REPOSITIONING NIGERIAN YOUTH SUMMIT: AFRIGROWTH FOUNDATION- A FRONT LINER AND THOUGHT LEADER COMMITTED TO BUILDING A NEW GENERATION OF RESOURCEFUL YOUTHS
“The Youth of a Nation are the trustees of posterity.”
Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881)
Overtime AfriGrowth Foundation, through its work with youth, realized that there’s a need for young people to begin to reposition their thoughts, aspirations and actions, by re-orientating their minds towards the present needs for sustenance and relevance in the society.
On this background, the Foundation organized the Repositioning Nigerian Youth Summit, which took place on September 13, 2018, at the Banquet Hall, Merit House, Maitama, Abuja. The Summit had in attendance over 250 Nigerian Youths from all backgrounds: social workers, Community Leaders, Activists, Legal Practitioners, Academics and Entrepreneurs. The core thrust of the Summit was to entrench a culture of citizenship, servitude, moral values and patriotism in Nigerian youth.
This was indeed a Summit with a difference, as distinguished Nigerian youth effectively served as panelists, resource persons and facilitators alongside some eminent distinguished Nigerian Icons, including, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, Chairman, Editorial Board of ThisDay Newspapers; Dr. Paddy Kemdi Njoku, former Chairman of the National Examination Council (NECO) Governing Board; Dr. Magnus L. Kpakol, Chairman, CEO and Chief Strategist at the Economic and Business Strategies (EBS); Mrs. Latifat Aduke Balogun CEO/Founder of Hatlab Ice Cream Delite; Dr. Noel Akpata, Founder of Stratex Pro, Nigeria Electricity Market Summit Group and Co-founder Horasis Africa Business Meeting; Mr. Hugue Ngandeu Ngatta, Program Specialist, UNESCO Regional Office Abuja and Mr. Oluseyi Oyebisi, Executive Director, Nigerian Network of NGOs.
The Summit fostered an interactive environment, in which young Nigerians were able to interrelate as participants and facilitators and commendably discussed issues on their roles in nation building; proffering concrete solutions on how best young people could create impact on their immediate space to influence positive change. The theme of the Youth Summit- ‘Birthing a Generation of Impact Creators’ was considered appropriate, as the Foundation’s objective was to encourage young Nigerians to appreciate the power they have to create significant changes and set Nigeria on the path to progress.
In her opening address, Mrs. Dayo Keshi, the President, AfriGrowth Foundation applauded participants for taking the bold step towards becoming leaders of their generation. She asserted that young Nigerians must take responsibility of their destiny and work assiduously in building their capacity and expertise in order to positively impact the society and nation at large.
The Opening Tea Conversation on ‘Birthing a generation of Impact Creators- A Clarion call to Build a New Nigeria’ anchored by Mr. Oluseyi Oyebisi, emphasized the need for youths to be informed and highly enlightened on issues and policies, which revolve around their livelihood.
The Keynote Speaker, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, Chairman, Editorial Board of ThisDay Newspaper, gave an outstanding talk on Building a New Generation of Impactful Young Nigerian Leaders. He stressed that in order for youth to impact the nation, they must strive to be a source of positive influence. He spoke on the imperatives of mentoring and opined that youths should identify and be guided by credible mentors that are aligned to their goals and aspirations
The first panel session of the day on Youth- Resources and Assets in the Nigerian Project, which was anchored by Mr. Christopher Nwani, Executive Director, Youth Afrique Leadership Forum accentuated that in order for youth to serve as national assets, the current educational system, needs to be rejuvenated and improved for Nigerian youth to have requisite skills needed to start an enterprise, work in communities and relate with people.
The second panel session based on the benefits of having a united country and true patriotism, which was anchored by Ambassador Joe Keshi, Chairman, Board of Directors of AfriGrowth Foundation underscored the necessity for Nigerian youth to promote, live and propagate love for country and unity in diversity. The panelists advocated that an inspiring thought provoking national vision can only be articulated and pursued by young Nigerians that are creative and system thinkers poised to building strong institutions. Dr. Paddy Njoku dispelled the wrong narrative that Nigeria was too large to be governed. He identified lack of ideology and poor leadership as the bane of Nigeria’s problems.
Dr. Magnus L. Kpakol, Chairman, former Economic Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo, facilitated a presentation on Youth Entrepreneurship: The Critical Ingredient for Economic Empowerment and Job Creation, in which he urged youth to always seek knowledge in order to serve as exceptional entrepreneurs and job creators.
The interactive session on Sparking Creativity and Innovation- Discovering the Missing Link in a Value Chain was led by four young emerging entrepreneurs: Achenyo Helen Asimegbe, CEO of Stylemark Mall, Ibrahim Bashir, Manager, Marketing and Business Development Department, Abuja Technology Village (ATV) Free Zone Company, Uke Praise, the Founder and Lead Consultant at Sabi-Agrik Limited and Keturah Adams, a social worker and development enthusiast passionate about strengthening health care systems for underserved communities. They posited that Nigerian youth must seize every opportunity they have to demonstrate their creativity and make impact within their community. The Repositioning Nigerian Youth Summit ended with the agreement to establish a Network and online platform, which will provide an open and inclusive platform for participants at the Summit and young Nigerians to dialogue and address pertinent issues affecting youth in Nigeria. This will create a continual discussion and reflection and serve as a medium through which Nigerian youth can share information and experiences about their issues across the nation, with the view of fostering viable solutions to problems affecting youth development in Nigeria. Mrs. Dayo Keshi, the President, AfriGrowth Foundation charged each participant to step down what they have learnt to at least 10 other Nigerian youth, as their first assignment as impact creators for their generation.