Government revamps Innovation Hub, creates more job opportunities for the youth

In a move signaling a new era in Uganda’s commitment to digital innovation and youth empowerment, the revamped National Innovation Hub has been officially launched at the Uganda Institute of Information and Communications Technology (UICT) Nakawa Campus.

The event marks a significant step in the nation’s ongoing battle against youth unemployment and its journey towards a digitally empowered future.

The newly transformed hub is not just a center for technological innovation; it has been strategically redesigned to serve as a fertile ground for nurturing the talents of Uganda’s young innovators and entrepreneurs.

With state-of-the-art facilities and an environment conducive to creativity and collaboration, the hub is poised to become a key player in driving the country’s digital economy forward.

The State Minister of ICT, Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo emphasized the critical role of the Innovation Hub in addressing the nation’s youth unemployment crisis.

“In Uganda, we face a daunting challenge with over 9.3 million young people disengaged from the workforce. The National Innovation Hub is our answer to this challenge. It is here that we will cultivate the skills, ideas, and innovations that will not only create jobs but also propel our nation into a new era of technological advancement,” she said.

Dr. Aminah Zawedde, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of ICT & National Guidance, shed light on the transformative impact of the Hub’s renovation.

“This is more than just a facelift. It’s a strategic reimagining of how we engage and support our youth. Since the revamp, we’ve seen an increase of over 190% in youth-led enterprises and innovators utilizing the Hub. This surge in engagement is a clear indication of the Hub’s vital role in empowering the next generation of digital leaders in Uganda,” she said.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Resident Representative, Elsie Attafuah, spoke about their role in the Hub’s transformation. “UNDP has proudly collaborated with the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology and National Guidance in refurbishing and furnishing this space,” they said. “We have equipped the multimedia hub with high-end technology to support the creative aspirations of Uganda’s youth. The furniture and facilities provided are designed to be fit for purpose, creating an environment that nurtures innovation and encourages creative thinking.”

Zawedde paid tribute to the outgoing UNDP Resident Representative, acknowledging her significant contribution to the nation’s digital transformation.

“Ms. Elsie’s dedication to fostering inclusivity and equality in the ICT sector has been instrumental in shaping the Hub into what it is today,” she remarked, inviting her to always consider Uganda as her home.

In addition to serving as a center for innovation, the hub has also become a vibrant community space, hosting 2,825 events, 751 business meetings, and empowering 6,531 individuals through digital skilling, capacity building, and mentorship programs. These activities are not just numbers; they are a testament to the Hub’s role as a catalyst for change and a driver of economic development.

Ssebugwawo urged government agencies to support and utilize local innovations.

“It is paramount that we make responsible use of taxpayer money by supporting our local talent,” she said.

The launch of the revamped National Innovation Hub marks a significant moment in Uganda’s efforts to combat youth unemployment through digital innovation. As Uganda continues to advance in the digital age, the Hub stands as a symbol of hope and a testament to the government’s commitment to creating a future where every young Ugandan can thrive in a rapidly evolving digital world.

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