Focus on Youth and ICTs in Geneva

(c) GAID Website

The Forum on Youth and ICTs, co-hosted by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID), opened in Geneva this morning and will hold until the 26th of September. Guided by the theme “Youth and ICT as Agents of Change”, the Forum is being organized in partnership with United Nations agencies and organizations, youth organizations and networks, and civil society and private sector organizations. The organizers expect that there will be about 400 to 600 young people, as well as ICT for Development policy-makers and practitioners from all sectors and regions.

I arrived Geneva in the early hours of Sunday (September 23) and spent the rest of the day in meetings, preparing for the opening session — which I’m co-moderating with TakingITGlobal’s Jennifer. The opening session started a few minutes ago and I hope to post as many updates as possible on this blog. For those who are here in Geneva, please visit the Paradigm Initiative Nigeria stand at the Exhibition Hall to see images and some materials from the recently concluded first phase of the Ajegunle.org project. Thanks to Ugo, who put finishing touches to the project report and Kafui (my Ghanaian twin) who helped with the physical setup here in Geneva.

I look forward to the exciting networking meetings, great discussions (ITU Youth Fellow’s projects, GAID Youth Social Technopreneurship session, etc) and trust that the reunion will also offer the opportunity to advance the thoughts and actions that came out of the earlier Geneva WSIS discussions. It is great to see that the young people who spent a lot of time lobbying government groups during WSIS are now showcasing action which they have been able to execute on the ground — in their respective countries. I’ll be showing the Ajegunle.org video on one of the evenings and also look forward to the meeting with the First Lady of Egypt where we’ll be discussing with her on her Foundation’s Cyber Peace Initiative.

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