The American Consulate is 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, says US Embassy Information Officer, Russell Brooks.
Mr. Brooks who spoke on behalf of the Head of the Consulate, Consul General John Bray, at the commencement of YALI TechCamp Reconnect Workshop on Wednesday at NG-Hub in Lagos, said that the 48 participating YALI alumni are from different African countries – Niger, Ghana, Côte d Ivoire, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, etc.
In his words, “We are extremely impressed with the fact that the Tech Camp has brought together 46 participants from 15 countries.
“It is especially gratifying that what has brought you here is your desire to advance good governance and accountability on the African continent.
“When former U.S. president, Barack Obama, established the Young African Leaders Initiative in 2014, he did so out of the conviction that the future of Africa is largely in the hands of its youth. Your presence here today is a practical demonstration of that conviction.
“In providing support for this initiative, the U.S. government has demonstrated its belief that real solutions to African problems can best be developed by Africans.
“To assist you, the State Department through International Information Programs, or IIP, has assembled a team of highly qualified trainers and experts who will help to bring out the best in you. These trainers have extensive experience from previous TechCamps held in Europe, Asia and in Africa. I understand that among these trainers and experts are some very accomplished Nigerians. That is fantastic!
“It is not an exaggeration to say that each and everyday we see evidence of the critical need for greater efforts in good governance. In fact, you will not have to go far outside of the doors of this institution to find confirmation of the need for real solutions to some of the most vexing issues facing government in Nigeria and elsewhere.
“I am speaking of the need for better healthcare, more efficient transportation, better schools, improved sanitation, a healthier environment, in other words, a better quality of life and a more prosperous lifestyle for the citizens of Lagos or cities like Lagos throughout the continent.
“Unfortunately, finding lasting, sustainable solutions to these problems is hampered by corruption, the absence or misallocation of resources, and simple mismanagement.
“I am sure it is your hope that your skill and experience, the wisdom of the facilitators, or perhaps your commitment and passion will lead you and your colleagues to share some best practices or identify technological innovations that will help us in our quest to improve governance at all levels and ensure greater transparency and accountability.
“We are counting on you!”
Mr. Brooks reiterated that the task is huge but every journey must begin with that first step.
“Perhaps sometime in the future, someone will cite this TechCamp as one of those first steps toward finding solutions to today’s problems.
“I strongly encourage everyone here to think broadly about ways you can forge partnerships and expand your network as Tech leaders”, he said.