The achievements of Africans in the diaspora, and specifically Nigerians, offer hope for the future of Africa. The October 2023 edition of The Platform Nigeria held 1st of October 2023 in Nigeria was an important event that aimed to educate Africans, particularly Nigerians, about their critical role in advancing the continent. The theme of the event, which centered on shaping minds, fostering talents, and pushing the boundaries of progress, deeply resonated with the nation’s fundamental values. Led by Pastor Poju Oyemade, the event featured a remarkable lineup of speakers from various parts of Africa, all working towards promoting national growth and development.
The event was a well-organized and strategically executed, and much praise goes to the organizer. With Africa, particularly Nigeria, at a critical juncture, the speakers displayed impressive intellect and a balanced perspective as they examined various topics that impact the continent. While knowledge is crucial for economic growth, the speakers emphasized the need to take action. Each speaker highlighted the importance of having the courage to take action. Constructing a great country is a colossal task, but ultimately extending that greatness throughout the entire continent and showcasing it to the world is the ultimate objective.
Here are some of the key takeaways that each speaker shared, presented in no specific order:
Prof. Patrick Lumumba (Kenyan lawyer
He expressed a strong conviction about the untapped potential of Africans and lamented the exploitation of our resources by the Western world. He acknowledged the remarkable determination of previous generations to achieve what we have today. Below are the main ideas he highlighted.
– Change depends on the choices we make as a continent.
– Education is vital, we need to re-educate ourselves to avoid becoming dangerous to ourselves and to raise our self-esteem.
– It is crucial to elect the right people into political office and make conscious efforts
to resolve conflicts.
– We must improve every sector of governance and pay attention to our service to humanity.
– Wrong questions provide wrong answers.
– We must resolve our conflicts in Africa. The greatness of Africa is dependent on Nigeria’s greatness.
– Our unity as a continent will lead to greater respect.
Bolanle Austin-Peters (Founder of BAP Productions and The Arts and Culture center Terra Kulture)
One can observe the deep care she has for the entertainment and creative sector. She highlighted the areas they excel in, which Nigeria could learn from. Below are the significant points she brought up.
– The Government agencies must behave like the private sector and manage properly to
make good policies.
– Equipping the creative industry, art, and tech is vital to putting Nigeria on the map.
– Education is the next essential key to a better Nigeria.
– We must create a thriving environment for entrepreneurs since they employ labour.
– Risk capital and corporate investors come when the country is working.
– We must change our narratives and have a sense of identity.
– We must articulate and execute a vision to fruition.
– There is hope for Nigeria.
Vusi Thembekwayo (Founder and CEO of
MyGrowthfund Venture Partners)
During his speech, he brought up the topic of African citizens facing difficulties when travelling within the continent due to visa restrictions. He highlighted the stress and inconvenience this causes in comparison to the ease of travel within Europe. Here are the main points he discussed.
– We need to have the courage to rise above the hashtags, negativity and hate.
– The pas should not keep us stagnant.
– Power is seized, do not wait for it to be given.
– Africans must unite and build together.
– Constantly question every perspective intelligently.
– It is easier to build strong children than repair weak men, let’s start building.
Dr. Modupe Adefeso-Olateju (Managing Director of The Education Partnership Centre (TEP Centre))
At the start of her presentation, she gave a brief history of Nigeria’s education and growth. She emphasized the importance of unity in the nation’s leadership strategy throughout the years. She also highlighted the significance of SDG4, which emphasizes the need for education as the foundation for sustainable development growth.
– The need to prioritize education, use the curriculum as a roadmap
– Ask the right questions, and refresh the national vision for education.
– Education is a potential driver of economic growth.
– The importance of accountability and functional separation of education from politics.
– Dream big and envision a thriving education system in the years to come.
Dr. Bosun Tijani (Nigerian Minister of
and Digital Economy)
During his presentation, he discussed the importance of GDP regarding the overall development of the country and its citizens. He noted that while Nigeria has experienced growth, the standard of living for its people has remained stagnant. He emphasized that Nigeria has the potential to make a significant impact on the continent, given the abundance of valuable resources, particularly human capital.
Here are the key points he mentioned:
– Everyone should contribute to the nation’s growth by utilizing the resources and increasing production factors.
– The need to build core knowledge and exploit technology, even in agriculture.
– Nigeria’s population is an advantage, and everyone should work towards training people and building the nation.
Dr. Jumoke Oduwole (Senior Fellow at Havard
University’s Kennedy Scho0l
of Government, USA)
During her presentation about Nigeria and the challenges it faces, a hypothesis was presented regarding the reasons behind the country’s ability to celebrate and find joy. It was suggested that the love for their country and the belief in the “Nigeria dream” may be the driving force behind this resilience. The speaker then proceeded to summarize the main points that were discussed;
– Nation-building starts with every individual adhering to the rule of law
– Investing in human capital, and unlocking the private sector.
– Every Nigerian must contribute to national development, and the elites with opportunities and exposure can collectively make Nigeria great again.
Dr. Joe Abah (Nigeria Country Director,
The presentation began with a discussion on the development process in Africa. It is widely debated that there are various reasons behind the underdevelopment of the continent, ranging from cultural behavior to post-colonialism and slavery. The speaker highlighted that the private sector has contributed more towards development, compared to the public sector. However, weak institutions and bad leadership have also played a role. Nonetheless, we need to take inspiration from other nations and make the necessary changes. It is not enough to rely on these reasons for the current state of Africa. We need to come together through our choices, collaboration, and courage. The presenter emphasized the following key points:
Nigeria has a great role in Africa’s rise.
This can be achieved through
– Infrastructural development e.g electricity
– Good governance
– Change of the Constitution and
– Harness its Natural Resources.
– National growth is possible when everyone plays their part.
Mr. Taiwo Oyedele (Chairman, Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee)
The focus of his presentation was “Making Nigeria The Springboard For The Africa We Want”, aimed at Africans. He emphasized the remarkable progress made by the United States but acknowledged that they still have a long way to go. He highlighted “Nigeria’s Africa” as the central theme, with its abundant resources. He stated that Nigeria reflects Africa, and to make Africa what it’s meant to be, Nigeria must take action instead of just talking. His key points were:
– According to him, “Nigeria is reflecting Africa”. Here are some things he stressed on;
– Policies must be implemented effectively.
-The use of data must inform decision-making.
– Be proud of your country, celebrate hard work and embrace humanity.
– Every leader must be held accountable in every part of Africa.
Dr Mensa Otabil (Founding Pastor
Gospel Church. Ghana)
During his speech, he highlighted the perceived vagueness and lack of appreciation for the church’s stance on politics. He emphasized the importance of the church’s awareness and active participation in current events within the country. Below are the key points he addressed.
– Good intentions don’t bring the change, the systems in place do.
– Publicly reflect your faith, act of mercy and injustice.
– Collectively transform the systems in place now for the greater good.
– Discipline is important to promote change.
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