The Future Awards announces The Nigeria Symposium for Young & Emerging Leaders… Obiageli Ezekwesili & Matthew Kukah to lead conversation

The Central Working Committee (CWC) of The Future Awards, reputed as the continent’s most influential youth event, has announced the inaugural edition of The Nigeria Symposium for Young & Emerging Leaders – to hold in Lagos, Nigeria on January 11 and 12, 2011. Keynote Addresses will be given by World Bank Vice President for Africa, Obiageli Ezekwesili. She is joined by Bishop of the Sokoto Catholic Diocese, Matthew Kukah and other

The event is presented by The Future Project in conjunction with EnoughisEnough Nigeria and the International Republican Institute.

“The Future Awards has clearly served its larger purpose consistently,” said a statement from the CWC. “On 21 June, 2011, the United States First Lady in a message from the White House, acknowledged the contribution to development of a remarkable young Nigerian lady, Toyosi Akerele. Ms. Akerele’s work was brought to Mrs. Obama’s attention after she was nominated for the US Government’s International Visitors Leadership Program, by The Future Awards.”

“In 2010, it launched EnoughisEnough Nigeria, now an independent organisation, whi

ch quickly rose to become the premium voice for young people in politics and governance, birthing the popular election RSVP (Register.Select.Vote.Protect) Campaign; gaining funding from th
e MacArthur Foundation and Omidyar Network, co-hosting Nigeria’s first Youth-Centred Presidential Debate and working closely with INEC and other CSOs on the April General Elections – all in a period of 12 months. Just a few examples – but it has clearly been in the forefront of defining and promoting the right leadership for Nigeria’s prominent youth population.”

In Mrs. Ezekwesili’s words - “The Future Awards is easily the Nobel Prize for Young Africans – in depth, in intent, in acceptance and in international profile. I call theirs the Turning Point Generation and I am proud to headline this first edition and look forward to leading a conversation driven by the young people themselves.”

According to the CWC, this is the next stage of its involvement in building a new generation of leaders who are already blazing trails and controlling systems in business, politics, media, thought, civil society and public service. { The objectives of the Symposium include influencin
g national leadership outcomes in the immediate, determining leadership needs for national development and creating a networking platform to drive leadership projects, forcefully injecting fresh and effective components in governance.

To hold over two days, the first night will be a black-tie dinner for past winners of The Future Awards. The Symposium on Day 2, will be a charged exchange of ideas and knowledge in a TED-talks format that will focus on leadership and governance and the challenge of involvement and influence. Government representatives across all levels will be invited as observers and outcomes include: white papers, viral videos, a definitive guide to youth leaders from across sectors in Nigeria and collaboration on three selected community projects.

Every year’s Symposium will be driven by a ‘leadership question’ that most concerns emerging leaders. This year, that leadership question is: How do we work with government: Engage or Fight? The theme will be discussed by different segments of young emerging leaders - politicians, entrepreneurs, technocrats in government, professionals, entertainers, activists, issue advocates, journalists and social media engagers.

“With an acknowledged youth bulge across the continent and the continued prominence of young people in all areas of life including culture and governance,” said ‘Yemi Adamolekun of EnoughisEnough Nigeria. “It is important to have an organised structure that harnesses the power, potential and ideas for nation building and injects it into national affairs.”

The event is held in association with the Federal Ministry of Youth Development, LEAP Africa and Y! Magazine.

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