On the 2nd of September each year, we celebrate the birthday of a remarkable individual, Malam Yunusa Zakari Ya’u, the Executive Director of the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD). Malam Y.Z Ya’u stands as a rare gem and a blessing to the world. His humility knows no bounds, and his passion for progress, along with a society built on meaningful development, accountability, and technology, is truly exceptional.
Today is a significant day not only for those fortunate enough to work under his guidance but for anyone who has ever crossed paths with Malam Yunusa Ya’u for any reason. Fondly known as Malam Y.Z Ya’u, he embodies the essence of a mentor, leader, helper, and encourager. Those of us fortunate enough to be under his mentorship experience a daily journey of learning and growth, as Malam constantly pushes his team to achieve what they may have once deemed impossible. These qualities are but a glimpse into the extraordinary character of Malam Y.Z.
Malam Yunusa Zakari Ya’u has a rich background as a writer and activist. He served as a lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Bayero University, Kano, from 1984 until 2000 when he made the pivotal decision to co-found CITAD. CITAD is one of the few non-governmental organizations in Nigeria with a specific focus on information and communication technology (ICT). Over the years, CITAD has been dedicated to youth entrepreneurship, peacebuilding, the popularization of ICT, ICT policy advocacy, and supporting ICT business development services.
His contributions extend far beyond the classroom and the lecture halls. Malam Y.Z has published extensively in the fields of ICTs, mass media, and youth studies. He has been a valuable member of various IT policy committees, both at the state and national levels, and has served as a consultant in these domains for numerous organizations, governments, and development partners.
In recognition of his unwavering mentorship, guidance, support, and encouragement, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to Malam Yunusa Zakari Ya’u. His dedication to the advancement of technology and development has left an indelible mark on our lives, and on this special day, we celebrate the legacy of a true visionary. Happy Birthday, Malam Y.Z Ya’u! May your journey continue to inspire us all.
Malam Y.Z Ya’u’s commitment to fostering youth entrepreneurship and advocating for ICT policies has been instrumental in driving technological advancement and economic growth in Nigeria. His extensive publications have provided valuable insights into the intersection of technology, media, and youth development. Additionally, his role as a consultant and committee member in various IT policy initiatives underscores his dedication to shaping the digital landscape of the nation.
As we celebrate his birthday, let us not only recognize the man but also the profound impact he has had on shaping the future of information technology and development in Nigeria and beyond. His legacy will undoubtedly continue to inspire generations to come.
Buhari Abba is a Kano-based journalist, working with CITAD Online Radio.