As technological advancements continue to transform societies, it is crucial that the youth of today are equipped with the necessary skills to navigate and harness this transformative force. Oseni Oluwatobi Timothy, a 27-year-old leader in Nigeria’s technology ecosystem, has taken up the mantle to teach Nigeria’s youngest generation how to code and develop mobile apps, thereby empowering them with the skills needed for the future. In this essay, we delve into an interview with Oseni Oluwatobi Timothy, shedding light on his remarkable journey and vision for Nigeria’s youth.
Oseni Oluwatobi, affectionately known as Tobi, is a graduate of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology in Ogbomoso, Oyo State, where he pursued a degree in Management and Accounting. Instead of passively waiting for his one-year National Youth Service Corps, a mandatory program for Nigerian graduates, Tobi decided to embark on a mission to educate and inspire the next generation of tech-savvy individuals. His journey and commitment to teaching mobile development to the youth of Nigeria are nothing short of remarkable.
Tobi’s mission is rooted in a clear and ambitious goal: to train 100,000 mobile developers before he reaches the age of 25. His dedication to this cause is evident in the progress he has made so far, having introduced approximately 28,000 young people to the world of mobile app development. It is not merely about introducing them to the concepts but ensuring that a significant portion, around 30%, have active projects, and 10% are actively working on their mobile app ideas.
The importance of Tobi’s work becomes apparent when we consider the future of technology in Africa. Tobi believes that the future of computing is mobile, and the future of Africa is intricately linked with technological advancements. He recognized a troubling trend where Nigeria frequently had to outsource mobile app development to countries like India. This prompted him to take action and volunteer with organizations like Future Nigeria to train local mobile developers. The aim is to nurture a homegrown talent pool that can meet the rising demands in the tech space.
What sets Tobi’s initiative apart is his unwavering commitment to ensuring that this knowledge reaches even the most remote areas of Nigeria. Tobi recently extended his training program to Northern Nigeria. Here, he found the students to be remarkably receptive, even in areas where access to technology is limited. Tobi was pleasantly surprised to discover that many students had a basic understanding of computer tools, including Microsoft Office. This provided a solid foundation for introducing them to the world of app development. Over 2,000 students were introduced to mobile development, and a significant number displayed enthusiasm for this new skill. To ensure the sustainability of the initiative, Tobi also trained teachers, who will continue to impart this valuable knowledge.
One might wonder if Tobi’s mission can thrive in areas with limited access to learning materials. However, he firmly believes that accessibility to materials is not as significant a challenge as it may seem. Nigeria has a substantial online presence, with millions of users on social networks like Facebook.
Tobi’s dedication to teaching mobile development is not limited to just educating others. He is actively involved in developing apps that can bring about positive change. Currently, he is leading a project that uses mobile apps to collect data for agriculture. This project is supported by international organizations and aims to assist farmers in rural areas by providing data on water usage and food requirements for their plants and animals. It is an innovative approach that can significantly impact agricultural productivity and sustainability.
Beyond this, he envisions a future where mobile apps can play a pivotal role in conserving resources. He aspires to develop mobile apps that can reduce water wastage, food waste, and promote energy conservation. His vision reflects a commitment to addressing pressing global challenges through technology.
As we look to the future, he also offers insights into the trends that will shape the next decade. He believes that mobile apps will not only serve for personal and business use but will also become tools for social purposes, including conflict resolution and peace-building efforts. Mobile apps can be instrumental in resolving conflicts in regions like Sudan and Syria, promoting harmony in troubled nations. Additionally, Tobi sees a role for mobile apps in enhancing government transparency and accountability, provided they are used appropriately.
The journey of Oseni Oluwatobi Timothy highlights the tremendous potential of Nigeria’s youth and the transformative power of technology education. However, there are challenges that must be addressed. Tobi identifies a critical issue in Nigeria’s digital space—knowledge. Many graduates in the country are unable to use basic software like Microsoft Office, resorting to outsourcing their work. The curriculum and its implementation need an overhaul to equip students with relevant skills and knowledge. The government must prioritize technological development as a solution to the nation’s challenges, not just in education but in all sectors.
Tobi’s future aspirations are equally inspiring. He currently runs a startup focused on mobile development while training others as developers. His vision is to see this startup grow into one of the world’s leading technology companies, with a prominent role in mobile app development. It’s a testament to his unwavering commitment to the cause and the potential for transformation through technology education.
In conclusion, Oseni Oluwatobi Timothy’s journey exemplifies the power of individual initiative and commitment to empower the youth through technology. His mission to teach mobile development to Nigeria’s youngest generation is commendable and necessary for the country’s future. Tobi’s dedication to reaching even the most remote areas is a testament to the far-reaching impact that technology education can have. His vision for the future, where mobile apps are instrumental in addressing global challenges, serves as an inspiration to all. In a world where technology is the driving force of progress, individuals like Tobi are the catalysts for change and innovation, shaping a brighter future for Nigeria and beyond.