Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said harnessing the energy and creativity of Africa’s youth is crucial for the continent’s development.
Danbatta also urged telecom stakeholders to develop innovative solutions that would promote digital inclusivity, protect online freedom and ensure the security of an interconnected world.
Danbatta, represented by Head, Internet Governance Unit, NCC, Ibiso Kingsley-George, made this known at the opening ceremony of the 12th edition of 2023 Africa Youth Internet Governance Forum (AfYIGF) on Monday in Abuja.
BRANDPOWER reports that the theme of the programme is: “Emerging Technologies: Leveraging Innovation for Sustainable Development and Youth Empowerment”.
He said the commission amongst many other initiatives, had promoted Child Online Protection through various programmes and activities, providing direction on protecting children online.
”Africa has a burgeoning youth population which represents both an opportunity and a challenge.
He added:“We are in the era of rapid technological growth which is key to unlocking our continent’s untapped potential and transforming Africa’s Digital Landscape.
“Emerging technologies have emerged as a beacon of hope, offering transformative solutions to these issues.
“With their disruptive potentials, they offer a range of tools and solutions which have the power to propel Africa towards sustainable development and youth empowerment.
“Also of high importance is the concept of multistakeholderism in Africa’s digital and cyberspace.”
The EVC said that the goal was to foster an open dialogue that transcends borders and boundaries to forge a path toward a digital future that would reflect values and addresses concerns.
Danbatta said that Internet Governance Forum served as a nexus of diverse perspectives, a crossroads where governments, civil society, academia, the private sector, and technical experts converge.
He urged the stakeholders to seize the opportunity and learn from one another, collaborate and leverage on emerging technologies that promote innovation for sustainable development and youth empowerment.
The United Nations representative for the programme, Anja Gengo called on the youths to take up the responsibilty in aggregating these technological changes .
He said: “As we all recognise the Internet and its associated sources of services are ever amazing, and had adequately quite transformed our lives.
“Your generation inspite is responsible and to an extent filled with conditions as you are leading the charge in navigating this technological moment in ages.”