Sunday, August 07, 2011

Youth as active Participants in development

"Youth should be given a chance to take an active part in the decision-making of local, national and global levels." Says Ban Ki-moon, the 
United Nations Secretary-General. Are young people in Nigeria actively involved in the process of decision-making? Are our government leaders harnessing the potential in youth by engaging them as actors in development process? Compared to many years ago when youth in Nigeria were only seen and not heard, I guess we can say that we are making good progress.

According to the 2011 population pyramid by the National Population Commission and World Bank Growth, “young Nigerians between age 20 to 40 make up 47% of the nation’s population, which provides a window of opportunity for high growth and poverty reduction – the demographic dividend – representing a huge potential resource to Nigeria given the critical role of the youths in strengthening the nation’s economy.”

Many youth are increasingly creating platforms that will help them and their peers stay engaged. No longer is the average Nigerian youth satisfied with just being consumers. We are emerging producers too, taking up responsibility to be the change we want to see in our family, community, country and the world.

As August 12 draws near for another celebration of the International Youth Day, Youth organizations are already setting aside creative space for young people to express themselves and take charge.

As a matter of fact, this year’s celebration coincides with the International Year of Youth (2010-2011 was set out as International Year of Youth). Have you made plans on how you will participate to celebrate this year’s world youth day locally?

To be actively involved in your local community, you can do two things- volunteer and volunteer! Actually in one word, volunteer. Most people think it is a big deal to initiate a new event idea. Well, it is. But at this eleventh hour, it only makes sense for you to collaborate with youth organizations or groups with similar vision and serve in whatever capacity you can to effectively maximize the day.

Here are examples of what some youth groups are doing to celebrate the day:

In Lagos, “the Future Champions” in partnership with “You Digit” & “BibleWay Church” is organizing a 3-day summer residential camp tagged, ‘We’ve Got Talent & Abilities,’ a camp meeting for the Y-generation, youths ages 9-24 to commemorate the day. The aim of the 4-days event is to inspire Nigerian youths to rise to the occasion, to use their talents and abilities to achieve, and also acquire skills that set them on the trail to their purpose; to learn to use their potentials in the new world of work, innovation, entrepreneurship and Learn & Do It Yourself. To participate, please contact: or call 08071541893.

A similar project is taking place in Warri, Delta place called “The summer technology camp 2011,” targeting young people in Warri, from the 8th-20th of August. The event entails intensive learning and creative session, science innovations/ experiments, learning of film screening, creating ,mobile apps and Google extensions, fashion designing, decoration and also the use of ICT in this local applications. For more information, Call: 08026105830 or 08038824660.

Happy International Youth Day! Be the change in your world!! Yes we can!!!

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