Nurturing young & emerging leaders: Obiageli Ezekwesili and Matthew Kukah to headline a The Future Awards symposium

by Willfred Okiche

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, 2012. 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 speakers.

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

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.”

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.

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

 The Future Awards, now in its seventh year, is an influential and popular youth platform that identifies young people who have excelled at their work, celebrates their achievements, and showcases them as role models to inspire a generation of Africans to believe in themselves and the future of their countries. With outreaches to Ghana, Ethiopia and South Africa, The Future Awards has been described by respected leaders as “Africa’s biggest youth event” and in six years, has produced 126 winners and over 1,000 nominees. Our mission at The Future Awards is to inspire leadership and build enterprise.

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