Many young people in Nigeria are now involved in technology, one way or the other, but are they effectively engaged in technology careers? I recently met with Njideka Harry, President, Youth For Technology Foundation, who has been working hard to get more youths to embrace careers in technology. Aside from the fact that she spoke passionately about youth involvement in technology, I also asked her if Nigeria is making the right investment in technology. She spoke on this and many more on Tech Trends on Channels Television.
CFA: Is Nigeria making the right investment in technology?
Njideka: Well, that is a really broad question. I think our investment in technology; really need to be focused on the people. What technology is being built, or, being innovated around, is structure conserved and for me, that is, really, young people because, young people are not just the future, they are actually today. They are powerful creators of ICT solutions, of course and they have a long cycles, long projections, so, bringing young people to the center of any technology, of course, is critical.
The investment in technology needs to be focused on young people, as being co-creators of that technology, which is being designed and developed to benefit the world at large.
CFA: What do you think Nigeria can learn from countries that have achieved a lot with technology?
Njideka: Nigeria has a great start in the technology market, with about 18 million, or so, in ICT investments over the years, I might think we are making some good progress in the field and in the landscape in general, but I think technology is not just for technology’s sake. It is a means to an end, so, being really able to identify the skill gap and being able to equip young people, especially, with the tools that they need, to be able to use, not just the technology, but actually create the technology, is critical.
I think our investments, really, should be focused more so on the education sector and the education sector not just working single-handedly, but really working in partnership with the private sector, as well as well as civil society, to ensure that the best education and the best skills are both brought to bear as it relates to young people and technology.
You can watch the full interview here