OrderPaperToday – Damilola Adeniran, reporter with OrderPaper Nigeria, has emerged winner of the blog4dev writing contest organised by the World Bank. He was recognised at an award ceremony that held at the headquarters of the World Bank in Washington, D.C, United States of America.
Adeniran also participated in the recently concluded annual spring meetings of the World Bank/International Monetary Fund also in Washington, D.C.
Last year, the World Bank Africa region invited young people aged 18-28 to share their ideas in writing on what it will take to enhance the skills needed to prepare Africa’s youth for the digital economy and the future of work.
The contest in previous years had been restricted to eastern Africa but was expanded in 2018 to capture sub-Saharan Africa with Adeniran emerging as the first winner from Nigeria.
Damilola in his winning entry highlighted how the NYSC scheme can be harnessed to prepare young Nigerians for the digital economy and future of work.
Speaking on his award, Adeniran said: “I am glad to win this writing award. I am just happy to put Nigeria in a positive limelight on an international stage especially at a period where there so much talk about Nigerian youths engaging in unwholesome practices such as internet fraud and drug trafficking.
“This award confirms that there are many Nigerians doing great things all over the world, here in America, Europe, and everywhere you go really. This award is especially for the youth of Nigeria and Africa as a whole. We are no longer content with being pacified as leaders of tomorrow, we want to lead today as well. Therefore, we must take the lead in driving Africa’s digitalization, which is the way forward.”
The Director, Strategy and Operations of the World Bank (Africa region), Diarietou Gaye, remarked that Africa needs to rethink how it is preparing its youth for the opportunities offered by the digital economy.
According to her, “Africa’s youth are not just thinking about today, they are thinking years ahead. Many of them feel that policy makers have been slow to react to the challenges they face as the digital economy becomes mainstream. They want to see their leaders take faster and decisive steps to avert economic disaster and potential exclusion from the international economy. They see investment in internet infrastructure as essential, alongside rapid education reforms and stronger skills development programs so that everyone – young and old- can take advantage of the opportunities of a more connected world.”
Adeniran alongside winners from 22 other countries participated in high level meetings with Hafez Ghanem, the World Bank Vice-President for Africa Region; Sheila Redzepi, the World Bank Vice President for External and Corporate Relations; Annette Dixon, World Bank Vice President for Human Development, Albert Zeufack, World Bank Chief Economist for Africa, Steven Shalita, Manager, Communications and Partnerships, Africa region, World Bank.
Adeniran was also a special guest on the discussion panel at the headquarters of the World Bank titled: “How can creative industry help to stem fragility”. His winning write up has been published in a book and is available online in English and also translated to French.
Adeniran, who clinched a PeaceWriteNow writing prize from the Embassy of Ireland in Nigeria last June, is now part of the World Bank’s Youth Transforming Africa programme.