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STAND OUT ! “Dare to be different… and live your dream”. ‘Gbenga Sesan Nigeria’s Information Technology Youth Ambassador | Taking IT Global Nigeria Day SUG Auditorium, University of Lagos, Lagos, NIGERIA. September 20, 2003. Just before we discuss….

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“Dare to be different… and live your dream”

‘Gbenga Sesan

Nigeria’s Information Technology Youth Ambassador |

Taking IT Global Nigeria Day

SUG Auditorium, University of Lagos, Lagos, NIGERIA. September 20, 2003


Just before we discuss…

There are two people beside you – one to the right and the other on the left. Take a quick look at both sides and I bet you can’t tell who they’ll be in six years. In six months? Maybe you can tell who’ll be graduating from one institution or the other. But in six years? That will be tough…

What then, makes the difference between the “lucky” guy, or “fortunate” lady, and you?

That’s why we’re here. How can I STAND OUT and make a difference in my generation?



  • Where have the youth been?
  • Deciding for nation building
  • ICTs: Platform for participation
  • What are today’s youth doing?
  • Dare to be dIfFeReNt
  • Call to Action: WSIS Policy Train
  • Conclusion

Where have the youth been?

  • Much attention was not given to youth before now (especially in Nigeria). Youth was almost always trouble or aluta
  • The whole world is beginning to (better) appreciate the place of Youth Empowerment in the development of nations, regions and people-groups
  • Young people are beginning to understand that we must begin to take action now if we want to experience a stable and enjoyable tomorrow
  • If you’re still one of those who want mind their own businesses without much concern about what happens to their nation, you need to pay more attention to this discussion

Deciding for Nation Building

  • Let’s face it, an average young Nigerian cares more about what he gets, over what he gives. “Think not only of what your nation can do for you but what you can do for your nation”
  • Why call barren, a land that produces plenty? This same country has produced the world’s best in diverse fields…
  • Every great nation is a product of deliberate efforts at Nation Building by all classes of people, no matter their age-group, sex or ideological group
  • Building the nation may not begin with an explosion, but with a silent revolution preceded by a personal resolution

ICTs: Platform for Participation

  • ICTs = Convergence of Communications, Computers, Consumer electronics, Content
  • Through ICTs, the borders that seperated countries have melted. Global events are witnessed at the same time regardless of distance or space
  • ICTs provide an opportunity for the “last man” to get connected to every other person
  • ICTs have opened doors of participation in nation building and global relevance to all who decide to get involved. eConferences, eMail, satellite broadcasting, etc, etc
  • Access is the issue, not the absence of a platform

What are today’s youth doing?

Being a member is NOT good enough. Take ACTION…

  • ITU Africa 2001, Johannesburg:98 young people from almost all African countries invited by the ITU through an essay writing competition worked together and set the tone for the African Youth Initiative -
  • WSIS PrepCom 1, Geneva:Less than 10 young people representing different continents warm their way into hearts of delegates and established the Youth Caucus of the WSIS and the YCDO framework –
  • Paradigm Initiative Nigeria:6 young Nigerian graduates who, along with their “primary jobs”, are committed to the empowerment and inclusion of Nigeria’s youth in national development and global participation –

Dare to be dIfFeReNt

  • Have you noticed that those who eventually help in nation building are those who have built a successful life, or at least have discovered what exactly they want to carve out of their lives and existence?
  • “The whole world stands aside for a man who knows where he’s going”
  • “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have” - Thomas Jefferson. Wondering if it’s luck? Ask the likes of Philip Emeagwali, Wole Soyinka, Ben Carson …
  • Personal development prepares you for nation building, and global participation / relevance

Call To Action: WSIS Policy Train

  • The ongoing World Summit on the Information Society involves youth –
  • Nigeria is actively involved in the WSIS process, and the same goes for young Nigerians –
  • Between October 11 and 22 (2003), a Policy Train will bring the WSIS process to three regions in Nigeria – East, West and North (Port Harcourt, Kano and Lagos)
  • To participate:
    • Join the WSIS Youth (Nigeria) Caucus at
    • Send an email to or if you live in any of the 3 cities


“I see a new Nigeria emerging, one that will be built on the labours of ours heroes past, hewn out of the debris of the present waste, and engineered by the strength of tomorrow’s leaders – the youth. These young men and women will adopt IT for the purpose of personal development, nation building, regional cooperation and global participation. They may be unknown today, but in the secrecy of their abode, they master the tools that will change their lives and that of the nation. They’re building the nation’s tomorrow today.”



“Dare to be different… and live your dream”


‘Gbenga Sesan

Nigeria’s Information Technology Youth Ambassador |

Taking IT Global Nigeria Day

SUG Auditorium, University of Lagos, Lagos, NIGERIA. September 20, 2003