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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

MTN, MTV partner on African youth empowerment

MTV Networks Africa and MTN Group are partnership on the empowerment of African youth as their interest in national and global affairs continued to rise with a function tagged MTV Base Meets … with MTN, in Lagos last week.

This follows an eight-part youth empowerment initiative under MTV Base Meets … with MTN television series that creates a platform for a dialogue between young people and the political, business and cultural leaders who shape the world today.

Senior Vice President and Managing Director, MTV Networks Africa, Mr. Alex Okosi, disclosed that the intimate documentary series would allow African youths to put probing questions to influential, inspirational and sometimes controversial individuals.

He noted among the prominent people who will feature in the series include the former Liberian President and Africa’s first and only elected female head of state, Madame Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Mr. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and South African politician and President of the ANC Youth League, Mr. Julius Malema and many African leaders or influencers who exercise a significant impact on the continent.

As said by him, the series are expected to keep television viewers - young and old - on the edge of their seats.

“A diverse panel of young people representing different youth interests will be assembled from across the African continent, with participants coming from Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda, among others,” he said.

Okosi further said that young, but well-informed, the panelists are articulate, engaging, provocative and opined on a range of complex subjects but not limited to HIV/AIDS, global warming, education, poverty, corruption or entrepreneurship.

“They are fearless and have attitude. Their no-holds-barred approach will make for exciting television viewing as they fire big questions to the influential people whose actions and opinions have a direct impact on their lives,” he said.

African youth will be encouraged to nominate influencers and submit their proposed questions for the programme via a dedicated MTV base Meets…with MTN website or via their mobile handset.

“MTV base Meets…with MTN provides young people with the opportunity to engage directly with decision-makers and world leaders in order to address some of the key issues that are important to them. The initiative demonstrates our belief in the positive impact that the youth can have in shaping the future of the Continent. We hope that MTV base Meets…with MTN will inspire young people across Africa to know that their voice matters and to help prepare them to take their own roles among the leaders of tomorrow,” Okosi said.

Equally speaking, the Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Bola Akingbade, said MTN’s association with this initiative forms part of the on-going focus on youth empowerment, which is informed by the recognition that the world’s demographics favour the youth - with half of Africa’s population of 1 billion being under the age of 35.

“Through this series, MTN hopes to give this growing segment of Africa’s population a bridge to connect with decision-makers through dialogue. Gone are the days when young people were relegated to the periphery of important debates in business and politics,” Akingbade said.

MTV Base Meets…with MTN is an African localized version of the established MTV Meets… franchise and has previously interviewed influential individuals including Nelson Mandela, Tony Blair, Morgan Tsvangarai and Wyclef Jean. The series will air across African from 18 July on MTV base (DStv Channel 322), and on terrestrial, DTT and CATV channels including STV (Nigeria), HiTV (Nigeria), WBS (Uganda), NTV (Kenya), Canal2 (Cameroon), Muvi TV (Zambia), Zuku (Kenya), ZAP (Angola), Smart TV (Kenya) and Star Times (Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, and Burundi).

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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