There is absolutely nothing about the Youth without the Youths. The future of the youth in our country has been unarguably gripped with fear and uncertainty, and this has led to the increasing menace and involvement of youth in all kinds of inglorious and non-profitable activities. The resulting national complacency on the poor welfare of the youth has called for objective condition of a specialized platform where young people can effectively articulate their opinion and chart a new course for an egalitarian and a developed Nigeria in order to retain relevance among comity of nations in the nearest future.
In commemoration of the International Youth Day 2012 (IYD 2012), the African Resourceful Leaders Foundation (ARLFoundation), a non-governmental organization focused on implementing relevance mobilization and empowerment programs that ensures the active participation of young people in effecting sustainable development in their community and Africa at large, on Saturday 11th August 2012 held one-day Youth Leadership Forum which was fully represented by 18 youth led organizations within and outside Lagos, Nigeria.
The thematic areas for the year’s IYD 2012 where extensively discussed by youth leaders and representatives at the forum as those issues were related to Nigerian society.
In the short lecture paper presented by Ezekiel O. Akinrinade (YE Magazine), he highlighted the countless issues contributing to youth underdevelopment especially in Nigeria, and implores the Nigerian government to take active action to ensure the proper management of it youth and groom them for the future. He also encouraged the youth to see themselves as good ambassadors by taking and/or supporting initiatives that can contribute to the building of a better nation and a better world.
The theme for IYD 2012, “Building a better World, Partnering With Youth”, as well as the highlighted thematic areas associated with the topic were extensively discussed at the break-out session. Participants engage themselves and share ideas especially on what can be done to contribute to the building of a better world starting by first building their communities, their nation and then, the world at large.
During the discussion, the challenges facing our educational system were highlighted and the youth urge the government for an urgent review of Education policy that will enable an average Nigerian student to be creative and inventive. They also appeal to government to commit vast resources towards education, including science and technology research, training of teachers and scholarship for brilliant but less privileged students amongst other to guarantee worthwhile knowledge and capacity development. Youths call for a Sovereign National Conference where the voice of the Nigerian youth will be heard and considered, and it the time advocate for inclusive governance at all level of government from policy making to implementation rather than being used as political machinery and thug to perpetrate evil political agenda.
They also call on the government and the general public to see issues of corruption as a fight to finish and should be addressed topside down. In order to solve the unemployment of youths and increase entrepreneurship capacity, national resources must be directed towards the building of infrastructures and capital projects. Diversification in the non-oil sector, zero interest rate for entrepreneurs and a constant electricity supply will create a wider opportunities for youths to be productive and completely engaged in economic development.
To achieve a mega result, representatives at the forum suggested Youth-led organizations should come together, form a very stronger network, and work together to raise the level of awareness and advocacy on youth development and general issues. Youths asked the government, corporate bodies, international institutions and other stakeholders to see youthful initiatives as priority, hence partner and render their maximum support to the global call, “Building A Better World, Partnering With Youth.”
Organizations present at the event are: African Resourceful Leaders Foundation (Host), Y.E Magazine (Coordinating Partner), RAAP Networks, Youth Passion Initiatives, Ogbia Development Joint Force, Campaign for Democracy, Abstinence Icon, Super Change Brand, Justice Forum International, Christian Youth Association of Nigeria, D3H Foundation, Network for Talent Discovery, Caspertainment, YEC-Academy, Full Measure Impact, Unique Concept, FACE Nigeria, and Korede Bello (Musician; African Peace Ambassador).