The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello says his administration is determined to use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to drive entrepreneurial adventures among youths in the territory.
Bello said this at the inauguration of the UNESCO-FCTA Youth Mobile Project on Monday in Abuja.
Our correspondent reports that UNESCO Youth Initiative builds on the experience of many young people to computer science programming (Learning-to-Code), and problem solving (Coding-to Learn).
He said there was a direct correlation between access to ICT and socio-economic development, adding that ICT had become the necessary precondition for development.
According to him, this is why all developed societies have both relevant and useful information for development and are also leaders in search and development (R and D).
“Majority of the people in developing countries like Nigeria belongs to class of late adopters on the ICT penetration index.
“This is with a view to driving entrepreneurial adventures among our youths. We are indeed, proud to work with UNESCO on this initiative which aims at developing capacity among our youths.
“I have learnt that UNESCO’s Youth Initiative builds on the experience of many young people to computer science programming (learning–to-code) and the problem (coding-to-learn).
The minister said the project also recognises the significant potential of mobile devices as tools for expression, creativity and innovation.
“This is no doubt necessary for harnessing the potential of our youths with a view to delivering innovative services.
“I am very delighted that UNESCO plans to cover all the Area Councils in the FCT. Our intention is to have a continued training where we would not only make our youths employable but also endow them with competitive skills.
“This is because we lack the supporting digital infrastructure. In the developing world, poverty, absence of ICT literacy and lack of power are major hindrances to internet penetration,’’ he said.
The minister noted that the new global mandate of sustainable economic growth requires that societies create the conditions that allow people to have quality jobs that stimulate the economy and empower the youth in Nigeria.
“This is indeed the passion of the FCT Administration. Inculcating mobile application development skills in the youth has become our priority.
“This has become necessary given the evolution and the transformative effect of ICT and its potential to propel development and create a knowledge-based economy.
“More importantly, it has become necessary in order to build a science, technology and innovation system that will drive a Competitive Knowledge Economy by 20:20:20,’’ he added.
Bello said it was for the reason that the FCTA bought into the project when the team of UNESCO visited the administration for the collaboration.
Earlier, the UNESCO Director-General, Mrs Mariam Katagum said the new initiative UNESCO, and its partners strive to provide young people with the high-level skills and confidence.
She said the initiative would help the youth to develop, promote, and sell locally relevant mobile apps that solve local issues of sustainable development and provide employment.