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Ooni of Ife unveils Royal African Foundation at sixth coronation anniversary

Ooni of Ife unveils Royal African Foundation at sixth coronation anniversary
December 12
03:44 2021

Enitan Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife, has unveiled the Royal African Foundation (RAF) as part of his sixth year anniversary on the throne of his forebears. 

According to him, the foundation is targeted at addressing a wide range of issues affecting youths including leadership, poverty, social inclusion, inequality, among others.

Speaking at his palace on Tuesday, he said it was gratifying for him that the launch of the foundation coincides with his sixth anniversary on the throne as the Ooni of Ife.

The revered monarch said the Foundation is part of his efforts to give youths a viable platform to explore their talents and synergize so as to begin to drive the much-needed development in society.

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“It is another red-letter day for me because this is an initiative that I am very passionate about. The Royal African Foundation is deeply rooted on five pillars which are the bedrock of my existence on this throne and that’s what I stand for,” he said.

“We have a lot of youths that are out there that can perform wonders, they only need good self-esteem to get a lot of things done. They are called leaders of tomorrow, but I don’t belong to that school of thought anymore, they are right now the current leadership structure particularly in the area of governance and politics. We need to instill a lot of discipline and moral values in them, the content of their character is very paramount.”

Olusola Owonikoko, president of the Royal African Foundation,  said the initiative will focus on five pillars including “Leadership and Governance; Technology and Innovation; Creative Culture, Academic Excellence”.

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Owonikoko

He added that the foundation will serve as the umbrella body for all transformational humanitarian projects run by the Ooni of Ife.

“It will require mobilizing financial, human, and technological resources to directly address poverty, inequality, and social exclusion through pragmatic intervention from the grassroots to the national level,” Owonikoko said.

“No one person will be able to change Nigeria at once, we all have to come together and collaborate. But we don’t have such a prestigious platform that aids collaboration and that is what the Foundation is already doing; bringing people together to create sustainable impacts.”

Owonikoko, who has been appointed as the president of the foundation by the Ooni, said “one of the key components of the foundation is to aid research, the designing and implementation of sustainable policies and programs that will enhance development outcomes for vulnerable populations”.

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“The Royal African foundation will promote unity, patriotism, and peace amongst Nigerians and Africans across the world, through inclusive leadership and multi-stakeholder engagements”.

Ayobami Oyedare, CEO of the Ooni of Ife Global Outreach, said the timing of the launch of the foundation was auspicious as youths are in dire need of a platform to blossom and thrive for national development.

Oyedare, who is a senior lecturer in the UK,  added that the foundation is rightly positioned to give young people in the 21st century of Nigeria and Africa the opportunity to thrive, blossom, and use their engagement to change the narrative of the country and the continent.

On his part, Blessing Akinlosotu, president of the National Youth Congress (NYC), welcomed the idea of the Foundation, while assuring that his organization is ready to explore all areas of partnership for the development of youths in Nigeria.

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Earlier, Inya Lawal, president of Ascend Studio, expressed her optimism stressing that the Royal African Foundation will go a long way to enhance youth development in Nigeria, especially for young women.

Lawal, who will be spearheading a key project for the Foundation known as Women-Owned Micro Business (WOMB), said the idea is to empower women in tertiary institutions which is very important to the goal of empowering women generally.

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“The idea is to start with women by giving them the structure and the resources they need from the university so that the time they are done with school, they already have the structure they need for their businesses. The goal is to empower 6,000 women yearly and just like the saying that if you empower women, you empower the community, if we empower 6,000 women yearly and they empower their communities, it’s the way to go for economic prosperity,” she added.

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