Of Youth Advocacy and Proof

(c) The Future Awards     (c) The Future Awards

I had a brief stop-over in Lagos on Sunday (January 21) before my onward journey to Ethiopia — the last of the 3 East African countries I’m visiting this January. By the way, I have come to see Ethiopia as a second home because of my frequent travels to the country’s capital city, in relation to my involvements with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and must confess that the city is beautiful! … Our flight from Nairobi was delayed for 2 hours, during which I made god use of the airport Internet terminals which offer services at the rate of $2 for every 15 minutes spent. It was also good time to reflect on the last few days and to realign my plans for the month of January with the emerging realities of the year. I thought the five-hour flight ended too soon because I only remember waking up to have a meal and waking up on arrival. 🙂 The Lagos airport looked a bit different as there are evidently some ongoing renovation work — visible from the exit point and the relocated restrooms.

My stop-over afforded me the opportunity to receive the plaque which was presented to me in absentia during the 2007 The Future awards. The award is increasingly becoming the de facto youth celebration event, and the promos were everywhere just before I left for Uganda. Kudos to the entire RedStrat team that keeps increasing the tempo of the award while keeping the desire to be better on the minds of young Nigerians. I had won the Best Use of Technology category at the maiden edition last year, and was surprised at my nomination this year. After the event, I got eMail messages from friends congratulating me on winning the Youth Advocacy category for this year’s award — during which Tara Fela-Durotoye won the Young Person of the Year prize.

I told a friend that the award (coming in a nice glass plaque set on a marble stand) means a lot more to me than the reward and recognition, as it really goes to challenge the need for me (and of course lead others) to move from the level of advocacy to proof-bearing action. Advocacy is excellent, but I have come to learn that whatever cause we stand for can be further supported when we show proof in relation to the things we ask for. I have spent a few years seeking improved participation of youth in ICT-led change processes, and look forward to sharing information with you on appropriate action towards producing undeniable results. Technopreneurship (here defined as youth-led ICT-enabled entrepreneurship) is one key area I’m looking at, and hope to finalise ongoing discussions in order to share news about a platform on which Africa’s youth can maximise ICT opportunities to sharpen their entrepreneurial skills and create wealth. We can address the unemployment issues on the continent through active social technopreneurship that provides a double bottomline — with economic and social values.

But, how would you value an opportunity that allows you(th) to own your own online-driven business?

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