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Canadian company to support young innovators

By Jeff Andrew Lule, Henry Sekanjako

Added 9th July 2018 01:19 PM

The program targets only young social innovators with ideas which can be develop into solutions to their community problems.

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Pascal Ojijjo, from Digital Opportunities Trust, a Canadian Campany speaking to the youth during the training at the ICT Ministry. PHOTOS: Jeff Andrew Lule

The program targets only young social innovators with ideas which can be develop into solutions to their community problems.

A total of 30 young Ugandan young graduates have been selected to take part in global program where they will be trained and supported to grow their ideas.

The one month program which kicked off at the Information Communication Technology (ICT) ministry is funded by the Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT), a Canadian company and coordinated by Youth Equality Centre (YEC).

The program targets only young social innovators with ideas which can be develop into solutions to their community problems.

Under the program, the youth are given online training, market research and computer skills, business and leadership skills, and also trained on how to develop an idea to attract funders among others.

Pascal Ojijjo, a facilitator from the DOT, said many graduates have good ideas but lack the required skills and motivation to develop them.

He also stressed that on many occasions, graduates lack a sense of direction on what should be done unlike semi illiterate youth.

 Some of the youth training at the young social innovators' training at the ICT ministry

“Many educated youth never focus on one thing to develop it, and it is the reason why many fail in life. Educated youth do more than one thing and end up gaining nothing but semi illiterates succeed in what they do because they focus on one thing and give it time to grow. That is why many standout in what they do,” he said.

He also stressed that others have great ideas, but lack support to develop them.

“That’s why Government needs to set aside a special fund to always support the young social innovators. They also need to be given other business skills to manage their ideas to grow bigger,” Ojijjo noted.

He asked graduates to always pick “that one route of passion” and run it to the finishing line than taking many routes and lose all.

“At least you can always take on another route if the other fails totally. But you will never succeed if you take on many things because your energies and mind not be settled,” he said.

The YEC team leader, Ali Kaviri said 500 youth submitted their applications with their elaborate concepts but only 30 outstanding young innovators were selected for the program.

“We are limited with funds; but this shows many youth have unique ideas which can contribute to the development of the country. They only need support,” he said.

Kaviri said the youth are also taught how to persuasively pitch their ideas to get grants and source for funding.

At the end of the training, the youth will be taken for a global conference with other innovators to share ideas and network in Kenya. They will also be given a grant.

Hebert Murungi 26, from Kyenjojo,  a graduate in environmental science, said he has learnt to how to use online to look for funds to boost his biogas business.

“We are dealing in biogas but we want to make it accessible to all people. But with this training we now have an on how to do it,” he added.

Stella Tabala, 23, from Busitema University, said she innovated a wearable alert device but ended at a prototype. “Now I am going to use the digital skills to get a sponsor to support my idea into a consumable product,” he added.

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