Edo Youth Productivity Summit: A Timely Alternative To Limited White-Colar Jobs

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The popular saying that “necessity is the mother of invention” cannot be less true when one considers the “whys” of how the Edo Youth Productivity Summit came about two years ago. In this article, PLATFORM REPORTERS’ Sylvanus Obasi takes us through the whats, the whys, the whens and the hows of this unique initiative which recently passed its second edition.

Edo Youth Productivity Summit is a platform that converges public and private stakeholders, seasoned entrepreneurs, young professionals and students with a view to exposing the global opportunities that abound for students and youth in the 21st century.

The event is being organized annually by Campus Leadership Initiative for Peace (CLIP Africa), a youth-led/youth-serving organization with a focus on entrepreneurship and leadership development; education and career mentorship, community mobilization and strategic policy formulation.

The goal of CLIPS Africa is to use entrepreneurship as a tool to curbing youth restiveness and generally reducing unemployment which is the major reason for youth involvement in social vices.

BACKGROUND: Why Edo Youth Productivity Summit?

According to Mr Franklyn Oshio, Convener of the Summit, “The biggest problem challenging African youth in the 21st century is lack of jobs and access to opportunities; hence, the growing youth unemployment rate.

“In the last quarter of 2018, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that Nigeria ranked the fastest growing population with shrinking economy. The records shows that 40 million Nigeria youths are unemployed, 83 million Nigerians are poor, 10.4 million children are out of school, 153 million Nigerians live on less than two dollars a day, all traceable to lack of decent jobs.

“As a result, Edo Youth Productivity Summit was borne out of the desire to ignite, build and equip global entrepreneurs/social innovators who will sustain communities that are oriented by job creation”, Oshio stated.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: In line with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 8, this project focuses on three cardinal points:

I. To discover and raise at least one thousand (1000) young & influential leaders, change-makers and entrepreneurs in Edo State within five years and connect them to global opportunities.

II. To aid the development of talented individuals looking for a platform to launch out and ensuring that one-third of them gain national or international recognition for excellence and career success.

III. To significantly reduce all forms of social vices and make Edo State home for investors and tourists.

WHO ARE THE TARGET AUDIENCE?
– Young, business-savvy entrepreneurs who are not just looking for a job but out to create jobs by starting their own companies/businesses.

– Young, outspoken activists who will stand up for their communities and call-out for justice.

– Young, creative artists and entertainers who will tell our stories and represent us in the worlds of music, film, television, books and theaters.

– Disruptive innovators, barrier-breaking scientists and tech geniuses who are already making scientific discoveries and technological breakthroughs to make life more comfortable.

– Young environmentalists and green innovators who are fighting to ensure that their communities have clean air, drinkable water and access to healthy food.

– Young political servant leaders who are people oriented and cautious of accountability and transparency in governance.

PLANS & STRATEGIES:
CLIPS Africa as an organization is purpose-driven and action oriented. Thus, it has outlined the following plans and steps as a guide towards achieving the project.

– During the summit, young entrepreneurs will have the opportunities to pitch their business ideas to angel investors, seasoned panelists, and mentors.

– A follow-up training and online master classes that would help monitor talents that have been discovered and also link them up with relevant industries for internships, further trainings and mentoring.

– A monthly meet-ups scheduled as follow-up and onsite training avenues.

ECHOES OF 2ND EDO YOUTH PRODUCTIVITY SUMMIT
The second edition of Edo Youth Productivity Summit was held on May 25th, 2019 at ICT Lecture Theatre, Auchi Polytechnics, Edo state.

The theme of this year’s Summit was entitled, “Alternative Solutions to Unemployment”. This year, the occasion was organised by CLIPS Africa in partnership with Centre for Entrepreneurship Development Auchi Polytechnic (CEDAP) and the Student Union Government (SUG) of the school. The occasion explored and exposed various business ideas that students and youths can venture into.

At the occasion, a Cameroonian and Mandela Washington Fellow, Mr. Henry Foretia took the participants through some practical workshops on agro business.

Also, the CEO of Tony Elumelu Foundation who was represented by Tres Omokaro spoke extensively on how the foundation is encouraging seed to scaling through capacity building funding of innovative and creative start-ups. He encouraged the students and other youths present at the occasion to seize those numerous global opportunities for starts-up around the world to change their community and their future.

Speaking at the occasion, the Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki thanked the organisers of the project and described it as a timely intervention in a time where white collar jobs are hard to come by.

Governor Obaseki who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Taiwo Akerele encouraged the participants to put to practise all they learnt from the occasion in order to position themselves for numerous initiative of the state government through Edo Job.

Earlier in his address, the Convener and Founder of CLIP Africa, Mr Franklyn Oshio Imhomoh emphasised on the need for youths to shun social vices. He urged youths to focus more on creating value for money, saying It was the only way to solve the challenges confronting youth in their various communities.

Speaking further, Franklyn advised Edo youth to shun shortcut to success, adding that only productive minds would last in business and life endeavours.

Highlight of 2nd Edo Youth Productivity Summit was presentation of awards to some deserving individuals who are models and have shown exemplary leadership in their various communities. Among others, is the current current Head of Department of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma; Engr. Dr. Lawrence Imeakhai whose work at the department of Industrial Production Engineering earn the department full accreditation.

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