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Securing Nigeria's Future through ICT: The Role of Youths 2
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Securing Nigeria's Future through ICT: The Role of Youths 2

07:10 am on 2013-09-28

Self-empowerment
Empowerment is about knowledge. The youth need REAL knowledge and appreciation about ICT - what ICT can and cannot do. Is ICT a cure-all? The youth need to be empowered with ICT skills and knowledge. Youth that are not empowered cannot play any significant role in the knowledge society. They will be reduced to consumers and passengers. Youth need to empower themselves with knowledge. Empowerment is about using knowledge to make a difference - to create opportunity. Knowledge options include: training, certification, books and the Internet. The youth must develop an attitude that appreciates knowledge as an investment and not a cost.  Knowledge is king in today's world. A mediocre knowledge base even with powerful computers and world-class infrastructure will not give you power. Knowledge makes the difference. 

Computer literacy should no longer be optional in schools. Indeed computer literacy is already considered a fundamental human right by insightful countries. Whether interested in IT careers or not, all youth need to acquire IT skills. "The leaders of tomorrow" can't grow with yesterday's knowledge. For youth interested in IT careers, opportunities exist in many fields including: technical support, programming, web development, database and networking.
IT is important for all youth even if your interest is outside the IT profession. ICT affects every aspect of life. Learn how to use IT skills in your area of interest - medicine, accounting, culture, law, etc. The knowledge economy isn't just about the ICT industry. Workers and professionals that are knowledgeable, highly skilled, IT literate, innovative and entrepreneurial are needed in all fields.

Furthermore, empowerment is about learning how to fish, instead of always depending on others. Empowerment also means building up on resourcefulness - being practical, knowing how to dig deep and knowing where to look for answers. 

To get ahead with knowledge, learn and practice. Invest in substance and not flashy gimmicks. Be strong in the fundamentals. Don't be satisfied with just doing. Excel in what you do. Aim high. Measure yourself with high quality global standards. And you have to keep on learning - Lifelong learning is critical. Anything else is dinosaur land. Regular renewal keeps you updated and relevant. Strike the right balance between doing and the ability to keep on doing.

Have a Focus
As a youth in ICT, what is your WHY? Learning, empowerment is a means to an end. Empowerment for what? Are you just following the crowd? Be wise. Have a laser-like focus on WHY. "A dream without a plan is a nightmare". Planning helps you with (WHY and HOW) focusing and organizing yourself.  Where are you? What is your interest? What is your purpose? Know yourself - what is your passion? Where are you going? How will you get there? According to Henry Kissinger,  "If you don't know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere." It is your duty to find your mission. As you develop yourself with knowledge and skills, what is your focus? In which area(s) of ICT do you want to make an impact? Get your priorities right. Sometimes we do things right but focus helps you to do the right thing.  Focus on things that matter.

 


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