As part of activities to mark the 2011 International Youth Day, the African Centre for Media & Information Literacy organised a lecture on “Social Media & the African Youth, Agenda for the 21st Century”. Over 150 participants, amongst them students, members of the National Youth Service Corps, representatives of government departments, NGO representatives, members of civil society, and media professionals, attended the event.
The guest speaker at the event was Senator Ojudu who represents Ekiti Central, Ekiti State.Ojudu, a veteran journalist, who was until his election into the Senate, the Group Managing Editor of Independent Communications Network, highlighted the importance of social media and urged the youth to explore the advances in information technology. He noted that young people in Africa could play a major role to wake the continent from slumber and ensure countries realized their full potentials.
Other speakers at the event, including Mr. Oma Djebah, former commissioner for Information in Delta State who discussed “Social Media: Implications for Niger Delta Youth” explored the role of Nigerian youth in the context of recent happenings in the North Africa and the Middle East.
The August 12 events were the culmination of a year-long celebration to highlight the important role youth play in our world and in the life of every nation.
The coordinator of the African Centre for Media & Information Literacy, Mr. Chido Onumah, said thecentre chose to focus on social media because “events around the world have shown that social media can alter the social and political order of nations”. “Nigerian youth”, he noted, “can deploy social media as a ready channel for liberation in a country where citizens still grapple with the guarantee of basic rights”.
Mr. Onumah said Nigeria needed to develop a national strategy on a new vision of youth and media to provide young people with the skills required for effective and responsible use of social media. “To take full advantage of the benefits of social media, we must prioritize the establishment of media clubs in schools as a way to create early awareness of social media”, he added.