MTN Foundation champions diversity, equity, and inclusion with the graduation of 156 youths from empowerment programs

MTN Uganda’s corporate social responsibility arm, MTN Foundation, has today facilitated the graduation of 156 youths from its prestigious Computer Applications User Occupation and vocational and business skills programs as it continues with its journey to enhance diversity, equity and inclusiveness in the communities.

123 youths, predominantly women, successfully earned the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) certificates in Computer Applications User Occupation, while another 33 earned the Uganda Business and Technical Examinations certificates in the vocational and business skills.

The second cohort of learners in the Computer Applications User Occupation program underwent an intensive one-month training, mastering key software tools such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Equally, participants in the vocational and business skills program completed a comprehensive two-year training period, equipping them with a robust set of skills for the modern workforce in the areas of mechanical engineering, computer application, electricity installation, welding, carpentry, tailoring and house painting.

The youth took their training at the Smart Girls Foundation in Kitetika located along Gayaza Road in Wakiso District.

Speaking at the event at the Smart Girls Foundation, MTN Uganda Talent Manager,Betty Kusemererwa, expressed her pleasure in witnessing the youth’s embrace the innovative initiatives to transform people’s lives.

She noted that this enthusiasm aligns perfectly well with MTN’s Ambition 2025 Strategy whose aim is to drive Uganda’s progress.

“We at MTN Uganda are committed to a belief that everyone is entitled to the advantages of a modern, connected life—a vision we have steadfastly upheld,”she said.

“Now armed with the essential skills you’ve now acquired, we encourage you to leverage the latest digital technologies to not only transform your own lives but also to make a significant impact within your communities.”

She called upon various stakeholders including other members in the  private sector to join hands with MTN Uganda  in this noble course.

“By enhancing accessibility, reducing the cost of digital tools, and committing to extensive digital skills training, we can break down the obstacles to adoption and pave the way for a more inclusive digital economy. This is the reason we at MTN Uganda hold a firm belief in the power of collaboration, aligning with our guiding principle that Together, We’re Unstoppable in the pursuit of achieving any goal we set out to accomplish.” Kusemererwa added.

According to World Bank data, a majority of the nation’s populace, exceeding 75%, falls below the age of 30. However, according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistic’s National Labour Force Survey 2021, the youth unemployment rate remains a big challenge, registering at 17%, which surpasses the national average unemployment rate of 11.7%, as reported by the Ministry of Labour and National Development.

Interestingly, the disparity in unemployment rates is more pronounced among female youths, who contribute disproportionately to the overall youth unemployment figures.

Smart Girls Foundation CEO Jamila Mayanja told graduands to remain resilient and professional as they embark on their new journey.

Chief Guest of the event, Maria Kizito Nakkazi, the Inspector of Schools in Kasangati Town Council told graduands to be persistent, believe in themselves and keep learning to keep pace with the new job environment.

Several  graduands including Shalom Khayinza expressed deep appreciation to the Smart Girl’s Foundation and MTN Uganda for their pivotal role in her career development.

“The Smart Girl’s Foundation and MTN Uganda were instrumental in equipping me with the skills necessary for securing employment,” Khayinza said.

“After completing my senior six amidst the coronavirus pandemic, I saw no clear path forward to university education. This program opened new doors for me.”

Mary Nanyanzi said she gained valuable tech skills through MTN Girls with Tools free education.

“Despite dropping out of school many years ago, I have now been empowered to use computers. Let’s create more opportunities for girls to thrive in tech,” she said.

MTN Foundation’s partnership with Smart Girls Foundation began in 2019, during the 21 days of YelloCare, in which the former supported the latter with a donation worth Shs 30 million to enhance the girls’ learning experience.

Building on this commitment, in 2022, the MTN Foundation established a state-of-the-art skilling facility at the Smart Girls Foundation, designed to annually train up to 400 girls of all educational levels in various vocational programs. This facility is fully equipped with a modern computer laboratory, vehicle servicing bays, and a washing bay, among other amenities.

Beyond this, the MTN Foundation is actively involved in several other initiatives focused on youth empowerment. The MTN Skills Academy is one such initiative, dedicated to providing young people with vital digital skills.

In addition, the Foundation is spearheading the MTN Ace program, offering specialized training for the youth, and engages in the digitalization of vocational institutions across the country, all to enhance the employability and entrepreneurial capabilities of Uganda’s youth.

The MTN Uganda Foundation is a not-for-profit legal entity that was inaugurated in July 2007 as a vehicle through which MTN Uganda implements its corporate social investments (CSI). The Foundation strives to improve the quality of life in communities where MTN Uganda operates in a sustainable way. Its purpose is to bring about meaningful, measurable, and sustainable change that helps disadvantaged and rural communities to become self-sufficient. With a focus on innovative technology, we aim to uplift communities towards independence in this bold new digital world. The Foundation invests resources for social redress, thus economic empowerment, education, health, and humanitarian response. The Foundation implements projects that are highly enabled by ICT solutions. MTN Uganda is a leading telecoms company in Uganda with a primary objective of carrying on the business of a national operator of a telecommunications network pursuant to the National Telecommunications Operator (NTO) licence granted by the Uganda Telecommunications Commission (UCC). Among our offerings are network services, digital and financial technology services, interconnect and roaming, sale of mobile devices, and MTN Mobile Money (conducted through subsidiary MTN Mobile Money Uganda Limited).

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