have shown an unwavering resolution to a sustainable digital entrepreneurship powered by creative and innovative ideas, across all sectors of the economy.

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The country’s obligation to achieve that goal was reaffirmed when the United Nations’ World Creativity and Innovation Day (WCID 2022) celebrated on April 21.

While speaking on the importance of creativity and innovation, the minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mallam Isa Pantami noted that unemployment and employability problems in Nigeria would be solved by creating digital entrepreneurs that are employers and wealth creators.

Pantami pointed out that the Federal Government is focused on collaborating with stakeholders, especially universities, to boost innovation and entrepreneurship in Nigeria’s digital economy.

The minister has argued that, while the student gets admitted to a higher institution, he would be directed to come up with his start-up within a year. He will be working on this till he graduates with his own company and becomes a potential employer. ”

On his part, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa, the director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), gave assurances that the Agency has adopted strategic initiatives and frameworks to achieve the digital economy.

For example, the Bridge To Mass Challenge (B2MC) and the iHATCH Challenge are two of the major initiatives of NITDA aimed at challenging innovative youths in the areas of security, agriculture, health, education, and fintechs .

Kashifu explained that the WCID 2022 celebration also served as a platform for demonstrating various solutions they have developed in collaboration with the agency, through its two subsidiaries, the Office for Nigerian Digital Innovation (ONDI) and the Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), to solve problems in the economy and help Nigeria create and capture value from innovation.

Several other initiatives have been launched by the Federal Government and development partners.

Recently, the Federal Government has flagged off the implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding between Nigeria and Huawei Technologies Nigeria as part of the initiatives have been launched to further advance creativity and digital entrepreneurship in the country.

Two core ICT initiatives – the Huawei ICT Academy and the Huawei ICT Talent Cultivation projects – are established under the partnership for the development of 300 ICT academies in universities, polytechnics, and Colleges of Education in the country.

In addition, 10,000 university students are expected to be trained each year with a total of 30,000 students in three years, through various programs, competitions, and other activities of the Huawei ICT Academy.

Ultimately, many university graduates would use their digital entrepreneurship skills to create products and services that solve problems, engender better lives and create opportunities for growth and sustainability.

Entrepreneurship generates wealth and creates employment, which helps to reduce the menace of unemployment. Creative solutions and entrepreneurship open up job opportunities for citizens to earn an income and enjoy an improved standard of living.

As such, Nigerian universities have identified critical thinking as the core area of ​​study in all courses / programs. The students should develop the capacity for critical thinking and digital entrepreneurship.

NITDA, through ONDI and NCAIR, can engage with the National Universities Commission (NUC) and develop a new approach to empowering universities to prioritize digital entrepreneurship as a vital component in all academic programs.

Inyene Ibanga is with the Corporate Communication Unit, Office for Nigerian Digital Innovation (ONDI).

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