Basile NIANE: “ICTs are an opportunity for Africa and Africans must take advantage”
Connect News met during the OSIANE fair, Basile NIANE, journalist blogger and CEO of Social Net Link, a technological information platform on Senegal and Africa based in Senegal, Mali and soon in Guinea and Ivory Coast.
Connect News: Hello Mr Basile NIANE, what is your first impression about the OSIANE trade fair?
Basile NIANE: I was impressed by the show, because it must be admitted, it is often not easy to bring together the cream of ICT players in one place for 3 or 4 days. This show had a great involvement of young people and I met great personalities there. I think this is an interesting opportunity for the Congo.
Connect News: What themes have you worked on?
Basile NIANE:During this fair, the objective was to provide training for the press, in particular on the use of social media and social networks to communicate better on the internet. But then we did a training with the young people on “how to use social networks to succeed in your life, but especially how to use social networks to enlarge your community”.
We chose this theme because we realized that today, social networks have become essential when it comes to communication. Unfortunately, the young people who use these platforms do not technically master these tools and are not aware of the opportunities they offer. The aim of this training was to show young people that with social networks, you can easily find work and undertake, express your opinion and be able to generate income.
Connect News: How do you see the impact of ICTs and innovation on Africa’s development?
Basile NIANE: Technology is an opportunity for Africa and Africans should take advantage of it. We must no longer be mere consumers of what others produce, but we must produce ourselves. The production goes through the infrastructure, the creation of the content and we realize that Africa lags a lot in this direction. Operators must facilitate access to the Internet because it is still very expensive in Africa. Initiatives like OSIANE are important to boost our economies.
Connect News: As an actor in this sector, can you tell us what is the positive or negative impact of ICTs on African youth?
Basile NIANE: The positive impact is that the Internet has become an essential tool, a means of bringing people together. It is easy today with this tool to promote a community for example. The problem with the development of the Internet lies in its use. Young Africans have a golden object which they do not know how to take advantage of and it is up to the operators, the State and all those who operate in this sector to help young people to make the most of the web by making training and facilitating their access to the Internet.
Today, young people need to be told that it is not just going to school or working in the public service to be successful in life. With the Internet there is the possibility to earn a living and to flourish socially. The development of a country will not happen without entrepreneurship and it is therefore necessary for the State and the economic actors to support the initiators of projects as well as the various initiatives contributing to create a digital entrepreneurial dynamic within the country. .
Connect News: Any advice for these African youth who want to be digital entrepreneurs?
Basile NIANE: African youth must understand the challenges of digital technology, and must know how to appropriate the Internet tool, because we still have things to prove. That young Africans stop underestimating themselves. We must break down the barriers, it is time for Africa to wake up digitally.
Source: Connect News