Securing Nigeria's Future through ICT: The Role of Youths 1
07:07 am on 2013-09-28
How should Nigeria plan for its future? What is Nigeria's future? Is oil Nigeria's future? To make progress in the years ahead, the future is about information and knowledge. It's about the Information Society, the Information age, the Knowledge economy, etc. How do you use knowledge to get ahead on the local, national and global levels? What drives the knowledge society? Mobile telephony, Internet and other technologies are changing our way of life. The effective use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) is what makes the difference. ICT must be used to secure Nigeria's future. The use of ICT is a major issue that separates the developed and developing nations - the digital divide.
To benefit from advances in technology, the knowledge economy places emphasis on knowledge and people.
People will drive the knowledge economy. Their knowledge, skills, and creativity are needed to use ICT to address wealth creation, job opportunities and other important national goals. Everybody certainly has a role to play. Important groups/sectors include: government, private sector, civil society and of course the youth. The youth are vital to stimulating a knowledge driven economy in Nigeria. What role should the youth play in ensuring that ICT secures Nigeria's future?
According to a declaration of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), "We recognize that young people are the future workforce and leading creators and earliest adopters of ICTs. They must therefore be empowered as learners, developers, contributors, entrepreneurs and decision-makers".
Nigeria's National IT Policy also aims "To empower the youth with IT skills and prepare them for global competitiveness". The UN ICT Task Force's plan of action sees "the training of youth and children as effective ways of combating poverty, hunger and disease" and further states that "the skills and capabilities of young people need to be transformed to the point of making a difference to their lives and their communities".
The youth certainly have an important role to play in ICT development in Nigeria. Our future depends not on oil but on the quality of human capital - tomorrow's generation - the youth. The youth certainly have a mission to fulfill. Let's look at how the role of the youth should be addressed.
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Innovation and Development Advisor, ICT at Jidaw
Advisory Support and Consulting