World Bank International Essay Competition
The ALF has been involved as a partner in the execution of the World Bank International Essay Competition since 2006 and also serve as part of the jury as well as a member of the steering committee. The World Bank launched the International Essay Competition in the year 2004. The Essay Competition is an annual, worldwide competition targeting youth aged between 18 to 25 years and managed by the World Bank Office in Paris. The competition is designed and implemented in partnership with Country Offices of the World Bank and Public Information Centres (PIC) in 84 countries, as well as partners representing universities, NGOs and youth organizations all over the world. Other partners that work with ALF on this project include
- Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Cities Alliance
- UN Habitat
- United Cities and Local Governments
- Cairo University, Egypt
- Jadavpur University, India
- National Autonomous University of Mexico
- Conciencia Argentina
- The Glocal Forum
- AEGEE Europe
- AIESEC International
- Junior Achievement Worldwide
- Researchers Alliance for Development (RAD)
- Norwegian University of Science and Technology
The titles for the last three editions are as follows:
WANTED: Your Practical ideas!
What can you do to shape the city of your dreams?
WANTED: Your Practical ideas!
1) How does corruption affect your life?
2) What can you do to fight the corruption that you face?
WANTED: Your Practical ideas!
Topic 1: How do you contribute to solving community problems?
Topic 2: How do you influence decision making?
Due to the publicity strategy adopted by ALF in the last three years, Nigeria has been producing the largest number of entries except in 2008 when we were beaten to second position by USA. In 2007, a Nigerian came third at the global competition. As part of our contribution to capacity enhancement of the winners, the ALF has offer to provide leadership capacity training for all finalists from Nigeria which we have done for two consecutive years
Partnership with Centre for Human Security
The Africa Leadership Forum (ALF) in the reporting year implemented two major projects for the Centre for Human Security (CHS) namely,
- High Level Technical Workshop on Afforestation in Africa and Climate Change;
- Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library Inaugural Africa-Wide Essay Competition for Africa university undergraduates.
High Level Technical Workshop on Afforestation in Africa and Climate Change:
ALF team led by the Executive Director, Mr. Ayodele Aderinwale, MFR, was the implementing agency that planned the 3-day High Level Technical Workshop on Afforestation in Africa and Climate Change for the Centre for Human Security (CHS) of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library Foundation (OOPLF) in collaboration with Nigeria Tree Planters. The workshop was held at the Banquet Hall in Obasanjo Hilltop Residence, Abeokuta, Nigeria from December 15-17, 2008. The workshop provided a platform where policy makers, professionals, human security and environmental development experts, civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations, private sectors, Diasporas, past and present African and global leaders, and the academia, among others, met to review and brainstorm through a holistic and comprehensive response mechanism in addressing the major issues associated with afforestation and climate change in Africa, with the aim of coordinating a home-grown and global efforts towards preserving Africa's ecology. The conference proposed strategic initiatives, policy measures and framework that will form the basis for dealing with afforestation and climate change problems in the continent.
Democratic Leadership Training Workshop (DLTW)
As part of its efforts at developing and enhancing leadership capacity in Africa, the Africa Leadership Forum, in 1998, in Accra, Ghana, institutionalized the Democratic Leadership Training Workshop (DLTW) for young leaders. The overall objective of the workshop is to promote democratic leadership ideals among the successor generation with a view to facilitating the adoption and institutionalisation of the norms and principles of liberal democracy.
Specific Workshop Objectives:
- To empower male and female youth leaders in democracy and human rights issues towards meeting the challenges of sustaining the democratic process in Nigeria and Africa.
- To improve the capacity of young leaders to continuously expand their liberal political space.
- To provide opportunity for inter-political networks, inter-party networks and linkages towards positive collaboration at both lateral and vertical levels.
- To enhance opportunities for young leaders to sharpen their leadership skills in participatory democracy and governance.
- To inculcate in young leaders the values of democratic leadership
In furtherance of the objectives of the DLTW, ALF in collaboration with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) in Nigeria launched another series of the workshop, which runs from 2007 – 2009. In 2007, ALF, in support of the Royal Norwegian Embassy, Nigeria, planned and delivered five (5) usual 5-days DLTW workshop in the months of February, March, May, June and November being part of the fifteen (15) workshops. Similarly in 2008, additional number of DLTW workshops were organised for three different groups, General Public group 1, March 24 – 29, 2008; Female Lawyers group, May 4-9, 2008; General Public group 2, August 25- 29, 2008; NYSC Merit Award Winners 13 – 17 2008; General Public group 3, November 24- 28, 2008. Participants were drawn from the aforementioned groups, that is, young adults between the ages of 18 and 40 who have shown demonstrable leadership qualities and are in positions of influence and authority in their respective places of operation and sphere of influence. At most, 40 persons were selected for each group.
In all, 201 participants participated at the workshop (see chart 1 for number of male and females participants, and Chart 2 for total participants for each of the workshops, below). In the workshop, an average of thirty (30) papers grouped into four modules (Understanding Leadership, Liberal Democracy, Ethics and Values, and Leadership Tools) was delivered. Evaluations of short term results generated from the assessment forms filled by participants at the end of the workshop indicated great achievements. This group of the DLTW formulated projects for organized inputs into governance process. While a number of positive spiral developments were visible from the workshop.
CBN – ALF Entrepreneurship Development Programme
“Wealth creation is increasingly becoming synonymous with entrepreneurship philosophy and national development cannot be attained on sustainable basis without an entrepreneurship citizenry.” This understanding gave the basis upon which the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), created the Entrepreneurship Development Centre in the three geo political zones of South west, South east and North-eastern parts of Nigeria, for national development that is hinged on self-employment through innovativeness, creativity and idea generation. The Africa Leadership Forum (ALF) is once again called upon by the CBN to help achieve this feat. Although the road to its selection as one of the implementing agents (IA) was a tortuous process, due to the large number of institutions that also showed interest to render their service to the nation, the ALF came out tops from its enviable achievement in youth development programmes for over a decade.
As an implementing agent, the Africa Leadership Forum is charged with the responsibility of producing twenty-five thousand (25,000) young entrepreneurs with a corresponding twenty-five thousand (25,000) new businesses to be created. In the first 6 months of operation, EDC Lagos has trained close to 1,800 graduates, non-graduates and vocational trainees from different parts of the country. Before commencing its implementation, the project director, Mr. Ayodele Aderinwale, MFR, having learnt from the experience of the past projects and programmes which failed to live to their objectives, made very clear value additions to the EDC project. These additions have received remarkable applause from the CBN and the other two centres have been called upon to replicate them.
Firstly, having realised that, micro enterprises can only create at best, subsistent business men and women who can hardly grow the economy, ALF focus more energy on growth-oriented businesses that can create more jobs. Secondly, the ALF also discovered that training the youth without effort to mobilise them with a start-up fund to set up their businesses leads to more frustration, hence, ALF in partnership with First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Plc designed a loan package of a single digit interest rate for trainees of EDC, Lagos. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was eventually signed on December 5, 2008, bringing the State Growth Enterprise Fund, otherwise known as the STAGE fund to reality.
Thirdly, ALF also thought about the idea of having notable successful entrepreneurs to come in occasionally and in a relaxed atmosphere, share their thoughts and experiences with the youths at the training. This session normally holds at the centre on every third Thursday of every month. Among the notable personalities who have graced the occasion is the founding chairman of the Africa Leadership Forum, General Olusegun Obasanjo, who spoke among other things, extensively on integrated agro-farming and agri-business.
The Entrepreneurship Development Programme as implemented by Africa Leadership Forum (ALF) in the South-west is basically to address the rising and perennial problems of youth unemployment and the attendant social, political, security and economic problems that have permeated the entire nation. The total funds provided under a public-private partnership between CBN and the three NGOs at the three geo political zones of Nigeria is to support capacity building and the development of youth potentials in nation building through enterprise development for the initial pilot stage of eighteen months before it is extended for a period of forty-two months. This idea was informed by the tremendous positive result obtained from many other developed and developing countries in the Asian and Latin-American countries. Besides, the progress report from the last quarter also attests to this fact that the adoption of entrepreneurial education and training has a great potential in the development of the Nigerian economy. Therefore, the EDC project is expected to increase economic opportunities through sustainable and competitive enterprise development which will in turn enhance increased market driven employment opportunities and increased commercial viability of micro, small and medium or growth enterprises in the various geo-political zones of Nigeria.
The ALF - EDC project in Lagos has the vision of improving the livelihood of the unemployed youths in the western region of Nigeria by raising their standard of living through training that will guide them through a bankable business plan that is able to attract non collaterised, single digit interest rate loan from banks as start-up fund for enterprise establishment and expansion. It is, therefore, capable of reducing youth unemployment rate in Nigeria that has been bedevilled with social insecurity and poor economic growth due to the negative activities of ever increasing idle and aggrieved unemployed youths from our secondary and tertiary institutions over the years. It, therefore, becomes imperative to engage this group through meaningful and well tailored enterprise training. Consequently training modules/sessions manuals were developed for use by facilitators to train the beneficiaries. The broad objective of this is to build the capacity of the unemployed youths so that they can improve in business establishment, management, development, profitability, expansion and promote self reliance through enterprise development, a precursor for job creation, national security and economic growth.