YOUTHS, THE FUTURE OF AFRICA BELONGS TO US! —YOUTH LEADERSHIP FORUM By Afolabi Deborah Omoitunu and Ebere Eziaghighala

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Nigerian youths were once again reminded of their crucial place as key stakeholders of the future, at the 2018 Youth Leadership Forum which held 7th of July, 2018 organised by Redeemer’s University in conjuction with BrandiQ.

The forum was tagged PURPOSEFUL LEADERSHIP FOR SUSTAINABLE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, saw the coming together of young people from all over the country to discuss their role in the development of Nigeria’s future.

 

 

The event was held at the prestigious Metropolitan Club in Victoria Island, Lagos, and was graced by VIPs such as prominent national figures, Directors and CEOs, leading entrepreneurs, and academicians  from various institutions, who all had a passion for youth development which started 1:30pm with the national anthem being sang, followed by the Redeemer’s University anthem. Opening prayer was said by the chaplain of the university, the person of Mr Alakija.

The welcome address was given by the VC of the university, the person of Professor Debo Adeyewa where he highlighted various achievements of the university giving a brief history of the university whose permanent site is at Ede Osun state. The university is the only institution in Nigeria that offers leadership courses.

The guest speaker at the event was Tony Elumelu, Founder and CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation(TEF), who was ably represented by one of his executives, Ms. Parminder Vir, OBE, an Indian with great interest in Africa.

She encouraged the participants to push forward and achieve their goals in spite of risks, failure and other inhibiting factors.

“Your nationality is not your ability to succeed and your history is not necessarily your destiny,” she said.

“Never stop at your first failure… be optimistic by the potential of failure and always learn from your failures.

“The Future of Africa belongs to us…that future is now!”

The Chairman of the event, Mr. Tonye Cole, executive director and co-founder of Sahara Group, admonished the Nigerian youth to stand up to rise above the prevailing stereotypes which were hindering Nigerians from doing great things. Some of them include:

“Politics is dirty and we must avoid it at all cost.”

“Our generation can’t make a difference”.

“Our voice doesn’t matter in anything”.

“Anything indigenous and national cannot be global”.

He urged the youths to prove these beliefs wrong, and instead believe in their ability to change the world. He said a poem by Francis Bacon ‘being doing what you are to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in your hand and melting like a snowflake’

There was also a panel session on SUSTAINABLE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT which

featured notable people  Prof. Vincent Anigbogu, Prof. James Tsaaior, PhD., Mrs. Bamigbaiye Omotola and Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney and moderated by Desmond Ekeh PhD.

Together, they educated the attendees on their role in ensuring sustainable development for Nigeria, and the attitudes and principles they must cultivate to see that development through.

The youths were enlightened on the need for discipline, integrity, properly placed priorities, healthy self-esteem, consistency, hard work and leadership skills.

 

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