‘Odun Iyo’/Osu Day, an annual founding and unifying community celebration at 43 is another renewing chapter in Osu community. Osu is a community united and bonded from its traditional source with the symbol of salt. ‘Odun Iyo’/Osu Day 2021 indeed calls for a Community thanksgiving. Despite the challenges of Covid-19, God in His mercy spared us and we are able to see each other faces. Glory be to God. We remember in prayers families that lost their loved ones since our last celebration. ‘Odun Iyo’/Osu Day 2021 has ushered us into the era of the engaged digital global village and we have to be pro-active as a community. Digital literacy is fast becoming a fundamental requirement for full participation in society. In our emerging e-society, ICTs are an important aspect of daily life. Digital technologies make possible transformations which enhance quality of life for individuals, increase life chances, prolong independence and autonomy and improve social connectedness. Osu community vision in digital era summons us to guide against ‘digital divide,’ that is, the gap between those who do and who do not enjoy the benefits of access to the Internet.
Digitization is already changing Osu. Whether or not we can leverage its opportunities to foster prosperity, human well-being and sustainability depends on the strategic decisions taken today. With the leadership of Osu Community Development Council, we need to work together to embrace these opportunities, or will it let this unique chance pass? This is one of the most important decisions OCDC can take in the next decade. It will determine which path the town takes into the digital age shaping the way we all live, work and play. Permit me to appreciate our beloved sisters for promoting AKARA OSU GLOBAL based in Canada and ‘ANFANI OUNJE pelu Sisidudu Olowosibi.’ Their pro-digital innovation provides a model for us. In the entertainment industry, we appreciate digital innovations from our brothers – Dotun Omega Band, Turaya, and Tunji Crown.
Digitization is already impacting all areas of our lives. Virtualization will fundamentally change essentially all aspects of life. Let us watch out for experiences ‘ranging from Liquid Work, Personalized Health and Connected Buildings, to Seamless Transactions and Supply Chains. For instance, Personalized Health will put people more firmly in control of their health choices with emphasis on preventive measures over fighting illness. The question remains whether our people are aware that diagnosis and treatment may no longer be ‘conducted face to face because technology will enable remote and digitally enhanced patient-doctor interactions and automated diagnostics enhanced by crowdsourced peer-advice, drastically cutting costs for the healthcare system.’ It is important to note that, ‘the first wave of digitization enabled us to communicate and collaborate anytime from anywhere. What we are witnessing today is the second wave of digitization, characterized by the Internet of Everything (IoE). By 2025 over a trillion devices will be connected to the internet globally.
Osu as the headquarters of Atakumosa West Local Government, Osun State stands at a crossroads regarding its digital future, especially among our youths in the community and schools. The road and decisions we choose and agree today will have huge implications for the lives of our people at home in years to come. With the gold field and other agricultural potentials around us, Osu has the potential to become an economically thriving, competitive, and climate-resilient community full of empowered youths who enjoy privacy and security. Timotheus Höttges, Chief Executive Officer, Deutsche Telekom said, “Innovation happens where there is scope for experimentation. Regulation cannot be imposed before you have created a market. It is the other way around: first you need to learn and then adapt where things need corrective steering.” Osu Community Development Council need to be proactive to laid a good foundation and raise awareness for corrective steering with the Local Government and other necessary bodies. Digital innovation in Osu calls for experimentation especially in the schools within our community and among youths in our churches and mosque.
Without innovations, Osu as a community faces accelerating unemployment, an ill-equipped youth workforce and students, and a marginalised position in the state, national and global economies. What do we need to do to get on the right path? We have to guide against the risks of business-as-usual approaches to digitisation and youth empowerment in Osu. As part of the global market and community, Osu digital future will define how we lead our lives as a community, families, schools, churches and in our businesses. We all aspire to live dignified, safe, healthy, and fulfilled lives, but digitization is changing how we go about it. From farming to entrepreneur ideas, we cannot do without technology. Jeremy Rifkin said, “Human beings are an empathic species, soft-wired to contribute to their communities, so the idea that people are going to be idle in the digital age is absurd. Future jobs are going into the social economy.” What is the way forward for Osu social economy? Our charity must begin at home. We need to empower our people, especially the youth to make informed decisions about their digital lives and future. Osu Community Development Council beyond our ongoing physical development projects, and as the community policy maker, we must raise family and community awareness coupled with the provisions of necessary skills to fully understand the digital world and how it impacts us in terms of security and privacy.
Osu cannot avoid to be behind the massive impacts of digitization on economic growth and distribution of wealth – both within Osun State and between Nigeria and the rest of the world. Osu Community Development Council need to be radically more ambitious with other relevant agencies in order to prioritise innovation in our community. I believe we have good economic opportunity for digitization in Osu.
Digital platform enhances effective and direct communication securely with our residents and facilitate community engagement. Digital platform give voices to counter different complexities and also help to engage the community through digital tools. We need digital platform to collect data from the residents to create a community vision and unity. Osu community vision is an image of our community’s future. Visioning is an opportunity for community members to focus on the future without dwelling or being hindered by the past. Osu community visioning is both a process and a statement. The digital era invites us to discover the kind of future our community wants by giving our people the opportunity to express their goals, objectives, and values honestly. Our discovery must centred on what we would like Osu community to look and feel like within the next five to 10 years. Osu community vision for the digital era points to a thriving, urban, agro-economic town, possessing the core values of family, community, education and economic prosperity. We will advance these values by recognizing our past, taking action in the present, and pursuing a dynamic future.
Osu community vision for digital era must value education as a means to help people identify assets, capacities, needs, resources, and solutions. Our vision must be civic involvement (or participation) to improve the quality of community/neighbourhood life. Osu community vision must value; Internal and external collaborations and partnerships; The uniqueness of individuals and communities/neighbourhoods; The applied and theoretical dimensions of community development; The development of viable communities through the wise use of natural, economic, social, and human resources; Scientific information and local knowledge as a basis for decisions.
The fact remains that, ‘digitization has a fundamental impact on the way we live our lives in dignity, good health, with an open and trained mind, realizing individual fulfilment in a world without violence.’ With regard to Osu community vision, digitization raises fundamental questions about our everyday life. How will the digital future impact us as a consumer of services? Will they be free, or will I pay with my data? Will my data work for me? How will I interact with my environment, family and friends? What will our children learn in school? And what kind of life and career awaits them?