World News: Youth have to become more innovative to resolve urban problems in Bangladesh

By Rafikul Islam

Speaking at a program, experts from various fields have urged the youth of the country to become more innovative in order to resolve problems in the country’s urban centres.

“Bangladesh is one of those countries most vulnerable to climate change,as well as one of the most disaster prone countries in the world. It is also one of the world’s most densely populated countries,so the only way to improve the state of the country is to create new ideas and become entrepreneurs in order to develop urban areas,” they also said.

The experts made these statements while distributing prizes among winners who came up with innovative ways to solve urban problems – such as healthcare, housing, and energy – in the “Urban Innovation Challenge” program held at the Brac Inn in Dhaka on Tuesday. Brac organized the program, and promoted it with the slogan “We must solve our cities’ problems.” Dhaka Tribune was one of the media partners of the event.

Of the teams, Nirvana and City Bird won a joint award for the renewable energy category, Jotno Healthcare won the healthcare category, Anusongo topped the low cost urban housing category, and Drinkwell aced the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene category. Team Responsive Urbanist received a special prize.

Prizes were distributed by chief guest Dr Md Atiqur Rahman,additional secretary of the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry; Dr Ainun Nishat, former vice chancellor of BRAC University, andDr Adil Mohammed Khan,general secretary of Bangladesh Institute of Planners, among others.

Dr Atiqur Rahman said: “The youth must present the problems they face and come up with ideas to eliminate them through such competitions. Such competitions will facilitate the resolving of problems, and the talent of the youth will come to light.”

“Don’t become frustrated about government jobs. Become entrepreneurs and begin to develop the country and its cities. The government has also taken some initiatives to receive new ideas from the youth,” he also said.

Dr Ainun Nishat said: “Innovation must help society flourish,as there is no alternative to it. We have to think about how to bring a balance in the prices of goods in towns and villages. We should innovate to ease the supply chain.”

Asif Saleh, senior director of strategy, communications, and empowerment for BRAC said: “Partnerships are needed in order to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Brac is giving importance to the issue. The most important thing is to understand problems easily. Moreover, a business plan is needed, and participants should be dynamic about it.”

However, Brac would like to utilize the innovative power of meritorious youths to solve the problems faced by urban areas of the country.

On 24 July, Brac’s Urban Innovation Challenge began for the second time. Thirteen ideas were selected from around 300.

Brac will donate upto Tk5 lakh to every winning team, who in turn will get a chance to implement their solution projects within six months.

Source – DhakaTribune

Nigeria needs innovative youths to drive development – Gobir

Mr Abdulkadir Gobir, a youth development expert, says Nigeria needs creative and innovative youths to drive its development.

Gobir said the quality of education in Nigeria, which gave little or no priority to research had deprived talented young Nigerians opportunity to proffer appreciable solutions to social problems.

The expert made the remarks at a programme, “Platinum Reasoning Contest’’’, organised for youths in Ede, Osun, on Thursday.

Gobir expressed concern over acute backwardness in technological advancement and innovation among majority of Nigerian youths, pointing out that social vices, such as internet fraud, had subverted positive thinking among young people.

He called on the Nigerian government to quickly change the narrative in the educational sector and declare a state of emergency in the sector without delay.

“There is an urgent need to look into the future as a nation through the mirror of the present, especially the quality of our teeming youths.
“No nation grows with large number of technologically backward youths like we have in Nigeria, where the few ones with rudimentary knowledge of technology have substituted positive technologically innovation with internet fraud.

“The focus of majority of Nigerian youths should be on how the monoculture economy of this nation could be diversified and made stronger through innovation and creativity,” he said.

In his remarks, Mr Ayandeji Peter, the co-coordinator of the programme, said the grand finale of the contest would be in December.

Peter said the best initiative idea would get one million naira, while the second best would get N700,000 and the third best would get N500.000.
He said over 800 students participated in the contest in the South-West zone and added that the group would take the contest beyond the geo-political zone.

The Head of Human Resources of Platinum Reasoning Contest, Dr Tayo Jayeola, urged the government to solve “our national problems through talented youths by supporting them to explore their potential optimally.

Source – The Nation