Brief

UNESCO-YOUTH-MIL

“Carried with the support of UNESCO”

Background Document on Building MIL capacity for membership-based, youth-led organisations in Nigeria

In the last decade, the rapid development of new communication technologies has created unprecedented opportunities for media and information users around the world.

Digital media has significantly facilitated access to information, allowing a wider range of individuals around the world, including in Nigeria to not only consume news at a faster pace but also produce news at the same speed.

Given the current political context and the evolution of the global media landscape, Nigeria is a fascinating place to look at when it comes to media and information and its impact on young people. For example, the country has one of the highest rates of mobile telephony penetration in the world and with more than half the population under the age of 30, this leaves us with one main question: how do Nigerian youth use media and information and how equipped are they as both producers and consumers of information and media in this highly mediated yet new environment?

Problem statement/Project rationale

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While it is true that young people in Nigeria consume media and information (one way or another) on a daily basis, there are hardly any programmes that will help them understand the impact of media and information on their lives the way media and information literacy seeks to do.

Youth, based on their own experience, are the ones who can speak more convincingly and persuasively about how their rights are being fulfilled or not, communicate these to the other young people and adults, and propose and demand solutions.

In a multicultural context like Nigeria, where a generation of young people from different backgrounds and cultures interacts, it is vital that:

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Taking into consideration the significant role mass media play in the development of young people around the world, AFRICMIL has sought to promote the value of media and information literacy in membership-based youth-led organisations in Nigeria.

Aim of the project:

  • This project will focus on giving Nigerian youth and their organisations a set of critical skills – comprehension, analysis, evaluation and production.
  • Help youth appreciate information and media messages
  • Use media and information to their own advantage and bring about the required change in their environment
  • Give voice to youth and their organisations
  • Enrich their perspectives
  • Promote their rights and enhance their activities in different areas of youth engagement: (democracy, environment, religion, sports, education, literacy, gender, human rights, inter-cultural dialogue, etc.).

Project highlight

The project entails holding a two-day workshop in Abuja, Nigeria, for two (2) representatives – with an eye on gender balance – of fifteen (15) membership-based youth-led organisations. There will be an emphasis on the participation of the leadership of each organisation.

Two participants are expected to come from ten (5) youth-led organisations in Abuja while two each will come from ten (10) youth-led organisations in the North-central geo-political zone of Nigeria.

The workshop will encourage these youth leaders to become critical, thoughtful, informed, engaged and empowered citizens.

It will provide a space for informal learning, innovation and creativity; stimulate networking, debate and discussion; bridge the gap between the media, information and young people; offer an arena for experiencing diversity and intercultural dialogue; and enhance the ability of participants and their organisations to participate in the opinion-making and decision-making processes in their community by understanding the power of information and the media.                                  

Project output:

By the end of the workshop:

  1. Approximately 30 youth leaders with equal percentages of male and female are trained with leadership, social communication and MIL abilities needed to promote and defend their rights and enhance active participation in society, thus increasing community awareness, respect and commitment to youth issues.
  2. Youth and their organisations will be able to develop strategies to apply MIL in their projects and daily activities to promote their work in different fields and contribute to national development.
  3. Involve youth and their organisations from local communities in exchanging experiences and promoting advocacy and social mobilization.
  4. Train youth and their organisations in MIL skills so that they can also train members of their organisations and other youth.

Long term goal:

The long term goal of the project is to work towards the inclusion of MIL in the design and implementation of youth activities and programmes across the country as a way of institutionalising the understanding and appreciation of the impact of media and information on youth as well as promoting youth voices and programmes.

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