Stakeholders Advocate Investments in Nigerian Tech Talents at Tekifest’23

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By Adedapo Adesanya

Stakeholders in the tech industry have advocated more investments in resources to boost the training of Nigerian youths in digital technology skills.

This call was made by some top speakers and panellists at Tekifest’23, a coming together of tech minds focused on exploring the future of work, technology, innovation, and tech excellence, which took place on November 29 at The Zone, Gbagada in Lagos.

Organised by Tekisite, the non-profit organization dedicated to training teenagers in digital technology skills in suburban communities, the event themed The Future Of Jobs: Talent Pipeline Investment hammered the need to take advantage of the rising interest in tech talents globally.

Speaking at the event, Miss Salawu Faizah, the team lead at Tekisite, said it was necessary to hold conversations of such magnitude at a time when Nigeria is making its footprint in the digital space following the shift that came with the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to her, this equally aligned with the vision of Mr Abass Oyeyemi, the late founder of the community whose vision spurred the need to hold a dialogue that sought solutions for talent pipeline investment in Nigeria.

“He consistently discussed Tekifest, while still maintaining his focus on eradicating social vices like cybercrime and empowering teenagers with the necessary skills for success in the dynamic world of technology,” she noted.

Adding her input, Miss Rosheedah Balogun, Academy Director, Tekisite, said, “The passing of our founder has strengthened our resolve to carry on his mission. We are dedicated to nurturing a generation of tech-savvy individuals who will drive innovation and positive change.”

Speaking at the event, one of the keynote speakers, Mr Scott Eneje, the founder of Digital Evolution, said there needs to be more collaboration on the part of the government, and that actions are needed more than ever.

“We have seen the statistics and talk. It is time to go beyond all that and start collaborating. We’ve seen amazing things that young minds can do and it is time for the government to move to actions by exploring and partnering.”

Speaking during a panel session about talent pipeline investment, Mr Owosho Adeola of Growth Lead noted that with the new Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Mr Bosun Tijani, at the helm of affairs, there is a positive outlook for tech talents.

“I am bullish on the new minister and we have seen the latest initiative to train three million tech talents as a positive move. With more visions like this, I believe that Nigerian tech talents have what it takes to compete globally.”

Mr James Falola, a Lead Engineer at YellowCard, noted that “There needs to be a redefinition of the workforce. We need to embrace that we are now in a digital era and that the landscape is changing.”

He was echoed by Mr Temidayo Olalekan, Head of Community, Fullgap and CEO, Octo Dsgn, “There needs to be mind-shift and a different approach to how we do things in this country. There needs to be how we work and with Nigeria’s population expected to double by 2030, the approach on how we do things as people, businesses, and even for the government needs to change. We need to dump the old model and dive into the new model.”

Also at the event was the recognition and honouring of outstanding individuals, organisations, and solutions that have made significant contributions to humanity through technology.

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