IYD2022: Youths Urged To Harness Technology For Devt

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Africado Foundation
A cross section of dignitaries during the International Youth Day 2022 event organised by AFRICADO Foundation in Abuja.

As Nigeria joined the rest of the world to commemorate International Youth Day 2022 (IYD2022), human development experts have urged Nigerian youths to harness the opportunities made available by technology for self-development and growth.

Speaking at an event organised AFRICADO Foundation to commemorate the day, celebrated annually on August 12, 2022, themed “Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages,” the country director, Plan International, Mr. Usie Emmamuzou urged youths to maximally utilise opportunities available to them.

“The opportunities available for young people in Nigeria have increased. They were fewer in our days. More people have become successful and [there are] many more means by which you can reach them. This means that you can sit in the comfort of your room and identify role models, follow their stories and listen to how they have navigated difficulties that many young people are facing today.

“The question for me and my message today as we celebrate International Youth Day is our commitment to intergenerational solidarity. How differently do young people use the opportunities available to them?

“Back in the day, we did not take advantage. We could travel miles just to spend five minutes with someone we admired and wanted to learn from but these days you find young people with someone they want to learn from and they will choose not to learn because of assumptions that they know it all and all the answers are on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and this is not true.

Emmamuzou challenged young people in Nigeria to use opportunities that are available in terms of communication modalities, in terms of information available, and use them well, adding that one way to do that is via mentorship, role models and coaches.

“Be intentional about who becomes a role model, mentor or coach to you and when you do that and you have access to these people use that access very well. Use it very well in such a way that it adds value to your life,” he added.

Similarly, the country director, Christian Aid Nigeria, Mr. Temitope Fashola, pointed out that youths need to make sacrifices to move forward, stressing that self-development needs sacrifice.

He posited that the current trend in society where people, especially youths do not invest in themselves but wish to excel in their field is erroneous.

A cross section of youths during the event in Abuja.

According to him, Christian Aid believes in youth inclusion and dedicates programmes to grooming and developing potential of youths.

“At Christian Aid, we prioritise inclusion, hence, the development of a robust youth engagement strategy that guides our youth development programmes such as our youth internship and employability skills development. We will continue to promote youth participation and intergenerational collaboration as part of our commitment to achieving social inclusion in Nigeria. As we mark this day, we stand in solidarity with all stakeholders, especially the youths who are working endlessly to create a world for all ages,” he added.

Speaking to journalists, the founder, AFRICADO Foundation, Mr. Richardson Ojeka, opined that technology can be deployed as a tool for national transformation.

“Our vision is to end unemployment in Nigeria. Unemployment is a serious problem among others – insecurity, banditry, cybercrime etc. Every security situation is related to unemployment. Thus, we are working to solve the unemployment problem in Nigeria and we believe the best way is to use technology.

“Give technology to the underserved group, the underprivileged and it can be a tool for national transformation in their own lives.

“To be a billionaire in the oil and gas industry you need to have tankers, to be a billionaire in tech you need a laptop or a phone and data. [This is] Cheap entry and a way we believe we can solve the unemployment crisis in Nigeria. Using technology, making it available to the underprivileged and underserved. This is what we do at AFRICADO,” he stated.

Ojeka, who is currently undergoing the mandatory National Youth Service programme of the National Youth Service Corps and was the programme convener, said the foundation believes young people have a vital role to play in the development of any country.

“The Nigerian youths need to understand that to be recognised anywhere, especially in leadership positions, we need to have one voice. We need leaders who can champion the interest of young people,” he added.

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