At a TedX Yaba, Mark Essien, CEO of Hotels.ng talked about the opportunities that Africa has to leap-frog into the future. According to him, we shouldn’t look to catch up with the best, but to beat the best to the future. He argued that this would be relatively easier for Africa as Africa does not have the challenges of imposing infrastructure and does not face the challenges of destroy and redesign or modularly improve on the old, we can simply bypass the now, leverage on technology and design a new and better future on our relatively plain canvass.Gradually, a lot of Nigeria is already tapping into this as we see software developers and other players spring up in tech clusters across the country, software development being a basic building block for a future where Artificial Intelligence is expected to cause the next big socio-economic disruption.Yaba, Lagos has become the top tech cluster in Nigeria, a community built on support, feedback and a hunger for innovation. Down South, the Akwa Ibom State government too is taking steps to plug into the technology wave, to be a part of the future and set up Akwa Ibom as a formidable tech cluster from where innovation can spring forth.On August 10, 2017, the state’s government, led by the Commissioner of Science and Technology, Dr Nse Essien signed an MOU with Hotels.ng to train about 500 local software developers and designers in an internship program that can be accessed freely via internship.hotels.ng.In the past, Hotels.ng has hosted two remote internship programs as part of a pledge to open our doors twice a year to hundreds of beginner developers and user experience designers, mentoring and training them to become develop their skillsets and be industry ready. Past interns have built beautiful products such as Raven, an in-house messaging tool, spots.ng, a directory of interesting destinations across the country, and several others.
This year's special internship program can be accessed online via internship.hotels.ngIn partnership with the Akwa Ibom state government, Hotels.ng will set up the special internship program to be less competitive, with a focus on getting as many as many people across the finish line by the end of 12 weeks, and to accommodate for broader learning curves. The state government, on their end, will give all participating interns unrestricted access to the impressive Ibom e-library.We are happy to partner with a state that understands that technology is the only fail safe wave to ride into the future. It’s a small first step in the right direction, and we are excited to see the ripple effect that this causes.