Support and guidance to young people in ICTs cardinal -Annan
From Rosaria Lubumbashi in Geneva
Geneva, May 16/13, ZANIS———–Former United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, has advised world leaders to provide support and guidance to young people, who are the majority users of ICTs, if they are to make positive development contributions.
ZANIS reports from Geneva that Mr Annan was speaking when he addressed one of the plenary sessions of the World Summit on the Information Society.
The purpose of the plenary session dubbed, ‘WSIS Beyond 2015,’ was to review the achievements of WSIS in the last ten years and to chart the way forward in order to accelerate progress towards the world’s information society.
Mr Annan recognised the efforts that young people are making in providing solutions to problems of especially the ICTs.
“Young people have the drive, capacity and skills to affect positive change. They are creative and idealistic. They find solutions to problems and are often not afraid to speak out,” he pointed out.
He, however, noted that such efforts will be meaningful to the expanding access of ICTs among young people if they are encouraged with constructive use of the technology.
He encouraged the participants at the summit to continue providing a platform for young people in order to unlock the promises of ICTs.
The former UN Secretary General also noted that providing more guidance and recommendations for online safety and security to young people will make an enormous contribution to the rest of the world in addressing cyber security.
“And just as important they will know how to use this power responsibly and safely, “Mr Annan said.
And Mr Annan has observed that during the last ten years, the world has witnessed an explosion of mobile telephony and mobile internet.
According to the former UN Secretary General, ICTs have drawn the world closer together, a situation that has allowed the world to communicate with people and communities in all parts of the planet.
“There is no doubt that the world’s information society is now thriving even though it is still in its infancy, “he said.
He further explained that organs such as the WSIS can help to promote investment in skills, infrastructure and develop the right policies and systems for an inclusive information society.
Mr Annan stated that it was important to make ICTs available and expand access to people who are not connected or excluded from the services.
“And we must encourage”, he said, “the development of multi-language, multi-cultural content tailored to meet local needs.”
An hour later Mr Annan launched what he called the ‘Kofi Annan dialogue’.
He explained that the site was intended to use the 21stcentury tools that will enable face-to-face discussions with young people who are committed to making a difference ICTs development.
Zambia’s Information Minister, Kennedy Sakeni, is among the world ministers attending the World Summit on the Information Society taking place in Geneva, Switzerland.
Mr Kofi Annan, a Ghanaian national, was the first black African to be elected to the position of the United Nations Secretary-General.
Mr Annan, the seventh UN Secretary-General, served for two-five-year terms from 1997 to 2006.
And in another development, Electronic Information for Libraries Managing Director, Rima Kupryte, told ZANIS in an interview that although public libraries were considered traditional, there are making a huge difference in people’s lives.
Ms Kupryte added that despite being part of the global village, there are many people who still cannot access ICTs services.
“Libraries play a key role through the provision of high-quality information resources and services to people, “she observed.
Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL), is an international not-for-profit organisation present in more than 60 developing and transitional economic countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.
The organisation, whose motto is ‘knowledge without boundaries’, supports a library’s ICT-based literacy lessons for vulnerable children in Zambia’s Lubuto Township on the Copperbelt province called Lubuto Library Project.
During the official opening of the World Summit on the Information Society on May 13, 2013, ITU awarded EIFL a prize under category, “Capacity Building.”
The award was based on a programme called Public Library Innovation which EIFL showcased to demonstrate how the services of the public libraries are enabling ICTs in the 23 developing and transitional economic countries, Zambia inclusive, in order to help the communities with the various needs.