by Yemi Olowu
“The Symposium is driven by and centered around the next generation of Nigerian leaders between the ages of 25 and 40; and the discussants for the Symposium are all young and emerging leaders,” says Adebola Williams, who is director with The Future Project. “However, it is also useful to have accomplished Nigerians from various sectors to share their practical perspectives and set the tone for the conversation.”
The Symposium is presented by The Future Project, in conjunction with EnoughisEnough, Nigeria. It is held in partnership with the Nigeria Leadership Initiative, LEAP Africa, Governance 500, the Federal Ministry of Youth Development, and The International Republican Institute. Media Partners include Channels Television, Y! (www.ynaija.com), TW, BellaNaija.com and Cp-Africa.com.
Other speakers include Bishop Matthew Kukah (Bishop of the Sokoto Diocese of the Catholic Church), Prof Pat Utomi (Director, Centre for Applied Economics, Lagos Business School), Biola Alabi (MD, Mnet Africa), Nasir el-Rufai (Former Minister, Federal Capital Territory), amongst others.
“The Future Awards has clearly achieved its purpose in highlighting the fact of a new generation of positive role model Nigerian leaders and we have a duty to sustain it,” Williams explains further. “We have decided to up the ante in inspiring leadership – using the immense influence and outreach of The Future Awards platform to inject a fresh component into the direction of governance in Nigeria. We are excited about this historic first-of-its-kind event.”
Dayo Osholowu, 2009 winner of The Future Awards for Professional of the Year and Director of The Future Awards Alumni Network said 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 involved 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,” he said.
The Symposium which is an annual event will be driven by a question confronting emerging leaders – this year it is: “How do we work with government: Engage or Fight?” The Symposium is structured into ‘Plenary’ and ‘Break-Out’ Sessions with stimulating conversations about Nigeria’s leadership crisis and the way forward for a new generation.
The Keynote Speaker and Headliner is Obiageli Ezekwesili, World Bank Vice-President for Africa.
The theme for the break-out sessions are:
Emerging Leaders: Public/Civil Servants – Is it Possible to Stand Out in Government?
Emerging Leaders: Technocrats – Understanding the Problem: Politics or Competence?
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 Affect Governance
Emerging Leaders: New Media Commentators – Questioning the Effectiveness of Arm-Chairs
Emerging Leaders: Issue Advocates/Activists – How to Drive a Genuine Agenda
Emerging Leaders: Traditional Media – The Challenge of Responsible Influence
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. To nominate, please visit www.thefuturenigeria.com/category/symposium.
The Symposium is a precursor to the launch of Season 7 of The Future Awards. The Future Awards 2012 holds on August 26, and will be officially launched at a media and VIP event in May, 2012. Information about the awards are on www.thefutureanigeria.com.