Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in collaboration with the National Youth Council held the 2nd Intergenerational Dialogue Forum at JKUAT Main Campus Juja, Friday June 28, 2019.
The forum that brought together over 400 students, was part of an initiative aimed at tapping the ingenuity of the youth in the country. Dubbed ‘Niko Digital’, the forum focused at championing the numerous ways in which youth can benefit from the digital era we are currently living in; to think ‘globally’ and to build the necessary skills to compete in the global arena.
Principal Secretary, State Department of Youth, Dr. Francis Owino said the forum presented an excellent platform for the youth to engage in transforming conversation with peers and industry players to define suitable solutions to various challenges facing the country.
While encouraging the youth to take advantage of the technological ecosystem, the PS, in a speech read by the Secretary Youth Affairs, State Department of Youth, Mr. Raymond Ochieng, informed the congregation that the State Department of Youth was at an advanced stage of reviewing the national youth policy to harness and optimize the strengths and opportunity presented by technology and globalization.
“A lot of what we do today is driven by technology. In light of this, the state department of youth is in the process of establishing youth empowerment centers to expand ICT infrastructure across all counties and enhance the access to ICT services and opportunities for the youth,” said Dr. Owino.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Ngumi acknowledged that understanding the youth and technology can seem overwhelming, however she noted that JKUAT has been in the forefront in taping into the ingenuity of the youth. She cited the JKUAT Tech Expo as one of the platforms the University has utilised to empower the youth.
“The annual JKUAT Tech Expo, pegged on Kenya Vision 2030, acknowledges the critical role of technology and innovation in the realization of the country’s industrialization agenda, and seeks to encourage and support students’ innovative ideas across the country as a way of nurturing technological innovation, encouraging collaboration and fostering education,” explained Prof. Ngumi.
She further advised the students to make good use of technology saying advancement in technology has not only delivered much positivity but also presented unprecedented risks as evidenced by the rising cybercrime incidences and negative use of social media, especially by the youth.
“As you network during the forum, I urge you to be conscious of the fact that so much positive change can come from harnessing innovation and technology through imagination. Technology can open your minds, demonstrate to you the power of what you can achieve to impact society positively,” counselled Prof. Ngumi.
Her remarks were read by the Principal, College of Pure and Applied Sciences, Prof. David Mulati.
National Youth Council, Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Roy Sasaka Telewa, echoing the words of the PS, said the forum was designed to give the youth a platform to interact and create strategic networks with industry players illuminating their path towards entrepreneurship, innovation and self-reliance.
Jomo Kenyatta University Students Association, Chairman, Clinton Osoro speaking on behalf of the students, urged the government and the industry to involve the youth in policy development and implementation and provide an enabling environment to leverage on technology.
The forum also had two panel sessions on technology and globalization; and youth and health. The panel session were geared towards highlighting ways in which youth can benefit from globalization and technology to create profitable ventures, encourage positive use of social media and promote wellness among the youth.