The Future of our Youth at Stake-Chido Onuma

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Being the welcome Address by Chido Onumah, Coordinator, African Centre for Media & Information Literacy, International Youth Day, August 8, 2012


On the occasion of the 2012 International Youth Day, (IYD) I bring you warm felicitations from the African Centre for Media & Information Literacy. We are here today to celebrate young people and the contribution they make to national development.  We are also here to reflect on our responsibility as a nation towards our youth.

International Youth Day is celebrated on August 12 each year to recognise the efforts of the world’s youth in enhancing global society. In 1998, a resolution proclaiming August 12 as International Youth Day was adopted during the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth. The recommendation was later endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 1999. International Youth Day was first observed in 2000.

The IYD seeks to promote ways to engage youth in becoming more actively involved in making positive contribution to their society and setting a policy framework and guidelines for national action and international support to improve the situation of young people all over the world. As an organisation, we are happy to be part of this global process that seeks to validate young people as the greatest resource of any nation. The African Centre for Media & Information Literacy started the International Youth Lecture series last year as part of its advocacy project with the aim of creating an opportunity for Nigerian youth to express themselves and interact with policy makers as well as promote the contribution of young people to national development. We believe our youth need to be seen and heard. Last year’s lecture was delivered by Senator Babafemi Ojudu, who spoke on “Social Media and the African Youth: Agenda for the 21st Century”.

This year we have an eminent legal scholar and social activist in the person of Dr. Sam Amadi who is also the chairman and CEO of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) who will speak on “Nigerian Youth & the Challenges of Nation building”. We have chosen this topic because as we all can see, our dear nation is at the crossroads. And as young people, I believe you have a greater stake in ensuring that we overcome our problems as a nation and quickly too because it is your future that is at stake. We hope that the guest speaker will do justice to the topic and that the discussion here will rouse us all to begin to think and take action about the Nigerian situation.

I would like to thank all those who supported this process. None of this would have been possible without you. We are most grateful to everyone who is here today. Thank you all for your participation.

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