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Stakeholders advocate ‘inclusive governance’ at forum on Nigeria Youth Futures Fund

Stakeholders advocate ‘inclusive governance’ at forum on Nigeria Youth Futures Fund
June 29
20:48 2022

A consultative forum with stakeholders on the Nigeria Youth Futures Fund (NYFF), with the aim of strengthening youth engagement in governance, held on Wednesday.

The workshop, which had as its theme, ‘Physical Consultative Forum with Youth Ecosystem Stakeholders’, was held at the McArthur Foundation office in Abuja.

The NYFF, which was launched in September 2021, is an initiative of the MacArthur Foundation and Ford Foundation to enable youth leadership and social change through outcome-driven policy engagements shaping national development.

Dayo Olaide, the deputy director of McArthur foundation, Nigeria, said the initiative was motivated by the need to transform the energy of youths into productivity.

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“The major consideration for us is that there seems to be a reawakening among the Nigerian youths and our motivation is making our resources available to help harness that energy and direct it in a way that is productive,” he said.

“In the last 20 years, it is clear that democracy is working only for the minority. That is not sustainable. It’s dangerous, and unless we begin to reverse that, we might just be edging ourselves towards a major democratic crisis. Urgently, we need to get everyone benefitting from democracy.”

He also spoke on the need to think big and focus on the “big picture”, as well as the importance of collaboration as a cataclysmic change agent.

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Opeyemi Oriniowo, the project lead, said the thematic pillars of the project centre on agriculture, healthcare, ICT and entrepreneurship, media, civic partnerships, and education.

He added that talks are ongoing with government partners, including the office of the vice-president, to ensure a credible and responsible ecosystem partnership.

Speaking further, he said the project’s goal is to create bold interventions and strong alliances, adding that grants would be given to young, passionate individuals without affiliations to organisations, to represent their states as part of the visioning process.

Stakeholders present at the forum called for multi-strata collaboration and participation of local groups and informal sectors.

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They also spoke on the need for the development of a structural framework with a “disruptive approach” on equality, diversity, and inclusion to foster a multi-sectoral collaboration.

They also called for a coalition of youth leaders that would be critical in framing the final perspectives of the process.

Speaking further, Oriniowo said the proposed framework would provide attribution and visibility to the youth ecosystem, adding that existing alliances would be prioritised on focus areas.

He added that the suggestions of stakeholders would be critical in selecting the next cohort of grantees for the national visioning process.

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