By Michael Ovat- Awka
Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State has launched Solution Innovation District (SID) in the state.
The function, held at Professor Dora Akunyili Women’s Development Center, Awka, on Tuesday, featured the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Anambra State Government, Microsoft and Wootlab Foundation to train 20,000 youths on Digital Skills.
Performing the function, Governor Soludo stressed that knowledge and skills are enduring forms of power. He pointed out that the power of knowledge and skills transcends space and time and is not constrained by any boundaries because it follows an individual anywhere he or she goes.
“The demand for knowledge and skills is global. The certificate you possess doesn’t really matter to the world. They are more interested in your mental capacity and your manual dexterity. This is the game-changing moment” Governor Soludo further pointed out
“The desire to succeed and the desire to add value are the first requirements for success. Your knowledge and abilities will support you in achieving this.
“Being a Governor or President is temporary power, and after your tenure, the world continues. However, when you have knowledge and skills, you have power that lasts a lifetime.
“Those who seek knowledge and skills have a place in the future. We are continuing today with our plan to retake control of our state and put it back on the right course”, he emphasized.
“To the 0.01% of our population who are criminals cannot define who we are. This is message we sending to them. The 99% of ndi anambra are renowned for their entrepreneurship, diligence, fortitude, and inventiveness.
“The future starts today! Although, the past few days have been quite busy, I must thank you all for coming, especially our students and youth. I see the brand-new Anambra of our dream when I look into your faces” he added.
The Governor appreciated his Special Adviser on Innovation and Business Incubation, Ms Chinwe Okoye, for organizing the programme, as well as Microsoft and Wootlab Foundation for supporting Anambra.
“I think that this alliance will serve as the cornerstone of our future.
“The transition of Anambra from commerce; a largely informal to a formal economy, particularly in the area of digital skills, has started” Governor Soludo stated.
The Governor spoke about other things including annual training of 10,000 youths on digital skills, cascaded to primary and secondary schools, universities, Churches, and communities; access to high speed internet, expressing his belief that launching of the Solution Innovation District would bring the world to Anambra and allow them to export their skills to the rest of the world.
On his part, the Commissioner for Youth, Honourable Patrick Aghamba, recalled that Governor Soludo had launched the one youth, two skills programme in October 2022 as a pilot phase of his agenda and reported that the programme was progressing well.
The Commissioner emphasized that the opportunities that lie in digital skills are overwhelming, maintained that the task of youth empowerment is a huge task and called on all stakeholders to participate in the programme.
He expressed satisfaction that Anambra State is not falling behind in terms of digital literacy, adding that the goal is provide more quality jobs.
Earlier in her opening remarks, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Innovation and Business Incubation, Ms Chinwe Okoli welcomed Microsoft and Wootlab foundation as official partners of the State Government and thanked Governor Soludo for launching the Solution Innovation District.
“This journey aims to liberate the Anambra people’s creativity and is consistent with the Governor’s goal of making Anambra State a livable and prosperous homeland.
“The Solution Innovation District was established in Anambra State to foster and promote skill innovation, including that of digital skills. It will be a community of entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, and clever artisans who will all work together to find solutions to issues in Anambra, Nigeria, and around the world”.
According to the Special Adviser, the SID components include business innovation, digital skills, and the desire to revive businesses on Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp while producing thousands of millionaires each year.
She also mentioned SMEs acceleration from Onitsha to Awka to Nnewi, will help small business owners leverage on technology and reach more markets, make more money, hire more people, and create jobs.
The Representative of the Microsoft Country Manager for Nigeria and Ghana, Olatomiwa Williams the Chief Executive Officer of Wootlab Foundation, Chioma Okoro described the initiative as a move in the right direction asserting that the fourth industrial revolution has already begun.