By Princess Owoh
A group of youths, under the auspices of a United State-funded initiative, the Mandela Washington Fellow Alumni Association of Nigeria, MWFAAN, weekend, announced plans to empower over a thousand young people across the country to contribute towards Nigeria’s economic growth and development, as well as the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, SDG.
Briefing newsmen in Abuja, as part of programmes lined up ahead of their Young Leaders Assembly, President of MWFAAN, Mr. Lamide Johnson, expressed concern that Nigerian youths were not carried along in the implementation of the SDGs.
This, according to him, was what necessitated the decision of the group to figure out how the current trend can be reversed and had created a number of programmes that would soon be implemented, adding that already, a number of young people had been engaged.
He said, “These notable and distinguished young leaders are currently championing various projects and initiatives that are capable of redefining the socioceconomic landscape of Nigeria as well as the African continent with supports from country’s government s and corporate organizations across Africa.
“Since inception to date the Nigeria arm of the alumni network is believed to be the largest and strongest youth network in Africa, priding itself with about 405 young leaders providing leadership for over 120,000 Young African Leaders Initiative, YALI, network members.
“We are planning to put together over a thousand youth to discuss how to develop the seventeen sustainability goals. We have included the six geo-political zones.”
Johnson explained that, “One of the proposed programmes to be done is the ‘Beyond School Community Challenge,’ BSCC, and in this challenge we will identify young people in secondary schools and what we will do is find out the problem they have and can identify in their immediate community and what solutions they can proffer to them.”
He added that the essence of the BSCC programme was to provide platform for outstanding secondary school students to provide solutions to problems around their environment by creating community development projects, guided by mentors and their school.”