DOT Convenes Global Youth Leaders in Kigali to Share Best Practices on Youth-Led Digital Innovation

Digital Opportunity Trust is thrilled to announce it has been invited to convene DOT-trained youth leaders from across Africa and the Middle East to participate in a panel at the Generation Connect Global Youth Summit held on June 2 to 4, 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda.

DOT has the largest network of youth leaders in Africa, will convene young leaders to share best practices on youth-led digital innovation. At the Summit, youth were joined by entrepreneurs, social change-makers, policy advisors, business leaders, and advocates. The 3-day Summit addressed the digital divide and related topics, including digital skills, gender, and the future of work.

“Just like our work at Digital Opportunity Trust, the Generation Connect Summit was co-designed with young people, which reinforces our commitment to ensuring that young people are at the centre of decision making,” says Janet Longmore, CEO and Founder of DOT. “Our team is excited to draw on DOT’s work with young leaders in Africa and the Middle East at this Summit and showcase the transformative potential of youth-led digital solutions.”

At the Summit, DOT led a hybrid session entitled: “Daring to Shift: Rooted in Digital. Powered by Youth.” The session will focus on a model of youth-led development and innovation in which young people are positioned as drivers of their own livelihoods, as peer-to-peer trainers, coaches, role models and knowledge shares in their communities.

The Summit’s goal of encouraging meaningful participation of young women, people with disabilities, indigenous people, and those who are not yet connected through technology, reflects DOT’s vision of all young women and men realizing their potential in an inclusive digital economy. While 90% of all future jobs will be rooted in digital technology, 2.2 billion young people still remain unconnected. The panel will explore how we might invest in the skills and knowledge of youth and view them as co-creators and co-implementers of sustainable digital futures.

During the panel, DOT’s Digital Champions from Africa and the Middle East will share their experiences and discuss digital skills at scale, for development, for the future of work. They will also share calls to action on how we can all “Dare to Shift” by placing young people — particularly young women — at the centre of local, sustainable and inclusive growth.

“These youth, who have all participated in DOT’s work globally, will share how regardless of where they’re located in the world, technology has enabled them to make a difference in their communities,” says Violette Uwamutara, Rwanda Country Director, and Africa Regional Advisor.
“It’s amazing to see how supporting youth to become innovators and leaders, and to create and apply digital solutions has had a ripple effect in their communities. We’re excited to share their stories at the GenConnect Summit, to serve as a case study of what’s possible when youth are truly empowered through technology,” says Uwamutara.

Speakers include: Aseel Jalaleddine (Lebanon), Bayan Al-Smadi (Jordan), Lilian Muyoka Wafula (Kenya), Mwajabu Galmos (Tanzania), Fabrice Hafashimana (Rwanda), Claudine Niyonzima (Rwanda), and Mable Chileshe (Zambia) who have come to DOT through the Daring to Shift project. They will be joined by Violette Uwamutara, Rwanda Country Director, and Africa Regional Advisor (Rwanda). The session was moderated by Emma Edwards, Stakeholder Relations Specialist at DOT (Canada). 

Organized by the ITU, the first-ever Generation Connect Global Youth Summit is geared towards young people ages 18 to 29 who are leveraging the power of technology to make a positive change in their communities. Co-designed with young people from ITU’s Generation Connect Youth network, the summit aims to build a youth-led vision of a safe and connected future. Given the hybrid format of both physical participation and virtual youth engagement, youth from all over the world were able to join virtually to access the discussions, connections and knowledge shared at the summit.

DOT’s participation in this Summit has been made possible through our generous sponsors and key partner: The Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada and Digital Opportunity Trust Rwanda. Daring to Shift will support over 1,000 local youth — 70% of whom are women — in creating digital jobs, digital businesses, and local enterprises that respond to community-based needs. These leaders will impact over 40,000 community members in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Ghana, Jordan, and Lebanon.

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