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CITAD’S forum on ICTs and MDGs for National Development

By Abdullahi Ismai’l

The Centre for Information Technology and Development, (CITAD), has conducted its monthly discussion forum on Information Communication Technology for Civil Society Organization in Kano. The forum titled; the role of Information Communication Technology in Achieving Universal Primary Education that is based on the Millennium Development goals Modalities took place at the American corner, Murtala Muhammad Library complex, Kano, on Wednesday, April 09, 2008.

A paper presented by Prof. U.G.Danbatta, the Director of Centre for Information Technology, (CIT) Bayero University Kano, at the occasion described how Information Communication Technology has became an important and essential part of very nation’s social infrastructure. According to the Professor, ‘there are four major channels in which Information Communication Technology can contribute to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. He added that, ‘increase in efficiency of social services delivery and rise in economic productivity, creation of new jobs and entrepreneur opportunities are the fore most contribution the Information Communication Technology can provide for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.’ U.G. Danbata further said that, ‘in a third world countries like Nigeria, Information Communication Technology can be used to Empower Women and communities that are isolated   by virtue of their geographical remoteness or other factors. And at the same time, Information Communication Technology can be used to facilitate monitoring of public expenditure and support political empowerment.’

Professor Danbatta lamented that literacy is the key element for attaining development, especially the Information Technology considering the contemporary Technological Development in all aspect of human life. According to him, newly acquired informational capabilities can act as an agent for change of   individuals and communities to enhance their abilities to engage with formal institutions in the economic, political, social and cultural spheres of their life.

‘The way to move third world countries like Nigeria forward through the use of Information Communication Technology,’ according to Danbatta, ‘is through investing in Information Communication Technology “Production” because this is the more effective tool for development of the whole society, as oppose to Information Communication Technology for  ‘Consumption’ which Nigeria is experiencing in the meantime’

However Information Communication Technology, the professor asserted, should be deployed and used to target children and youth to enhance their learning process, Also, Information Communication Technology can be used to prepare students for success in a knowledge based courses such as science and technology. Societies, the Professor observed, require more than dispersing facts and practicing textbooks skills. Rather third world societies should develop new ways of thinking and culture of science.

On his side Alh. Adamu Amshi, the Regional Director of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) disclosed that his commission is doing its best to ensure that Information Technology has satisfactory reached the mass populace of the nation.

Various Community Based Organizations, Non Governmental Organizations, students, and government officials attended the forum.

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