Technology should ideally serve as the pivot for inclusive development worldwide. However, with the urgency and pace at which the millennial age is growing, I fear though it should be a benefactor for all it could become the right of none.
Researchers have spent years discovering the many possible issues surrounding technology-use and the future. One of the commonest is Barbara Fredrickson’s findings, which warn smartphone use may be taking a toll on our biological capacity to connect with other people.
Technology has enormous positives for connecting the world by eliminating physical and mental barriers, facilitating intra and inter-globe businesses, cultural exchanges, mobilising resources for global impacts among others – but if there are no conscious efforts to bring along everyone, especially the youth, these potentials may be harnessed for the negatives. The researchers warn of possible huge gaps in those who will be able to use ICT tool efficiently, those who have access, as well as those who may have access but cannot use them efficiently.
The youth are said to be the basis and basics of the world and its growth. In Ghana for instance, the youth account for over half of the population (57% according to indexmundi). This means more attention should be given to these corner-stones if Ghana is to be better-equipped and positioned for the future.
There have been plans to empower this next crop of leaders. In Agric there are efforts, as well as in health and all other sectors of the economy. Technological industry may have seen some efforts focusing on girls, innovation among the youth – but there are many more youth cut out of this civilisation process, especially the rural folk who despite their circumstance are expected to catch up with development, compete with their friend-millennials in the cities and the world, and more importantly, participate in that process.
Even in cities, the few masterclasses or sandwich courses on the future benefits and demerits of the social web are aimed at the elites. The youth more often than not can’t afford these expensive courses. They resort to experimenting with peers, which many a time leads to social vices like cybercrime etc.
For me as a youth, the fear of being cut out of the technological revolution makes me eager to seek relevant skills, knowledge and guidelines on what the future should look like with my smartphone, my laptop, the Internet and multiple social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, linkedin, twitter and the rest.
I am therefore excited about initiatives like the Youth Global Forum coming up in December, which seeks to better position the youth, groups, and societies for the future of tech in an ever-growing world. Maybe its time to invest not only in my leadership prowess but also in tech, as the latter has proven equally influential in the New Age.
About the Author: KABU NARTEY
An award-winning public speaker, Leadership Activist, a Columnist and winner of the Newsroom Contest 2018. He is a Kufuor Scholar and a final-year student at the Ghana Institute of Journalism.