by ‘Ifreke Inyang
The Central Working Committee (CWC) for The Future Awards (TFA), which has been described as the ‘Nobel Prize for Young Africans’, has announced the date for the 2012 edition – August 26. TFA is heralded each year as the country’s first major national event, but the organizers had previously announced in February this year that the calendar for the next season will be refreshed.
“In its place in January, we are presenting a brand new, more urgent, leadership platform, The Nigeria Symposium for Young & Emerging Leaders,” said Adedayo Osholowu, a member of the CWC and Director of The Future Awards Alumni Network. “The Future Awards has clearly achieved its purpose in highlighting the fact of a new generation of positive role model Nigerian leaders. Of course, we have a duty to sustain it, but at the same time we can safely move on to the next level in inspiring leadership – using the immense influence and outreach of The Future Awards platform to more effectively inject a fresh component into the direction of governance in Nigeria. We are excited about this historic first-of-its-kind event.”
“Referred to by the London Metropolitan University as “Africa’s Biggest Youth Event” and by the Office of the World Bank Vice President for Africa as “The Noble Prize for Young Africans”, The Future Awards has by itself and through its many spin-offs impacted millions of young Nigerians across all of Nigeria’s geo-political zones as well as Ghana, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
In 2010, it launched EnoughisEnough Nigeria, which quickly rose to become the premium voice for young people in politics and governance, birthing the wildly popular election RSVP (Register.Select.Vote.Protect) campaign,working closely with INEC and the police on the April General Elections, gaining funding from the MacArthur Foundation and the Omidyar Network and co-hosting Nigeria’s first Youth-Centred Presidential Debate – all in aperiod of 12 months.
According to the CWC, this is the next stage of its involvement in building a new generation of leaders: creating a critical mass of new leaders who are already blazing a trail and controlling systems – including business and political leaders, media leaders, thought leaders, civil society and public service leaders.
“What we are doing is quite simple,” says Adebola Williams, who is the Director of The Future Project. “We are gathering the brightest and best of young Nigerian leaders and our mandate is simple: for Nigeria to make leaps forward, this generation has to be different from the last. So we want to bring these leaders together and find out; what exactly is the problem? We want to speak honestly with people in and out of government as to why our leadership is the way it is; we want to understand practically the issues involves and the pitfalls to avoid; second, we want to now chart a course for how our own leadership will be different, purposive and truly transformative for Nigeria.”
To hold over two days, the first night will be a black-tie dinner for past winners of The Future Awards. Day 2, which is the Symposium, 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. Governments 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 Keynote speaker and headliner is Obiageli Ezekwesisli; World Bank Vice-President for Africa. She will be supported by Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto and member of the Oputa Panel, Bishop Matthew Kukah, while the Symposium Proper Speakers will be driven by plenary sessions where various sections of this leadership question will focus on the different sectors for emerging leaders including Young Politicians, Young Entrepreneurs, Young Technocrats in Government, Young People in Public Service, Young Professionals, Young Entertainers, Young Activists, Young Issue Advocates, Young Journalists and Young Social Media Engagers.
The event is presented by The Future Project in association with EnoughisEnough Nigeria. Partners include the International Republican Institute, the Federal Ministry for Youth Development, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, Governance 500 and LEAP Africa. Official Media Partners are Y! (www.ynaija.com), Channels TV, Cool FM, Wazobia FM Nigeria Info and CP-Africa.com, bellanaija.com.
While many of the participants will be invited based on their track record of leadership in various sector, a percentage of the seats have been opened for public nomination. If you believe you or someone you know has the leadership profile to be part of this historic event, see the below guidelines:
Choose your preferred session from the below and use that as the title of your e-mail
Emerging Leaders: Civil Servants – Is it Possible to Stand Out in
Emerging Leaders: Technocrats – Understanding the Problem: Politics or
Emerging Leaders: Politicians – The Matter of Mud
Emerging Leaders: Professionals – The Degrees of Separation
Emerging Leaders: Entertainers – When Is It More Than A Job?
Emerging Leaders: Entrepreneurs – Building an Alternative Resource-Base to
Emerging Leaders: New Media Commentators – Questioning the Effectiveness of
Emerging Leaders: Issue Advocates/Activists – How to Drive A Genuine Agenda
Emerging Leaders: Traditional Media – The Challenge of Responsible Influence
Other Information (Discussant Information)
Organisation and address
Project or Organization Website
Profile (150 words)
Describe your leadership roles:
What will be your contribution to this Symposium (150 words):
Please send this information to [email protected]. Nominations end on 23 December 2011. Only successful nominees will be contacted.
For more information, please call +234 802 222 6712 or email: [email protected].