A Not-for-Profit organisation (NGO), Light-up Africa Development Initiative (LADI), has charged youths to consider inclusion of Media and Information Literacy (MIL) into youth policies and programmes so as to positively affect national development.
The advice was given at a just-concluded two-day capacity building workshop on Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Integration into Youth Policies and Programmes organised by LADI in collaboration with the United Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Abuja, and the Government of Japan.
Fielding questions from the press, the organisation’s Project Support Officer, Daniel Nwaeze said the workshop was needful at such a time when fake news and other information disorder, have taken centre stage in the country and already causing division.
He said, “We feel that youth organisations can also be at the forefront in helping to build capacity of others on MIL.” Nwaeze stated that the participants are expected to carry on the workshop through step down trainings in their local communities or organisations.
A major presenter at the event, Dr. Olunifesi Suraj, who is also the Coordinator, UNESCO University Network on Media and Information Literacy and Inter-cultural Dialogue in Nigeria, said there was need for integrating MIL into youth policies and programmes because it gives direction and helps to identify rules of engagement, remarking that it was paramount to educate the youths as they remain the voice to push for its establishment through their various organisations with relationships with government actors.
In his words, “The youth have the drive and energy, it is helpful to prepare them mentally, especially those already leading in the development sector, to be the voice of the voiceless, to be the voice that can articulate ideas that can shape how they are being governed and or how government govern the people.”
Oluwabunmi Ajao, a participant who won a digital camera prize, haven made an entry for a call for #MILCreative by the organisation, said the workshop was timely as the havoc being brought about by fake news and misinformation, are getting deeper and even more worrisome. She appreciated the organisers for the initiative and opportunity to participate in the workshop.
Another participant and winner of a television prize for the same entry, Precious Ajunwa who is a Project Director at Galaxy for Peace said all well-meaning Nigerians should take part in fighting misinformation and disinformation for the purpose of peaceful co-existence and social cohesion.
The workshop which held in Lagos was packed with lectures on topics such as ‘Towards an MIL Policy for Youth Organisations’, ‘Creative Writing’, ‘Teaching Your Stories With Animation’, ‘Understanding the Media Space in Nigeria’, ‘Experience Sharing’, ‘Facts vs Misinformation and Disinformation’ to mention but a few was supported by the Japanese Government.