The WSIS Declaration of Principles attests to that fact that young people are the leading creators and earlist adopters of ICTs; and there is no better set of people full of energy and so passionate than these youths to spread the use of these technologies. It is therefore important (of course) to include these young men and women in policy implementation processes and supporting them with the needed resources to extend the perimeters of the development through the Information and Communications Technology.
All across Nigeria, there are youth-led efforts aimed at raising awareness on the effective use of the ICTs for socio-economic development. This number will increase as more communities adopt the use of these technologies. In order then to support this new dynamic, to harmonise all these local efforts into a platform for resource sharing and best practice appraisal, the Nigerian Youth ICT for Development (ICT4D) youth network (NYIN) was formed. NYIN was launched just after the WSIS African Regional Preparatory meeting that took place in Accra, Ghana in February 2005.
NYIN has a vision of “raising a networked generation of young Nigerians empowering themselves and contributing to the country’s active participation in the Information Society”. NYIN is not another new organisation, but a network of youth led ICT4D initiatives. Through its online platform, NYIN seeks to support, inspire, empower, educate, assist and inform youth led initiatives around the country and help them reach their full potentials and achieve their goals and objectives. NYIN also will work with youth efforts that are directed towards achieving the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). NYIN seeks to bring together youth efforts from all levels and locations — at home and in the Diaspora; at the pre-school level (talk about catching them young), primary school, secondary school, tertiary institutions and young professionals!
On Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006 the NYIN portal (www.nyinetwork.org) was launched at the Henrich Boll Foundation Lagos Office and has since been open to youth led ICT4D efforts in Nigeria for registration. So do you have a youth led ICT4D initiative that wants to be a part of the network or that is already a part of it? Please get to the website at www.nyinetwork.org and register. Registration is free and with time, registered organisations will have access to ICT4D news update, upcoming ICT4D events, resources, best practises and more.
Sgd: Edward Popoola, Nigeria’s Information Technology Youth Ambassador