Here is an excerpt of an interview we had with one of Nigeria’s development ambassadors at the African Youth and Governance Conference which held in Accra, Ghana.
Q: can we meet you?
I’m Ayodeji Oluwalonimi Okunlola. A native of Okemesi-Ekiti State( 21years); An ideation developer, Biz-Sustainabilty trainer and Sustainable Development per Climate change Campaigner. Amongst other involvements I’m the Chapter (Nigeria) Vice-President of Challenge Future; an Organization committed to Virtual Youth collaboration, open innovation, Competition and Organised idea think tanks globally. He’s also a Virtual Working Member of the Information Resource Center of the Public Affairs Section, United States Consulate in Nigeria. I’m a final year student of Electrical and Electronics Engineering at the Federal University of Technology Akure.
Q: How did you know about AYG-C?
I got to know about AYG-C 2012 through a senior friend Ambassador Stephen Oguntoyinbo.
Q: What was your contribution to the conference?
My contribution to the conference was centered around two distinct imperatives;
– Virtual Youth Collaboration Open innovation as tool for job creation, via leveraging on the world’s leading platform for such Challenge Future. Through this open platform interested individuals(with a major focus on youths) could secure support for projects, build career expertise, harness existent peer mentorship schemes and exploit other opportunities present on the network.
– Contributing Participation in an intellectual discourse on Active and Meaningful youth participation as a fulcrum for National Development; where i expressly shared my precise views towards building sustainable structures that would cut across religious, ethnic/geographical and educational lines, while developing policies that will affect young people on the continent.
Q: What did gain from the conference?
Amongst other crucial information gotten in my areas of expertise and interest, i gained a succinct know how on the roles of youths in constructively demanding from our National leaders the implementation of the Africa Youth Charter ratified by member Africa Union (AU) states. Thus compelling them enforce their decision as agreed on at Addis Ababa, whilst declaring the year 2009-2019, the decade of youth development in African to actively address priority issues for the empowerment of the African youth such as;
– Safe spaces for recreation and leisure,
– Participation in policy- making process at national, regional and continental levels, and
– Maintaining a healthy environment for the African youth.
Q: What is your post-conference plan?
To actively train and equip young people on growing sustainable enterprises as the need arises, thus fostering avenues for job creation.
To continually promote virtual collaboration/ open innovation for teaming individuals (especially youths in Nigeria), via existent platforms, and last but not the least
To build with other partners a world that can work for all; one sustainable step at a time.
Q: What is your view of the conference?
I believe the organizers should keep the good work going, and as much as possible, move the hosting of the annual conference to other member Africa states in the coming years.
ACMA: Thank you.
A: You are welcome.