Home News Youths’ future relevance depends on effective use of digital space- UNIC Director

Youths’ future relevance depends on effective use of digital space- UNIC Director


By Oladapo Udom

Lagos –  Mr Ronald Kayanja, Director, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Nigeria, on Saturday urged youths to effectively utilise the digital space to remain relevant in future.

Kayanja made the assertion in Lagos at an event to commemorate the International Youth Day scheduled for Aug.12, with the theme: “Safe Spaces for Youth”.

“We are exploring opportunities for youths involvement in development and also talking about places that are safe for youths to thrive.

“This is in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals which talk about building places that are safe and encourage the progress of young people,” he said.

The UNIC director said that the focus on digital space and civic space in Nigeria was to equip youths with the ability to contribute meaningfully to decision making process in the country.

“The digital space is the safety of our young people in online platforms and how they can get opportunities in the digital space.

“Whereas, the civic space, which is an opportunity for young Nigerians because of the coming season of elections, focusses on how youths can conduct themselves properly.

“It is a call for young people to be allowed to participate effectively in the management of the affairs of the country.

“This does not start from the government or top officials, but rather starts from the communities.

“We are exploring the opportunities for young people to be effectively involved in the governance of their country,” he said.

Kayanja commended President Muhammed Buhari for signing the law on the “Not Too Young to Run” thereby.

According to him, it gives an opportunity for young people to participate in the elective positions.

Also, Mr Darkey Africa, Consular-General, South African High Commission, said that Africa was going through a transformation process, and developing policies in recognition of the fact that young people were the future.

“In the continent, we have several youths empowerment initiatives and there are many programmes that are dedicated to assist young people in all sectors of life.

“These initiatives and programmes are designed to afford young people the opportunity to develop and prepare themselves as spiritual leaders of our country and the continent as a whole.

“The role of young people in the society is very important; therefore, the spaces that need to be created should provide opportunities that young people will be able to utilise,” he said.

Africa urged the government to support this cause by creating an enabling environment for young people to easily use these opportunities to empower themselves and play positive role in the societies.

Also, Mr Yemi Orimolade, the Communications Lead, Microsoft Nigeria, said that youths need safe spaces to connect together and engage in activities that were related to their diverse needs and interest.

“There are numerous opportunities that youths can engage from being online in other to learn how to develop the right skills for the future.

“Youths should endeavour to upscale their current skill set for them to be employable for the jobs of the future.

“There is the threat that machines are coming to take the jobs of humans in future, which makes it necessary for youths to acquire new skills to remain relevant as technology evolves overtime,” he said.

Orimolade advised youths to take advantage of the internet to upscale their skills, urging them to be mindful of certain online threats like the issues of cyber security and data privacy.

“These threats can be easily surmountable, if an individual is dedicated to applying the necessary procedure needed to succeed online.

“For instance, if you are a youth interested in being a developer, you can go to Microsoft Cloud Society, which is a free platform to learn what you want to learn for free,” he said.


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