I have accepted the invitation of MTN to serve in the panel that would help select winners for the mobile giant’s Academic Research Development & Innovation Challenge (ARDIC). Through ARDIC, MTN will discover the best research ideas happening in our universities at Master’s and PhD levels. The winners will go home with cash prizes and other benefits.
Context – As of 2017, the Labour statistics report for Nigeria showed that there is 7.9 million Nigerian youth aged 15-34 that are currently unemployed. The report, released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) also revealed that 58.1% of youth within this age bracket who are currently working are underemployed. Entrepreneurship is an effective way to fight against youth unemployment in the country.
The Framework –The MTN Academic Research Development and Innovation Challenge (MTN ARDIC) is an end-to-end support system where selected students would translate their ideas into solutions through a seamless access to applicable tools, data, platform and hands-on mentoring.
The Initiative – MTN will be hosting an exclusive launch of the event to connect with other organizations supporting MTN’s mission to inspire young Nigerian to become entrepreneurs and foster their journey. Students, entrepreneurs and relevant stakeholders are invited to attend the 3 regional pitching events to pitch for the chance to win.
I want to wish all the young researchers good luck. We will meet next week in the nation’s capital for this intellectual battle. The first rule is “No selfies with me” until after the event. Lol.
We thank MTN for this innovation to get our young researchers moving up. I do hope some of the ideas would find strategic partners for commercialization. Nigeria has acres of diamonds everywhere – we just have to mine them!