A former finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has said the Nigerian youth give her hope whenever she feels depressed.

Okonjo-Iweala, a board member of Twitter, disclosed this on Monday while speaking at an event organised by the African University of Science and Technology (AUST) in Abuja.

The university hosted Jack Dorsey, chief executive officer (CEO) of Twitter incorporated, and his team


The former minister said if she wakes up feeling depressed she only needs to talk young people whom she said give her hope every single day.

While making a case for the youth, she asked Dorsey to note the talents the country has.

“What gives me hope every single day, is when I listen to our young people. If I ever wake up feeling depressed, I just need to talk to some young people, even my young children who are in their thirties,” the former minister said.

“I want to turn now to Jack, to Parah, to all of you who have come to honour us in the country, I want to say thank you so much for what have done, it is a fantastic team. It is because we felt so energised, we are seeing what they are doing in San Francisco and all over the world. Now that you have been to Nigeria, to Lagos and Abuja.

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“You have seen what can be done, my plea is that we have young entrepreneurs here, we have young engineers here, this institution (AUST) is about creating young engineers for Africa.

“We are not trying to force you into anything but we are saying that you have been introduced – we like having you interact and engage, and give courage and hope to our young people so they can use their skills on Twitter platform and other platforms to create jobs not just for themselves but for others.

“Let me end by urging our young people, don’t wait for people to create jobs for you, create jobs for yourselves and for others and you have got a platform to do it.”

Speaking earlier, the Twitter CEO said most of what has made the social media application viable was not created by them.

Dorsey said it was inspiring to hear stories of what the application has been able to achieve in Nigeria.

“Twitter, we have been around for just, well over 13 years. It has not felt much as a company. Most of what has made Twitter viable was not created by us,” he said.

“We didn’t create the “@” symbol, we didn’t create the hashtag, we didn’t create the retweets, we didn’t create the thread. We create the service that people came and built their own models and products on top of.”