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Category: Press Release

PRESS RELEASE – African youth visit Abuja for CANVASSITY Youth Democracy Fellowship

33 Nigerian participants from 17 states across the six geo political zones of Nigeria and 2 international participants from Liberia converged in Abuja Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, for CANVASSITY Youth Democracy Fellowship between 20th and 23rd September 2016 at NBC Centenary House 33 Lusaka Street Wuse Zone 6 Abuja.

CANVASSITY is an innovative youth centric program designed to increase the capacity of youth to effectively engage and support government institutions deliver impactful governance, raise efficiency and improve accountability.

The second semester of CANVASSITY was a huge success even though 19 participants that participated in the first semester did not meet up with the required activities to qualify them to attend the second semester. More so, 9 of the participants that qualified to attend the second semester could not make it due to unforeseen circumstances beyond their control. Thus, we had 19 new participants that joined the second semester. The new participants had the opportunity to witness first semester delegates make presentations on their PiOs, Community Outreach (Crowd Pulling Events) and Youth-Government Engagement experiences.

During the 4 days program, participants went through 8 sessions covering topics like: Emerging Societies and Emerging; What is Democracy? Its History and Purpose?; Key Ingredient of a quality Democracy viz-a-viz Participation; Exploring Transactional and Transformational Leadership Types; Integrity Mapping; Engaging Government Institution Toolkit; Does Disability Hinder Leadership Capacity; Character Traits and Motivational to be A Good/Bad Leader in Africa Public Service Arena.

Speakers included: Kingsley Bangwell – Team leader, Youngstars Development Initiative International, Abuja; ‘Sola Fagorusi –Programs and Media Manager, Onelife Initiative for Human Development; Mrs Ekaete Umo, advocate, activist, educator, and researcher, Founder and Executive Director, Family Centred Initiative for Challenged Persons (FACICP) and Benjamin Dankaka, President, Global Leaders and Readers Club and YALI Fellow 2015.

There was an Experience Sharing Panel- “Is Government Well Positioned to Deliver Impactful Governance?’’ with four CANVASSITY leading engaging governance participants David Germu-Liberia, Victor Anderson Enim, Ruth Eyitayo Lawal and Auwal Adamu Muhammad all from Nigeria. On the third day of the training/ workshop,there was a CANVASSITY paint exhibition where 13 students showcased their canvas drawings, and shared their experiences on engaging government with the public. There was a courtesy visit with lots of excitements from the participants to DAAR Communication Plc complex, owners of AIT- Africa Independent Television our media partner, the delegation was received by top management of DAAR Communication, including Mrs. Tosin Dokpesi Wife of Owner of DAAR Communications PLC. Participants shared their experiences and DAAR Communication expressed their commendation of CANVASSITY and promised sustained media support for future editions

CANVASSITY is an initiative of Youngstars Foundation, funded by National Endowment for Democracy NED USA with African Independent Television (AIT) as the Media Partners.

 

Signed

Adaje Sunday

Program Administrator

08060682969

canvassity@gmail.com

CANVASSITY Delegation Visiting Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania for International Learning Visit

A delegation of participants from the maiden edition of CANVASSITY Youths Democracy Fellowship Academy is visiting Dar es Salaam as part of a (1) one week International Learning Visit aimed to increase their capacity to engage and collaborate with government institutions to increase accountability and efficiency in governance. The delegation is being accompanied by Kingsley Bangwell, Executive director Youngstars Foundation and Adaje Sunday, Head of Programs and the program administrator.

Anas Sunusi Gusau, Martina Odok Owa, Kufre Efre Etim and Martha Ihotu Odoh are all participants of CANVASSITY and will be visiting various public and private institution as well as other youth NGOs/CSOs in Dar es Salaam. The Learning Visit will provides cross- border youth civil society learning for delegate to gain broader perspectives on democracy work, and increase their capacity as democracy activist.This component of CANVASSITY was introduced with the sole aim of providing delegates a first-hand experience of another democracy within Africa.

CANVASSITY Youth Democracy Fellowship Academy is a program innovatively designed to increase the capacity of youth to effectively engage, collaborate and support government institutions to achieve improved governance impact and raise accountability and to inspired young people to be more complimentary.

Apply for Season 2

Youngstars Foundation and International Republican Institute Hosts A One Day Youth Colloquium on the state of Governance

The National Youth Colloquium on State of Governance in Nigeria held at the conference hall of Kanem Suites, #41 Ajose Adegun Street, Utako, Abuja on the 25th May, 2016. A total number of 101 participants from 26 States across Nigeria including the FCT were in attendance.

During the event, three (3) panel sessions took place with panelists drawn from youth led civil society groups, political parties, and government agencies. Also, there was a break out session during which participants were asked to identify and discuss 2-3 youth and governance priorities and the practical actions youth can contribute over the next 12 month. To crown the day was the debate session on the topic “One year of the present government in office, has the state of the youth improved?”.

At the end of the program, a communiqué was developed by participants to voice their position on youth priority areas they want government to consider in the next 12 Colloquium Communique and Working Document 2016months.

OUTCOME FROM PANEL SESSIONS

Panel 1: Democracy and Public Governance from a Youth Lens: Challenges, Opportunities and Next Steps.

National Youth Colloquium on State of Governance in Nigeria Panel 1

Panelists:

  • Myani Bukar – Presidency, Abuja.
  • Sola Fagorusi – Onelife Initiative, Oyo State.
  • Samson Itodo – YIAGA, Abuja.
  • Priscilla Obaifo – Braveheart, Edo state.
  • Ifeoma Malo – Energy and Policy Consultant, Abuja.

Moderator:

  • Kingsley Bangwell – Youngstars Foundation

Panelists were drawn from civil society groups, political parties and government representative. Sola Fagurosi alleged that the present government were unable to properly and effectively communicate its programs and policy to Nigerians and the alarming rate of job lost which majority of the audience agreed. More so, Priscilla Obaifor, also made mention of deteriorated nature of the economy. Ifeoma Malo spoke on the removal of the fuel subsidy and paucity of fund that necessitated it removal. While Samson Itodo drew the attention of the audience to growing disobedience of court orders and disrespect for the judiciary, which portents a great danger to upholding the rule of law in a democratic setting and the frosty relationship between the executive and the legislature in the last one-year which has also hampered the pace of governance, including the 2016 Budget Appropriation. Most importantly, Myani Bukar agreed to some extend that there is a communication gap between the government and the citizenry, and he also said the present government underestimate the enormity of the problems.

Panel 2: Youth Political Participation in Nigeria: Challenges, prospects and Next Steps.

National Youth Colloquium on State of Governance in Nigeria Panel 1

Panelists:

  • Tanko Yakassai – Global Shaper, Kano State.
  • Ms Indi Kato – Youth Political Activist, Abuja.
  • Donald Unanka – Potters Gallery, Abuja.
  • Ifeanyi Aniagoh – SSA to Gov. Willi Obiano, Anambra State

Moderator:

  • Kimberly Nwanchukwu – On Air Personality, Nigeria Info Abuja.

All panelists were politicians except Donald Unanka who is a person living with disability (PLWD). Tanko Yakassai said one of the major limitation gap for youth participation in politics are age limit and finances, however he said some youth are already making progress in that regard, like the speaker of kaduna state house of assembly and a federal house of representative in Bauchi state who are both below 35 years. Donald Unanka highlighted the demography of (PLWD) Persons with Disability who represent a huge demography that are still being alienated due to the absence of a legislation to guarantee their fundamental right to participate. Most of the audience who are youth commended the fight against corruption of this administration. However, there is a perception that the anticorruption campaign is one sided. Ifeanyi Aniagoh said the President needs to demonstrate high trust in the youth capacity by appointing credible and competent youth into his cabinet and other key positions which the audience agreed and the agitation for a reduction in the age to vie for high political offices. While Ms Kato elaborated on the challenges facing female in political participation and the lack of support from the female gender as well.

Panel 3: Nigeria 2016 Budget Appropriation – Implication and Windows for Youth Development.

National Youth Colloquium on State of Governance in Nigeria Panel 1

Panelists:

  • Abiola – Bugit, Lagos.
  • Charlse Olufemi – Aide to SSA to the president on Youth and Student Affairs.
  • Idayat Hassan – Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Abuja.

Moderator:

  • Sola Fagorusi – Onelife Initaitive, Oyo state.

Idayat Hassan from CDD kick started the session by stating on how citizen can get involve in budget monitoring and evaluation, she also said an average Nigeria youth is not well informed about the Constitution and the National Budget and so cannot effectively engage government and demand accountability. While Abiola from Budgit gave an extensive analysis on how Budgit collect, analyse and publish their data for citizen consumption and where youth can find what is being allocated in the budget for them. However, Charlse Olufemi said there is so much focus on the Federal Government, whereas youth need to focus more on state and local government for accountability and transparency. He further, said an average youth are just interested in what the can get during elections instead of thoroughly examining candidates and voting for the persons with credibility and competence during elections.

The general feeling among the audience is that they should make the effort to have a copy of the national, state and local government annual budgets and track government projects that are captured in the budgets so that they can hold government accountable at all levels and the process of recall for non-performing elected legislature was also emphasized.

PRESS RELEASE – African youth visit Calabar for CANVASSITY Youth Democracy Fellowship 2016

44 Nigerian participants from 21 states from the six geo political zones of Nigeria and one international participant from Montserrado, Liberia converged in Calabar, Cross River state for CANVASSITY Youth Democracy Fellowship between 23rd and 26th February 2016 at the Mirage Hotel, Calabar.

CANVASSITY is an innovative youth centric program designed to increase the capacity of youth to effectively engage and support government institutions deliver impactful governance, raise efficiency and improve accountability. Inspired to encourage young people to be more complimentary of government and not to be always critical, the program received 168 applications from interested youth, from which only 45 were selected from Nigeria and Liberia to attend the first semester of the training.

During the 4 days program, participants went through 10 sessions covering topics like: understanding democracy; blue ocean engagement, the art of public governance, maximizing citizen’s engagement, how technology and social media is shaping governance among others. They also engaged in debates and group works and competitions.

On day 3, participants were grouped into  teams and assigned to 10 government institutions in Calabar for a half day internship, to experience how government works, their impact, their challenges as well as possible ways of collaboration with citizenry. Institutions that hosted delegates include: Ministry of Health, Ministry of works and Housing, Ministry of International Donor Corporation, Ministry of Information and Orientation, Ministry of New Cities Development, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Land and Urban Development, Department of Due process and Price Intelligence, Calabar Urban Development Authority and Office of Heads of Service.

Speakers included: Kingsley Bangwell – Team leader, Youngstars Development Initiative International, Abuja; ‘Sola Fagorusi –Programs and Media Manager, Onelife Initiative for Human Development; Bulus Dabit – Plateau State Director General National Orientation Agency and Francis Ekpo – Commissioner of Marketing, Calabar Carnival Commission.

After semester 1, each participant is required to conduct a step down to at least 40 youth in his or her community within an 8 weeks’ timeline. Each participant is also required to work with an artist to draw a painting that illustrates a social issue he or she desires to address by collaborating with a government under the 6 months long fellowship. In August 2016, selected participants shall embark on a 10-days learning visit to a country in Africa practicing democracy to engage with their stakeholders and the program shall conclude in September 2016 with an exhibition of youth and government collaborations on social governance.

CANVASSITY is an initiative of Youngstars Foundation, funded by National Endowment for Democracy NED USA with African Independent Television (AIT) as the Media Partners.

Sign

Adaje Sunday

Program Administrator

07035535876 or 08060682969

Canvassity@gmail.com

Pat Utomi Prize for Students’ Debate on Public Policy 2016 Grand Finale

The Youngstars Foundation in partnership with Centre for Values in Leadership birthed The Pat Utomi Prize for Students’ Debate on Public Policy initiative which is designed to be an annual debate festival that revives and stimulates the fast eroding culture of students’ debates in campuses on government policies, programs and public affairs in Nigeria.

The just concluded Pat Utomi Prize for Students’ Debate on Public Policy was in honor of a renowned economist and public commentator, Professor Patrick Utomi on his 60th birthday.

The preliminary debates of the Pat Utomi Prize for Students’ Debate on Public Policy was held in Youngstars Foundation Youth Resource Park, Abuja, Nigeria, where over 300 video entries of interested undergraduates of Nigerian institutions was received. Only 16 undergraduates scaled through all selection process to participate in the Preliminary Stages that was held on Friday, 22nd January 2016. The modality of the preliminary stages was such that the 16 qualified debaters were put into 4 groups of 4 persons each to debate head to head against each other in a direct knock out process on various topics as allotted.

Afterwards, the debate commenced deeply with the undergraduates going head to head in the first stage. Only 8 winners proceeded to the next stage, where again they debated head to head in a profoundly contested, stern and full-bodied challenge of each other’s points and argument.  At the end of the second stage, the 4 debaters with the overall highest scores from the 3 judges emerged and proceeded to the grand finale where the 1st, 2nd and 3rd will be rewarded; N750, 000, N500, 000 and N250, 000 respectively.

The final debate was held at Agip Hall Muson Center, Lagos Nigeria on Friday, 5th February 2016, during the 60th birthday celebration of Prof Pat Utomi with other great dignitaries.

Youngstars Foundation and Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL), hereby announces the winners of The Pat Utomi Prize for Students’ Debate on Public Policy 2016:

Name Institution Age Position Prize
Elizabeth Nwarueze University of Ibadan 19 1 N750,000
Nwangwu Abigail Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka 23 2 N500,000
Temiwunmi Akinmuleya University of Ibadan 18 3 N250,000
Oluwadara Olaniyan University of Ibadan 17 4

Winners were presented their certificates by Dr. Mrs Ifeoma Utomi, esteemed wife of Prof Pat Utomi. The winner with the 1st position presented a short speech appreciating Prof Pat Utomi, she also requested that the debate championship be sustained and that future edition be televised on national television to reach more audience and inspire wider intellectual development among especially undergraduates and youth at large. The student in fourth position was commended by one of the esteemed guest with a sum of N50, 000 for a job well done. The emerging winners were flocked by their parents and loved ones who were present at the event.

Our heartfelt appreciation goes to Professor Patrick Utomi, and according to the Executive Director of Youngstars Foundation, Kingsley Bangwell he commends Prof. Pat Utomi for his magnanimous donation and investment in the emerging generation as he calls Prof Pat Utomi as:

the man who teaches us how to live and inspires us to dream more, learn more, do more and become more.

Four finalists emerge for Pat Utomi Prize for Students’ Debate on Public Policy 2016.

In marking the 60th birthday celebration of renowned economist and public commentator Prof. Patrick Utomi, Youngstars Foundation in partnership with Center for Values in Leadership (CVL) is organizing an undergraduate debate challenge in honour of him. From over 330 video entries received from undergraduates across tertiary institutions in Nigeria, 16 undergraduates were selected through a rigorous and transparent screening process to participate in the preliminary stage. The preliminary stage which held on Friday 22nd January 2016 at Youngstars Foundation Youth Resource Park, saw the 16 debaters divided into 4 groups of 4 persons each to debate head to head against each other in a direct knock out process.

Before commencing the debates, Prof Pat Utomi spoke to the debaters via a telephone conference, commending them for their efforts and stating that they were all winners. Afterwards the debate commenced in earnest with the undergraduates going head to head in the first stage. Only 8 winners proceeded to the next stage, where again they debated head to head in a keenly contested, fierce and robust challenge of each other’s points and argument.  At the end of the second stage, the 4 debaters with the overall highest scores from the 3 judges have emerged and shall proceed to the grand finale which will hold on 6th February 2016 in Lagos during the 60th birthday celebration of Prof Pat Utomi.

The 4 finalists comprise 3 females and 1 male as listed below

  • Abigail Nwangu – Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka
  • Elizabeth Nwarueze – University of Ibadan
  • Olaniyan Oluwadara – University of Ibadan
  • Temiwumi Akimuleya – University of Ibadan

The four debaters are contending for the following education support prizes made possible through the gracious donation of Prof Pat Utomi

1st Prize – N750,000. 2nd Prize – N500,000. 3rd Prize – N250,000.

Pat Utomi Prize for Students Debate on Public Policy is an initiative of Youngstars Foundation in partnership with CVL, founded by Prof Pat Utomi.

Young Innovators Converge to Increase Innovation and Creative Disruption Skills in Thinking School Africa 2015 – Abuja, Nigeria

About 83 young innovators from 19 states of the six geo political zones of Nigeria converged in Abuja for a 5 days youth innovation bootcamp titled Thinking School Africa between 23rd and 27th November 2015, at the Silverbird Galleria. The program which has held annually since 2013 in Dubai, United Arab Emirate was hosted in Abuja, Nigeria for the very first time. During the 5 days innovation bootcamp, participants went through the Thinking Innovation Module based on the Kingsley Bangwell ICOTICS Principles of Innovation designed to enable participants map opportunities and create innovative solutions in their areas of interest. Others speakers from Africa included Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola – CEO and Co-Founder, Wecyclers Lagos State, Tom Osbon – Founder and CEO, Greenchar Nairobi Kenya, Jens Martins – CEO Biomega Denmark and Young Global Leader, Adaora Asala – MD Easy Taxi Abuja, Nigeria, Prince Akinwale Roy Ojomo – Executive Director, Diaspora Innovation Institute, Nigeria, Austin Orji – CIO Field Africa. Hon. Ayodele Oladimeji – Member Representing Ado Ekiti/Irepodun/Ifelodun Federal Constituency Ekiti State and Sen. Biodun Olujimi Representing Ekiti South Senatorial District Ekiti State were present to give goodwill messages and inspire the delegates.

At the end of the 5 days, there was a Thinking Colloquium where participant’s shared new ideas resulting from the program. Participants shall now embark on the next phase which is a 6 months fellowship to further develop their ideas under the supervision of our global mentors based in America, Canada, Britain and Africa. According to the host Kingsley Bangwell – CEO of Youngstars Foundation and Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, “I’m on a long term quest to spark a pandemic culture of fostering home grown innovations and disruptors to make most of the things we consume in the continent of Africa. Thinking School Africa is our deliberate effort to increase the capacity of the African youth to think, innovate and create breakthrough solutions that will accelerate job creation and prosperity in the continent… inventions and innovations is not the prerogative of any special demographics, Africans can and must innovate”. He promises that from 2016, he shall unveil a more elaborate strategy to reach and empower 1million young innovators in the continent of Africa over a 10 years period.

For more details visit www.youngstarsfoundation.org/thinkingschool