By Abuchi Onwumelu
Participants at a programme to mark this year’s International Youth Day celebration have recommended ICT driven approach to tackle challenges in key sectors to evolve a sustainable, oriented economy.
They advocated for effective youth engagement, education and innovation in agriculture, health and business sectors, to drive the nation into global best practices.
Speaking during the occasion held at Hollywood Event Centre, Awka, the State Commissioner for Youth Empowerment and Creative Economy, Prof Theresa Obiekezie, said meaningful participation of young people was needed to achieve the desired results.
She described the theme for this year’s celebration, “Transforming Food Systems: Youth innovations for human and planetary health”, as apt and aimed at highlighting successes recorded.
‘Through youth engagement and entrepreneurial solutions, we could have a transformed food system that will improve the health of Ndi Anambra and the climate positively.
‘This is one of the reasons why we are here today to enlighten the youth and stir up their innovative and entrepreneurial spirit in tackling this problem,’ Prof Obiekezie said.
She added that the state government had initiated several intervention programmes to ensure youths were inclusive in the transforming of food system in the areas of agricultural products supply and sources of credit facilities.
Some of the guest speakers who spoke on the theme for the celebration, including Prof Cordelia Ebenebe, Dr Chioma Ajator and Dr Ikechukwu Umeh, underscored the importance of youth inclusiveness through new ideas and technologies to transform businesses and food value chain.
They reasoned that in transforming the nation’s food system, youths must be engaged in entrepreneurial activities, rural employment, essential technical trainings for young farmers to boost food production and related support enablers.
Earlier in her remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Louisa Ezeanya, called on youths to channel their mindset to agriculture as a veritable means of lifting themselves out of poverty, joblessness and hunger.
She urged youths to never allow pride and negative mindset deprive them of abundant opportunities existing in the business and agricultural sectors of the economy to earn a decent living.
One of the highlights of the event was a panel discussion on the roadmap to successful business ventures which featured Messrs Obinna Nwakpadolu, Ifeanyi Aniagoh (DG, Digital Entrepreneurial Office), Samuel Egwuatu (Chairman, NYCN, Anambra State Chapter) and Omenwa Arinze.