• Friday, May 24, 2024
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Insecurity, media pose threat to youth development in Nigerian economy – experts

We are the leaders of tomorrow: Call for a generational shift

Over 60 percent of Africa’s population is under the age of 25, making Africa the youngest continent, and by 2050, the continent’s population is expected to double, these populations face insecurity, media, and other threats in their daily lives.

Akintunde Oyebode, commissioner of finance and economic development, Ekiti state said apart from insecurity, other challenges faced by youths include kidnapping, privacy, and drug problems.

“Apart from state capacity that puts the laws of the land in check, you tend to find insecurity where there is an absence of fairness, consequences, and justice,” he said.

According to Oyebode, in the absence of consequences, criminal cases just increase with young people going into illegal activities.

He made this known during the panel discussion on ‘Securing the Future: Youth Power, Culture & The Creative Economy,’ at the Africa soft power event supported by the Ford Foundation, the African women’s board, and the Open Society Foundation, held at The Wheatbaker Hotel, Lagos.

“The government puts things in place, yet people still go against the structure, institutions, and law governing them,” said Seun Fakorede, commissioner of youth and sports, Oyo State.

The panellist also discussed how the government can engage young people when it comes to security issues, Oyebode said adding more young people into leadership positions as well as eradicating several barriers can hinder their participation. For instance, the issue of age barrier removal is a major step toward inclusion.

Njideka Agbo, CEO/Founder, Glann Media Consult, one of the panellists said, “If the older generation can admit that the younger generation has ideas that need to be heard, this gives them a chance for inclusion.”

Read also: Booming economy can tame youth’s ‘japa’ syndrome – Dangote

Folashade Anoizie, presenter, creative strategist and lawyer who was the moderator of the panel session said social media is a tool for disruption and a tool for young people to engage and share ideas.

“One of the greatest benefits of social media is the access it gives to young people to be able to learn and leverage different voices offering a wider community,” said Adaora Ikenze, director of public policy for Anglophone West Africa, Meta,

“The level of digital illiteracy in this country is outstanding, it is not enough that people have phones, however, people are fundamentally illiterate about using technology, how technology impacts their lives, and the responsibilities that come with it, this pose as the biggest problem.”

“There is a lack of critical analysis, there is a lack of real journalistic integrity, and there is a lack of skill in translating the message, however, if you can’t express yourself clearly and authentically in 200 characters then you can’t do it in 20,000,” she said.

Responding to how the media can foster engagement between the government and the people, Fakorede said the media should start by telling stories exactly the way they ought to be told without misinterpreting them.