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Emerging technologies can propel Africa towards youth empowerment, says NCC

Emerging technologies can propel Africa towards youth empowerment, says NCC
September 18
15:05 2023

The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) says emerging technologies can propel Africa towards youth empowerment.

Umar Danbatta, NCC executive vice-chairman, said this on Monday at the 12th edition of the Africa youth internet governance forum (AfYIGF) which held in Abuja.

The theme of the event was ‘Emerging Technologies: Leveraging Innovation for Sustainable Development and Youth Empowerment’.

The goal of the forum is to serve as a powerful springboard for the next generation.


Danbatta, who was represented by Ibiso Kingsey-George, head of internet and governance at the NCC, said Africa has a growing youth population which presents an opportunity and a challenge. 

He added that harnessing the energy and creativity of Africa’s youth is crucial for the continent’s development. 

“We are in the era of rapid technological growth which is key to unlocking our continent’s untapped potential and transforming Africa’s digital landscape,” he said. 


“Emerging technologies have emerged as a beacon of hope, offering transformative solutions to these issues.

“With their disruptive potential, they offer a range of tools and solutions which have the power to propel Africa towards sustainable development and youth empowerment.

 “Also of high importance is the concept of multi-stakeholderism in Africa’s digital and cyberspace.

“Collaboration between the youth and governments, industries, academia, civil society, is a determinant factor in building a resilient digital ecosystem.


“The continent’s digital future relies heavily on a collective effort to ensure inclusivity, security, and innovation.

“The NCC has long recognised the vital role of our youth in shaping the trajectory of our nation’s technological advancement.

“Through strategic policies and initiatives, we have championed youth empowerment, providing the tools, knowledge, and platform for our young minds to thrive in the digital age.”



Also speaking at the event, Lilian Nalwoga, chair of the Africa Internet governance forum multi advisory group, said despite Africa having a large population of young people, only 28 percent of the continent’s population has access to the internet.

“Our continent is home to very vibrant people with 65 percent of our population being under the age of 25. Despite this vibrancy, we still lag behind when it comes to internet access,” she said.


“We only have 28 percent of the population in Africa having access to the internet. This creates a significant impact on the young people with regards to information access and communication with each other.”

Anja Gengo, associate programme expert at the United Nations secretariat for the internet governance forum (IGF), said working for a more inclusive, accessible and affordable internet means a better future, as better technologies are a proven accelerator of sustainable development.


“From enhancing access to quality education and healthcare, economic growth and gender equality, the internet stands as a vital factor in our collective pursuit of a better world,” she said.

“We need to make sure the current generation of experts and leaders cooperate with the next generation of leaders.


“Dialogue between senior stakeholders and young people is critical for a sustainable future.”


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