Those were the words emanating from the 104 youths from Birniwa, Guri and Kirikasama Local Governments of Jigawa State who just graduated from a two month youth empowerment ICT training programme.[swfobj src=”http://www.citad.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Birniwa_pics1.swf” align=”left”]
The youths were overwhelmed and could not control their emotions. You could vividly see the emotions erupting from them as they waited for the Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido who was the Special Guest for this joyous occasion as the graduation ceremony was long overdue. The emotions of some of the youths were captured; CITAD Correspondent: How do you feel today? Hamza Bukar: “I am happy and proud of myself; I never thought this day would come. We have written our assessments sometimes ago waiting for this day where I would be truly certified, having learnt these ICT skills. I don’t know whether it’s a coincidence but the day this programme was flagged off, the weather was cool and it drizzled and surprisingly today we are experiencing the same type of weather, despite not having the rains for the past two months. We want to thank the Hon Member (Abbas Anas Adamu) for this empowerment gesture and also not forgetting our Trainers from Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD)”. Correspondent: How do you feel? Fatima A. Ba’gana: “Today is a joyful day for us. We want to thank the Almighty for making us see this particular day. May God bless this knowledge that has been impacted upon us. We are grateful to all those who made this possible, we have learnt a lot and have gotten exposed”, Correspondent: How do you feel being a female and one of the best participants graduating with a distinction? “I am elated, but there is nothing in being a female and being among the best. Females can compete among the best anywhere. I would like such types of empowerment to be focused on the females; it would bring the best out of them”. Correspondent: Thank you. Those were the expressions of the graduates.
The graduation ceremony of these jubilant youths took place on the 20th of October, 2009 at the Secretariat of Birniwa Local Government in Jigawa State. The Jigawa State Governor, His Excellency Sule Lamido was the special guest and ably hosted by the Chairman, Birniwa Local Government; Hon. Aliyu Idris Diginsa. The two months Youths empowerment programme was actualized by the supported by the Honorable Member representing Birniwa/Guri/Kirikassama Federal constituency, Rep. Abba Anas damu in collaboration with CITAD and Microsfot under the Unlimited Potential Programmes, a social corporate responsibility flagship of the software giant. So it was heartening seeing the Honorable beaming with smiles feeling like a Father seeing his first child pass his first promotion exam. The ceremony was opened by a speech from the Host, Chairman Birniwa Local Government. The Chairman thanked the Governor for coming to see his subjects at Birniwa. He expressed their happiness to the Governor while commending the efforts of the Hon. Member and the Director of CITAD for actualizing the dreams of these youths. The Director, CITAD spoke next. He expressed his no bound joy at seeing these 104 youths graduate from the empowerment programme. He said one of CITAD’s objectives was to use ICTs in development, thereby making youths employable or starting up their own ventures and in the process reducing the incidence of poverty. He also enjoined other personalities to emulate the Hon. Member by giving back to the society especially the disadvantaged people at the rural areas.
The Governor further went on to present gifts to the 19 best graduates comprising six with Distinction and 13 with Upper credit. Those with distinction were each given a complete Computer system including a printer and scanner, while those with upper credit were each given Digital cameras. All participants would be presented with their certificates. The Governor further went on to give his speech, commending the Hon. Member for his efforts in empowering the youths. He said such programmes were preparations for the future as the world was now a global village enabled by the use of ICTs. He said Youth empowerment was vital for any State which seeks development. He said apart from the revamping of the Education, Health, Agriculture sectors taking place in the State, the empowerment of the youth was what the State was focusing on. The Governor said that Jigawa State wants youth that could represent the State anywhere locally or internationally to be the best. He urged the youth to shun illicit drugs and anti-social activities.
The Hon. Member finally closed the ceremony by giving his vote of thanks. He thanked the Governor for honoring their invitation, the host; Chairman of Birniwa Local Government, the people of Birniwa, the Director of CITAD and its Trainers, the Youths and all those who contributed to the success of the programme. The Honourable Member saved the best for the last, he announced that the 19 best graduates would further be trained to make them proficient in the field of IT and be able to train others in their locality.
By Umar Farouq Uthman, Research Officer, CITAD, Kano