UN chief Ban Ki-moon urges youth to use technology for economic growth

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with President Uhuru Kenyatta at UN headquarters in Gigiri. Kenya was in the limelight last week as it hosted heads of top global institutions for talks on stability and economic growth. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Mr Ban said this when he visited the Nairobi technology centre iHub.
  • He commended the facility for encouraging creative ideas by the youth.
  • He lauded young people for using limited resources to come up with creative solutions.
  • Mr Ban urged the government and other policy makers to support the youth for their innovations to succeed.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday urged Kenyan youth to continue developing local technology-based solutions to fuel the country's economic growth.

Mr Ban said this when he visited the Nairobi technology centre iHub.

The UN Secretary-General commended the facility for encouraging creative ideas by the youth and supporting them to come up with solutions to issues affecting them.

“I am pleased and inspired by the active engagement of the young people in seeking development solutions through ICT.

“Creative ideas being advanced in Kenya and other developing countries will play an important role in transforming society for the future.

"They will make life much easier and should be used by all people around the world,” said Mr Ban.

He lauded young people for using limited resources to come up with creative solutions.

He added that the money-transfer service M-Pesa is one that Kenya has exported to other countries and is being used internationally.

Mr Ban said that mobile technologies and the Internet are opening new channels of interaction and can be used to inform people.

REGIONAL POWERHOUSE

“Kenya is a thriving country and a power house in the regional economy, strategic to the political and security stability of Eastern Africa,’’ stated Mr Ban.

He urged the government and other policy makers to support the youth for their innovations to succeed in the region and in the rest of the World.

The secretary-general was accompanied by UN Resident Coordinator Nardos Bekele-Thomas, who said that the UN country office would support iHub and other innovators to develop practical solutions that can be applied in all sectors of the economy.

“We will partner with iHub on a pilot initiative over the next four years to exchange knowledge and expertise among social innovators, stakeholders and policy makers to come up with knowledge and solutions that meet existing and future demands relevant particularly to vulnerable communities in the local context and beyond,” said Ms Bekele-Thomas.

iHub started in March 2010 as an innovation centre for technologists and was established by Ushahidi through donor funds.

The hub currently has a membership of over 10,000 youth, many of whom have gone ahead to start their own web-based businesses and continued to offer mentorship to upcoming technology innovators to meet the growing demand for development-based technology.

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