Over 859 kids have benefitted from coding capacity-building training at the 2022 Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) Bootcamp for kids organised by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
Giving his keynote address at the closing ceremony of the 10-day boot camp held in Abuja, Lagos and Kano, simultaneously, the NITDA director-general, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi congratulated the participants for completing the boot camp and encouraged them to start deepening their interest in different areas of information technology (IT) and emerging technologies early.
“Seven of the 10 fastest-growing and better-paying jobs globally are in the information technology (IT) sector. So, I need you all to seize this golden opportunity to start coding early in life. You need to become an exceptional person by having initiatives that can solve problems.
“We want to see games with African characters, games that uphold and promote our indigenous culture and values, as well as educational games and many more,” he said.
The DG stressed that the country is working assiduously towards bridging the global talent gap by becoming the supplier of the same.
“We have an ambitious target of making Nigeria a global supplier of talent. We have launched some initiatives like training one million tech developers in the next 18 months and the talent gap analysis where we want to get the best information on the amount of talent we have in the country. Then, we will come up with a National Talent Strategy Plan on how to position Nigeria as a global talent supplier,” he stated.
The NITDA boss noted that the agency is also doubling efforts to ensure that it trains interns at the National Centre for Artificial intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR) to come up with solutions for malaria and diabetes, as well as other health-related issues. He added that some of them are learning the application of drone technology to improve agriculture and security.
According to him, catching them young and spurring kids to make use of the computer (which has become a liberal act) will translate to building a career in money-making digital ventures, thereby including them in nation-building.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the national director, NCAIR, Eng. Ya’u Garba affirmed that the Stem Bootcamp for Kids (SB4Kids) 2022, organised by NITDA through NCAIR, has successfully exposed the kids to a series of hands-on training in different areas, including artificial intelligence, robotics, extended reality, digital communication and drone technologies, among others.
“These kids whose ages fall between 8-16 years were tutored and urged to imbibe a passion in STEM in to create an early interest in digital technologies which will, in the long run, shape their future careers accordingly,” Garba assured.
Some participants who shared their experiences commended the Agency and its subsidiary, NCAIR, for the life-changing opportunity to learn digitally inclined skills and task their minds to see themselves as solutions providers.
Some parents were thankful too for the boot camp as they took turns to register their gratitude and recount the benefits of the programme.