In a determined effort to develop the continent, United States (U.S.) Consulate has embarked on the development of African countries through a Techcamp reconnect programme in Lagos with 46 participants selected from 15 countries across the continent.
The three-day programme, which started on Wednesday, had Russell Brooks, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Consulate, giving an opening remark in which he stated that the essence of the programme was to assist the young participants contribute to the development of African continent.
Russell also stated that the importance of the programme was to help African countries in their quest for development.
He pointed out that some of their issues with good governance and credibility would be sorted with the help of capacity-building of the young people, adding that they had trainers from all over the world.
He stated that their desire was to help young people tackle some of their very serious problems.
Russell said: “Our idea of this programme is to discover participants’ best practices, share ideas and help them to network and from there, we hope that they would create some solutions. We are hoping that with the level of the idea, we can help them. The idea of bringing them together is not for them to come back to us to seek financial support but for them to network and find private means of financial assistance. We would offer them platforms that would help them develop their ideas and be able to get financial support. We want to get them the skills, the knowledge, and the confidence to be able to approach any of the sources to get the aids that they may need,” he said.
The Public Affairs officer noted that the U.S. Consulate was pleased to host the YALI TechCamp Reconnect Workshop, which aims to accelerate the development of innovative technology solutions and digital strategies for strengthening democratic governance, transparency and citizen engagement.
Explaining their role as support agent, he said that they were extremely impressed with the fact that the Tech Camp has brought together 46 participants from 15 countries. It was especially gratifying that what had brought them to Lagos was the desire to advance good governance and accountability on the African continent and in providing support for this initiative, the U.S. government had demonstrated its belief that real solutions to African problems can best be developed by Africans.
A participant, Chansa Tembo from Zambia, who said that Africans could use social media to improve governance, added that it was important for young Africans to make use of social media positively. He warned that if Africans were not prepared, then their future as Africans would be determined by other powers or countries.