Gender Gender

ICT empowering youths

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Children’s Corner with PANIC CHILUFYA
ON MONDAY, Youth Day was celebrated under the theme: ‘Leveraging opportunities for young people through ICT’; a befitting theme given the positive role that technology can play especially amongst young people if it is used responsibly.
The use of information communications technology empowers young people in different ways, especially that most young people, whether from rural or urban areas, now have access to the most basic form of technology like the internet on a mobile phone.
The use of technology affords young people an opportunity to be creative, adaptable and innovative; giving them a greater chance to benefit from its rapid growth.
For example, by using ICTs, young people are able to connect with each other to create awareness on issues that affect them like HIV and AIDS, poverty, sexual reproductive and health rights, governance, human rights and employment, to mention but a few. ICTs have the ability to improve their quality of life and that of their families.
As young people commemorate this important day on their calendar, they should put aside their different political beliefs by uniting for a common purpose; to speak with one voice instead of politicking. Unfortunately, the day was without incident with some reported clashes in Eastern Province. Young people should appreciate the role they play, and for any meaningful development to take place, it is imperative for them to work together for the common good. Although young people are usually referred to as leaders of tomorrow, they are actually today’s partners as agents of positive and social change. I in Zambia like in other countries, young people comprise of more than 50 percent of any population; they represent a very important constituency.
Youths should refuse to be used as tools for political violence and other vices; but by working together through the use of ICTs, they are capable of overcoming various challenges that affect them, such as the lack of employment opportunities and education. These challenges are not selective because they affect all young people regardless of political affiliation.
By leveraging opportunities through ICTs, youths should take advantage to engage Government and different stakeholders to assist them find solutions to the challenges they are currently experiencing instead of fighting and hurting each other.
It is time for young people to refuse to be used but to join hands with each other if they are to develop into responsible adults by taking advantage of the positive role that ICTs play in education and empowerment, whether in the formal or informal sector.
Going by the theme, it is time that young people learnt to use ICTs responsibly to leverage opportunities instead of misusing ICTs to insult others as what seems to be the norm these days or for activities that go against social and religious norms. If used properly, ICTs have more advantages than disadvantages as a gateway in their search for better opportunities.
Remember, children are our future. Until next week, take care.
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