FITC Essay to Reward Innovative African Undergraduates

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Uchechukwu Nnaike

Financial Institution Training Company (FITC), a world-class, innovation-led and technology-driven knowledge organisation that provides learning, advisory and research services for financial institutions and other sectors in Africa, has launched the FITC Youth Connect Initiative.

The initiative focuses on youth empowerment, employability and supports youth-led innovation in Africa. To herald this, the organisation has unveiled the maiden edition of its essay competition for undergraduates in higher institutions across Africa.

Tagged ‘Youth Connect Essay Challenge’, the competition seeks to promote creative talents and spur innovative thinking among young people in Africa. It focuses on the theme, ‘Accelerating Growth and Development in Africa: The Role of Technology and Innovation’.

In a statement, the CEO, FITC, Chizor Malize, explained that given the wealth of talents and resources in Africa, there is an explosive opportunity for growth and development. “It is no gainsaying that Africa needs to embrace technology to realise the African Union’s 2063 Transformation Agenda and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”

To achieve this, Malize stressed that technology plays a crucial role and its adoption will accelerate economic growth and development on the continent. “The realities of modern civilization have shown that technology can speed up significant improvements in the social and political conditions of nations and can be a vehicle for innovative solutions to local challenges.

“Africa is now the world’s second-fastest-growing continent. Its fast-growing youth population presents exciting opportunities for economic growth and sustainable development. With the bolstering number of innovation hubs, tech solutions, tech ventures and tech venture-builders, as well as investors in technology infrastructure, the continent can bank on its emergent tech landscape for exponential growth.

“The young tech community can help decision-makers to implement workable technology solutions from country to country. To support this drive and to ensure youths’ participation in the transformation of the continent, FITC is investing in the future through the Youth Connect Essay Challenge.

“This challenge is to awaken the well of ideas in young Africans and set their minds on the right course as it concerns the use of technology for growth,” he stated.
The theme ‘Accelerating Growth in Africa: The Role of Technology and Innovation’ allows young people to creatively express their ideas and explore the wealth of solutions that technology can proffer to Africa’s numerous challenges.
The objective is to develop in undergraduate students the habit of contributing to national and global issues, as well as providing policymakers with an accessible perspective.

Malize disclosed that entries will be judged on originality, creativity and appropriateness to the theme and context. “FITC Youth Connect Essay Competition is open to all undergraduates studying in any tertiary institution across Africa.”

For entry format, he said entries must be written in English or French, adding that the essay must not be less than 1,000 words; entrants should show originality, creativity, clarity and focus on the topic. Plagiarized, co-written and pre-published entries will be disqualified and each entrant is required to submit only one entry to the competition.

The first prize winner will get $1,000, laptop, leadership certification programme and one year mentorship programme; second prize: $500, laptop and a year mentorship programme; and third prize: laptop and one-year mentorship programme.
The announcement date will be on all digital platforms. Submission of entries is open and will close on August 31, 2020 (11:59 pm WAT).