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CITAD presents policy brief on youth, peace building and entrepreneurship.

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CITAD charts a way forward for Nigerian Youth by Hamza Ibrahim, Media Officer, CITAD

The Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has formally presented a policy brief entitled ‘’Beyond Winning the Minds: Youth, Peace Building and Entrepreneurship. The brief presentation which took place on Wednesday 10th February 2016 at the American Corner, Murtala Muhammed Library Kano has addressed critical issues regarding youth, peace building and entrepreneurship. It recommended that the government, civil society groups and development partners, philanthropies and foundations take certain actions thereby positively engaging the youth in order to prevent their vulnerability to social vices which hamper societal progress.

Youth are arguably the bedrock of any society, their optimum utilization yields effective and lasting developmental outcomes while neglecting them invites and exposes them to all kinds of problems which normally leads to underdevelopment, too much burden on the governments, unemployment, recruitment base for thuggery, robbery and insurgency. These and other numerous challenges are the reasons why the youth demand a considerable attention from especially our governments, foundations/philanthropies and civil society organizations.

In her presentation entitled ‘’Beyond Winning The Minds: Youth, Peace Building and Entrepreneurship’’, Aisha Ahmad Is’haq of CITAD observed that the budgetary allocation to youth from 2013 to 2015 kept decreasing despite the growing number of youth in the country, this she said shows lack of commitment to the youth and therefore renders them to unwanted acts. However, the youth from their side need to understand that they don’t need to wait for the government to come to their rescue but should instead be as productive and entrepreneurial minded so that the society will be proud of them.

Peace is the driving force of all progress and development, therefore the youth and everyone in the society needs to shun all acts capable of tempering the existence of peace. And the youth normally suffer greatly the consequences of conflicts, the Boko Haram insurgency has claimed thousands of lives of youth which should have been in many sectors of the economy performing various important tasks. Therefore, as youth we should be mindful of the importance of peace in our lives and the role it plays in shaping our lives as well.

Entrepreneurship is also another critical area which youth need to massively venture into because there are unlimited chances and benefits, the government itself functions well with manufacturing industries, textiles, private companies, small scale businesses, agriculture which all are products of sound ideas developed by youth. And now there are many foundations, governments and individuals who are willing to offer take-up and support to youth with sound entrepreneurial ideas.

Aisha Ahmad concluded with appealed to governments at various levels to provide adequate budgetary allocation to education, health, agriculture and youth-related programmes, in particular, meeting the UNESCO, WHO and Moputo Declaration Benchmark, mainstream youth participation in governance including at both executive and legislative wings and also mainstream peace building as component of youth development programmes as well as mainstream entrepreneurship in peace building programme of government.

The Policy Brief presentation session was attended by United Action for Democracy (UAD), Northwest University Young Enterpreneurs Club (NUYEC), Mass Movement for Societal Development (MMSD), Mufarka Youth Association, Youth Mobilization Via Media, Center for Young Peoples Advancement and Community Development (CYPAC), Kano Youth Coalition for Advocacy and Development (KAYCAD), Youth Society for the Prevention of Infectious Diseases and Social Vices (YOSPIS), students from BUK, FUK, SRCOE, FCE Kano, ABU Zaria, Kano Poly and the media (Blueprint Newspaper, Peoples Daily Newspaper, Freedom Radio, Express Radio, Rahama Radio, Cool/Wazobia FM).

 

’Beyond Winning the Minds: Youth, Peace Building and Entrepreneurship is produced as part of the Peace Campaign that CITAD has implementing with support from MacArthur Foundation. This brings the number of policy briefs produced under the project by CITAD to four. Others include one on cattle rustling, one the Plight of IDPs in the Northeast, while the fourth is on the Government Strategy for ending the insurgency.

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REPORT ON THE STATE LEVEL PRESENTATION OF THE RESEARCH REPORT ON THE STATE OF EDUCATION IN THE NORTHEAST

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Background

The reconstruction of North east requires a multifaceted approach taking into consideration the various sectors. One of the sectors that require immediate attention is education. Schools have been destroyed as a result of which many children are out of school. Teachers have been killed while populations have suffered dislocations that have disrupted the educational pursuits of their children and young people. Insecurity has made parents to be reluctant to allow their children to return schools that appear to not be secured. All these have combined to make education in the region to be in a perilous state. Given that the region was already lagging behind and in fact this was one of the causative factors for the wide recruitment base of the insurgents, the challenges of restoration of the education sector in the North east are enormous.

Kick starting these restoration efforts will be most effective when there is clear understanding of the state of the sector as it exists now. This is why the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) with support from USAID commissioned a Baseline Research on the State of the Education in the Northeast. The objective of the research was to document the current state of education in the region through the gathering and analysis of empirical data that will facilitate a better understanding of both the development challenges of the region as well as the core issues of social accountability that are implicated in the poor state of education in the region.

The research covered the all the six states of the region and examined the situation in the last five years to the present, focusing on primary and secondary sub-sectors.  The draft reports are now ready.  To engage stakeholders over the reports, CITAD has conducted presentation of the individual reports in the respective states between 23rd and 27th November, 2015, where all major stakeholders including representatives from state education ministry, committee house of education from the state assembly, SUBEB, P.T.A., NUT, NLC, CSOs, etc. were in attendance. The major objective of the state level presentation was to allow the stakeholders validate the findings and provide more inputs that can help the researchers improve the quality of the report ahead of the grand zonal presentation of the reports of the all six states scheduled to hold on the 16th of December, 2015 in Abuja.


Some of the common recommendations found in all the states include: 

 

* The need for state governments to increase budget allocation to education sector to meet the recommended 26%

 

* The need to recruit qualified teachers, and provide incentive for rural posting 

 

* The need for CSOs to improve public awareness to increase enrollment level

 

* The need for CSOs and general public to do more in the area of budget tracking and project monitoring  

 

Outcomes

 

* Some of the CSOs that participated have indicated interest in becoming cluster members to contribute to the success of the project

 

* The MD Globe FM in Bauchi has invited CITAD to have one hour radio discussion on the project free of charge, and promised to partner with CITAD in the area of public awareness for the success of the project

 

Commitment 

 

* Chairman House Committee on Education of the Yobe state house of Assembly promised said the report came at a right time and they will not waste time in implementing the recommendations. 

 

*Most of the stakeholders, especially from the side of the policymakers received the report as a wakeup call to act more seriously

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REPORT OF ONE-DAY NORTH WEST INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM BY CITAD/NIGF

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INTRODUCTION

The need to govern the Net is increasingly becoming a necessity which brings about the now emerging global and local concerted efforts by cyber stakeholders to properly govern the web. Therefore, the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), a nonprofit organization in conjunction with the Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (NIGF) held the first ever Internet Governance Forum ((IGF) in the North West geopolitical zone in Kano on Tuesday, November 3, 2015.

The event which took place at the Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Research and Training had as participants various stakeholders in internet governance including internet regulators, academics, cyber enthusiasts as well as members of the civil society and the media.

 

OPENING REMARKS

In his opening remarks, YZ Yau, the Executive Director of the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) said the idea behind the forum was to create awareness as well build the capacity of citizens in the area of Internet governance. He described the internet as now a critical resource which hosts some of the most important services for our growth and development, hence the need to properly govern it.

 

PAPER 1: UNDERSTANDING INTERNET GOVERNANCE

While Delivering the paper Understanding Internet Governance, Dr Bashir Galadanchi of the Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, Bayero University, Kano defined internet governance as "the development and application by governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programs that shape the evolution and use of the Internet.”

He added that our lives today are more or less, dependent on the Internet infrastructure since communication networks, entertainment channels, financial transactions and most importantly free access to information depends on the internet.

Dr Galadanchi said everyone could contribute by finding out what’s at stake in terms of government policies and joining in on the debate. He described the internet as the most important infrastructure today, which is not only being used for countless day to day activities but also which plays an influential role in the evolution of our society, therefore urged citizens to speak up and participate in  internet governance discussions.

 

PAPER 2: NATIONAL AND WEST AFRICAN REGIONAL PERSPECTIVES ON INTERNET GOVERNANCE

In her paper titled National and West African Regional Perspectives on Internet Governance, Mrs Mary Uduma, chairperson, Nigeria Internet Governance Forum said whereas the dialogue on Internet Governance in Africa had been on since 2002, it was until 2012 that the first multi-stakeholder meeting on Internet Governance issues called Africa IGF (AfIGF) began.

She said the IG process started in Nigeria in 2006 and it was spearheaded by the government adding that the Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (NIGF) was reconvened as a multi-stakeholder initiative in 2012.

She explained that the Nigeria Internet Governance Forum was driven by a group of individuals representing various institutions and sectors under the name Local Multistakeholder Advisory Group (LMAG) adding that the NIGF, as a multi-stakeholder entity, amongst others, consisted of various stakeholders including NCC, NITDA, and NIRA, whose collaboration, she said, was fully endorsed by the government through the Ministry of Communication Technology (FMCT)

She said the theme for Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (NIGF) in 2015 was Harnessing the Potentials of Internet Governance for Sustainable Development in Nigeria adding that the contributions and input from the forums were presented to the government and other policy making organisations – to help ensure that the recommendations made were considered and possibly implemented.

Uduma said outcomes of such forums were usually also sent to the Global and African IGF secretariat which she said gives them “a clearer picture of the happenings within the Nigerian IG system.”

 

PAPER 3: INTERNET GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA: NIGERIAN COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION’S PERSPECTIVE

In his presentation, Internet Governance in Nigeria: Nigerian Communications Commission’s Perspective by Prof UG Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) described Internet Governance as Development and application of Shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programs By Government, Private sector, Civil Society, Academia, etc. that shape the evolution and the use of the Internet.

He gave a brief background of the efforts by cyber stakeholders in Nigeria in organizing the annual Internet Governance Forums (IGFs) in Nigeria beginning from the first ever NIGF hosted jointly by MCT, NCC, NITDA, and NiRA, among other stakeholders held in Abuja (2012) under the theme: Internet Governance for Sustainable Human, Economic and Social Development.

Prof Danbatta spoke on the benefits of the child online policies and advocacy which he said promotes and provides strategies for protection of vulnerable audiences; creates awareness on benefits and dangers of internet use as well as facilitates improved consumer online experience.

PAPER 5: GOVERNMENT PERSPECTIVES ON INTERNET GOVERNANCE

Delivering the paper Government Perspectives on Internet Governance, Emmanuel Edet, who represented the Director General of the Nigeria Information Technology and Development Agency (NITDA) at the Forum said the primary function of any government was to ensure the safety and security of its citizens as well as provide the foundation for economic growth and comfort after meeting their basic necessities of life adding that the interest of the government in the Internet Governance space was not different from this.

He said the stability of the internet was a paramount consideration of the government adding that they recognized that the Internet was now a critical resource which hosts some of the most important services for Nigeria’s growth and development as a country.

He stated that security and privacy are issues which were critical in the use of the internet adding that this must be given adequate and serious consideration since both groups and nations were using cyberspace as the new realm for crimes, terrorism and warfare.

Among others, Edet identified as the way forward the need to encourage the Nigerian technical and academic community to participate in the international intergovernmental organization that set technical standards for the internet; the need to support innovations on the internet through schemes like the Incubation Centres and Demo Africa Projects of NITDA as well as the need to promote access to the internet through encouraging development of infrastructure and considerable reduction in the cost of access to the internet.

 

PAPER 5: SECURING YOUR DATA & PRIVACY ON THE NET

In his presentation, Reverend Sunday Folayan, said in the past, security threats spread relatively slowly and were easy to pinpoint, eradicate as well as contain but now with the “Internet of Everything”, threats have reached unparalleled level of complexity.

He said therefore said data security and privacy on the net must not be ignored adding that protection of information must be top priority for individuals, organizations and the government.  He explained that high profile incidents had exposed vulnerabilities in government, educational facilities and corporate organizations.

Like other countries of the world, he said Nigeria also had “The Cybercrime Act 2015” to protect its citizens and address some of the cybercrime issues adding that security data protection and information security should be a priority.  He then urged businesses to overcome data and privacy hurdles and companies to address crucial issues around ownership to be able to capitalize on the benefits of a connected future.




RECOMMENDATIONS/CLOSING REMARKS

At the end of the Forum, the floor was made open to participants who asked various questions as well as made observations, comments and recommendations which were contained in a communiqué of the Forum. In his closing remarks, Executive Director of CITAD, Mr YZ Yau thanked all participants at the forum for their active participation and assured them that their various recommendations would a be taken to the forthcoming global internet governance forum scheduled for 10th  to 14th November in Brazil.

 

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COMMUNIQUE OF ONE-DAY NORTH WEST ZONAL INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM

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Preamble

The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) in conjunction with the Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (NIGF) hosted a one-day Internet Governance Forum (IGF) for the North West geopolitical zone at the Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Research and Training (AKCRT) Kano. The event which held on November 3, 2015 had in attendance various stakeholders in internet governance including regulators, government representatives, academics, the civil society and the media.

Some of the papers presented at the Forum included Understanding Internet Governance by Dr Bashir Galadanchi, Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, Bayero University, Kano; National and West African Regional Perspectives on Internet Governance by Mrs Mary Uduma, chairperson, Nigeria Internet Governance Forum as well as  Data Protection and Privacy Online: the Perspectives of a Regulator by Prof UG Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission; as well as Securing Your Data and Privacy on the Net by Mr Sunday Folayan and Government Perspectives on Internet Governance  by Mr. Peter Jack, Director General, NITDA, Abuja

In the sense that it goes beyond borders, for affordable ICT, there is going to be a global internet governance forum in Brazil, in 10 days’ time, Forum will look at producing resolutions that will be presented by Nigeria’s delegation at the global internet governance forum as the country’s stand

 

Observations

The following observations were made at the Forum;

  • All governments have a role and responsibility to partake in international internet governance and to ensure the stability, security and continuity of the internet

  • National governments also have a responsibility to develop public policies in consultation with all stakeholders.

  • Within their borders, national governments can enforce internet related policies such as prohibiting online gambling, protecting intellectual property, or blocking/filtering access to certain content.

  • Airlines, container ships, power grids, telecommunication networks, governance, military action are all becoming increasingly dependent on a stable, secure and open global Internet

  • The Internet is now a critical resource which hosts some of the most important services for our growth and development

  • Our communication networks, entertainment channels, financial transactions and most importantly free access to information depend on the internet.

  • The Internet is considered the most important infrastructure today, it is not only being used for countless day-to-day activities, we depend on it, and it plays an influential role in the evolution of our society

  • The internet is both a technological advancement with much promise and a challenge that must be handled with great care by national governments

  • Some countries have put in place laws to protect their citizens’ data and privacy while some countries are still  in the process of putting finishing touches to theirs

  • The North West Zone Internet Governance Forum is the first ever Forum on Internet governance as a platform for learning and cultural expression

  • Internet governance is becoming increasingly important for all stakeholders involved, we need inclusive platform for everybody,

  • Internet has a very huge influence over national security and economy of countries in the world therefore it needs to be handle with great care

  • African’s participation in global internet governance forums is less than 10%

  • Africa’s voice need to be heard in global internet governance forums

  • There is a lack of awareness on how to actively participate in internet governance forums by internet users

  • It is difficult to develop internet governance forums because of the complexity of the internet in the sense that different societies and governments have different views about the internet  due to conflicts of the interests

  • Everyone can join the internet governance debate by finding out what is going on regarding internet governance

  • Internet and internet governance is an ever evolving phenomenon in the world

  • Groups and nations are using cyberspace as the new realm for crimes, terrorism and warfare

 

Recommendations

The following recommendations were made at the Forum;

  • There is need for more awareness so people can understand why they should be involved in the dialogue on internet governance

  • There is need for ICT training institutes to include in their curricula, internet security, beyond teaching ICT tools and skills

  • There is need for everyone to leverage on ICT opportunities for development      

  • There is need for the internet to be regulated

  • There is need for standard and networks that will allow for accessibility between different networks

  • -  All governments have responsibility to develop internet-related policies in   partnership with all internet stakeholders and internet users

        - There is need for internet governance policies to also include consumer protection policies for internet users like internet shoppers

       -  Africa should not just attend internet governance forums rather should be active participants in global internet forums

- Security and privacy are issues which are critical in the use of the Internet and therefore must be given adequate and serious consideration

- There is need for child protection policy and advocacy online against internet-based vices like pornography, abuse, suicide and terrorism

- The internet should be regulated to be in accordance with our cultural values and traditions

- There is need for a deliberate policy or mechanism (or review of related existing ones) that will specifically focus on protection of citizens’ data and privacy

- There is need for an inter-agency multi-stakeholder working group that will ensure various views and opinions are taken into consideration in the development of the necessary framework for data protection

- Data aggregation and harmonization should be ensured and the process of harmonization should clearly define what is considered a personal data

 - There is need the review and passage of internet governance instruments like the National Information Technology Policy and the National Data Protection Bill

 - The technical and academic community needs to be encouraged to participate in international intergovernmental organization that set technical standards for the Internet

- There is need to support innovations on the internet through schemes like the Incubation Centers and Demo Africa Projects of the National Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA)

- There is need to promote access to the Internet through encouraging development of infrastructure and considerable reduction in the cost of access to the Internet

- There is need to encourage the provision of local content through Public Private Partnerships in application developments

- There is need to continue to encourage participation in international, regional and national discussions on Internet governance while encouraging all actors to develop their capacities

-  There is need for capacity development in the area of Internet Governance for the citizens

- There is need for the telecommunication regulator; Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to do something about the high cost of bandwidth to enable everyone have access to the net

 

-  There is need for development grants to be made available for civil society organizations to partake in sensitization campaigns and capacity building on internet governance among Nigerian citizens

 

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CITAD LAUNCHES A NEW OFFICE /COMPUTER TRAINING CENTRE IN JAMA’ARE LGA OF BAUCHI STATE

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Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD)'s photo.Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD)'s photo.Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD)'s photo.

 

 

By Sufyan Lawal Kabo

 

On 17th October 2015, the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) launched a new office in Jama’are LGA of Bauchi State bringing the number of CITAD offices to five: Kano (Headquarters), Dutse, Bauchi, Azare and Jama’are, with focal offices in Katsina and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The office, which housed a computer training centre is located at Jama’are LGA Secretariat, Adamami road, Jama’are LGA, Bauchi State

The opening ceremony was held at the premises of the new office. It was attended by large number of guests of different categories ranging from students, civil servants, academicians, business men, religious clerics and traditional rulers. Notable among the dignitaries invited were:

+ Member, House of Representative, Jama’are/Itas Gadau Constituency, Hon Isa Hassan Muhammad, Tafidan Jama’are,

+ The Emir of Jama’are HRH Alhaji Ahmad Muhammad Wabi III and other title holders

+ Member, State House of Rep, Alhaji Magaji Isa, Zannan Jama’are

+ The Acting Chairman, Jama’are LGA, Alhaji Muhammad Danladi Yaba

In his opening remark, CITAD Training Coordinator, Malam Ahmad Abdullahi Yakasai, who represented CITAD Executive Director, Dr. Y.Z. Ya’u explained that the prime objective of establishing the office is to promote the use of ICT and to bridge the wide ICT gap between northern Nigeria and their southern counterparts. He explained that a common analysis report has placed most northern Nigerian states at the bottom list in ICT knowledge in Nigeria. This, he said is a challenge that requires great effort to face, else, the ICT gap connecting the industrialized south and northern part of the country may become even greater in the near future.

He added that “CITAD is addressing the need for ICT knowledge in Nigerian educational system for in this technology-driven age, everyone requires ICT competence to excel in life. I have no doubt that the establishment of the new ICT centre will facilitate learning in educational and entrepreneurial skills especially for the youth in Jama’are LGA and beyond.”  

The overall aim of CITAD as an organization he said is to provide guidelines by both research and practice on how ICT could be deployed in the efforts to promote sustainable development and good governance. CITAD he said, has been carrying out educational programmes such as computer training for various groups such as children, youth, workers, community leaders, community based organizations and professional groups. “…through ICT, we believe that our region could meet with global trend." Yakasai concluded.  

 

In his speech, the Guest of Honour, House member representing Jama’are/Itas Gadau Constituency, Hon Isa Hassan Muhammad, Tafidan Jama’are, represented by Alhaji Magaji Isa, Zannan Jama’are, Member, State House of Rep commended CITAD for establishing a branch office and computer training centre in Jama’are. He described the effort as patriotic and praise worthy. His words: “…Permit me to use this opportunity to call on our people to embrace the use of ICT in our day- to-day activities. ICT has become the bedrock of development, which was why it has been adopted by developed countries around the world. I call on traditional rulers to mobilize people on this sector. Even as ICT faces many difficulties in northern Nigeria, there is no reason why we cannot overcome it provided it receives the needed shore up it deserves from all stakeholders”

The Emir of Jama’are HRH Alhaji Ahmad Muhammad Wabi III being represented by the Walin Jama’are HH Alhaji Abubakar Muhammad spoke last. His speech began by thanking CITAD on behalf of the entire of people of Jama’are LGA for the big achievement it brought to their community. He explained that the importance of ICT nowadays has become a necessity as it is now in everything we do especially as the internet has made the world flat by providing easy access to information. He further stated that “…Students with ICT knowledge would assist to develop the nation, making use of their experience and advancement in technology. In developed countries, education and businesses have been greatly influenced by ICT and emulating this culture will surely make us to follow suite.

To bridge the wide ICT knowledge gap between the north and the south, the Emir called on northern Nigerian governors to make Information and Communications Technology (ICT) a compulsory study across primary and secondary schools and as well provide them with necessary ICT facilities and other assistance.  

Concluding his speech, the Emir made a comment which attracted big cheers and applause from the crowd: “…To launch this centre, I will be among the first batch of students to enroll for the computer training in order to call the attention of my people on the importance of ICT!”

Goodwill messages were made by other dignitaries during the occasion

Toward ending the occasion, the invited guests were taken round the building to inspect the offices, training labs and facilities. In the course, an educational movie titled Fasahar Sadarwa Don Yara (ICT4Kids) was projected for them to watch and copies of the film were distributed to them. The film was focused to provide education on ICTs for children using illustrations that spark the quest for learning ICT skills.

 

 

 

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