The launch of the “Digistuds” program was another key milestone in Nigeria’s attempt to maintain its leadership as Sub-Saharan Africa’s primary fintech industry.
This was part of the pre-event activities for the Nigeria fintech week in 2021, which will be the country’s largest gathering of financial services and technology stakeholders.
Mr. Stanley Jacobs, Vice President of Fintech Nigeria, defined “Digistuds” in his introductory remarks as an initiative aimed at attracting young people to the fintech industry through talent development and capacity building.
According to him, “Digistuds” will provide Fintech Nigeria with an opportunity to partner with universities and recruit fintech talent. He indicated the program had already gotten 2,000 applications from all over the country, which was a good sign.
Also in a brief presentation, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka Professor Charles Arizechukwu Igwe, emphasized that higher institutions should prioritize the development of skilled manpower for soft and complicated technologies in order to remain competitive.
He underlined the importance of establishing innovation centers in Nigerian universities to promote entrepreneurship and technical advancement.
Professor Igwe went further to explain that the UNN Innovation Center is collaborating with Fintech Nigeria to leverage “Digistuds” to improve digital skills in areas such as product design, digital business models, cloud database, digital analytics, robotics, blockchain, and cryptocurrency, among other things.
Professor Geraldine Ugwuonah, Director, University of Nigeria Technology Advancement Programme (UNTAP), also spoke at the occasion, emphasizing the importance of digital skills and talents in helping Nigeria become a more efficient and value-driven economy.
She was optimistic that “Digistuds” will bring Nigeria’s long-awaited socioeconomic development, and encouraged youths to embrace the initiative.
Also Adedipo Olagbeji, CEO of Spark IT, applauded the “Digistuds” initiative, which is the first of its type in Nigeria and allows the country to compete globally through digital skills and take advantage of the fourth industrial revolution’s enormous opportunities.
The president of the Fintech Association of Nigeria, Mr. Adeolu Bajomo, stated at the official launch of the “Digistuds” that the fourth industrial revolution was the first in which Africans actively participated as a region.
Bajomo also went on to say that 200 students had been chosen to pilot the “Digistuds” initiative, which he described as a pivotal moment for Nigeria’s digital economy.
However to attain scale in the fintech industry, he said Nigeria must accept the fact that 25 percent of jobs globally will require digital components and skills.
The event also included a panel discussion on “Deepening Technical Skills and Tech-Enabled Businesses,” which examined the future of work and how to bridge the skills gap through strengthening ivory towers.