Academy: NGO Tasks African Leaders On Policies, Youth Motivation

Mr Akasili, (with the mic) at the launch of the Academy

Mr Henry Akasili, Executive Director of “A Smarter You Academy’, a nonprofit organisation, has called on African leaders to implement policies that would create an enabling environment for initiatives capable of motivating the youths.

Akasili made the call in an interview on the sidelines of the launch of the academy on Saturday in Lagos.

The academy is powered by Africa for Africa Youth Initiative, also an international nonprofit organisation.

It is a Pan African initiative that is positioned to produce a breed of young minds with renewed inspiration, motivation and a greater future.

According to Akasili, the youths are an embodiment of great innovations and ideas, all rearing to go.

He, however, said that lack of motivation and good policies had remained a major hindrance.

“When you talk about young people, you look at people with innovation and skills. Their energy, if well harnessed, could accelerate the much-needed nation-building as well as change the narrative about Africa as a continent.

“Today, we could see them involved in cybercrimes and other negative vices. They have sharp minds and this can be corrected.

“I can assure you that if they are guided right and an enabling environment put in place, they will channel these skills to things that will be of great benefit to all.

“A major responsibility of all heads of governments in Africa in advancing the course of reeducation of the African youths is to ensure that the right policies are put in place to create that enabling environment for initiatives such at this ‘A Smarter You Academy ‘ to thrive.

“Such policies will ensure that regulatory bodies do not prevent or stifle the activities of initiatives such as this one,” he said.

The Technical Director of the academy, Mr Ugo Dibia, noted that the academy was the solution to the multifaceted challenges facing the continent.

He said that the challenges facing Africa were not entirely a result of bad leadership but rather the educational system.

According to him, the academy is one of such initiatives put in place by Africa for Africa Youth initiative to reengineer and retool the youth across the continent.

“It is because we saw the gap in our educational system that we decided to come up with this academy.

“We want to be able to produce thinkers and not just have people go to school and on graduation, will not know what to do with themselves.

“This academy is here to help change that culture, by training the mindset of our youths so that on graduation from school, they will not only be good administrators, but also good producers.

“We train them to be effective in the job place and be creative enough to produce and startup businesses of their own. So, that is how we move between entrepreneurial skills and employability skills.

“If they choose to work in a company, we teach them how to be effective in that company and if they decide to stay on their own, we also teach them how to be effective business owners and ultimately a global player.

“This academy has indeed come to stay and it is the game-changer for African challenges,” he stated.

He added that the academy was open for registration to undergraduates of universities, graduates of other tertiary institutions, and secondary school students.

According to him, the academy is situated in all major cities in Nigeria and Africa.

 He listed how to start up a business, how to generate business ideas, and how to improve the personal character and basic communication skills, as some of the courses that would be run in the academy.

Others include Managing Personal Finances, Marketing Skills, Digital Marketing and Website Development.

“Each course has a different duration, but our goal is that in six months, it will be through with any course chosen by the individual.

“We are looking forward to involving or partnering with the Federal Government and other interested stakeholders.

“Remember we have over 200 million youth across Africa and so we want to see how these programmes could be inbuilt into the educational curriculum, especially in the universities and other tertiary institutions.

“This will go a long way to change the narrative of Africa, especially in the area of productivity.

“So, we will also be happy if we can get other stakeholders to partner with us in building more of this academy across Africa, so we can impact more youths,” he stated.

Mr Sharpman Olumatin, Country Manager, Africa for Africa Youth Initiative said that the organisation, through its expansion and entrepreneurial programmes, intends to reeducate the African youth and inspire them in finding solutions to the socio-economic and political challenges in Africa.

“What we want is for our youth to play active roles in the development of an egalitarian African society, as well as foster Pan Africanism.

Mr Fortune Nkweke, Head of Operations, Africa for Africa Youth Initiative said that the organisation had over 80,000 members across 25 countries on the continent.

He noted that the organisation was mainly to empower African youths as well as change the stereotype that had been associated with Africa.

“This organisation, established in 2018, is to ensure that the story of Africa is told the way it is and not the way some people perceive it to be.

“Africa has more virtue interns of the youth population with a lot of them into technology, many others with great innovations, ideas and we do not see them out there.

“A lot of them go out to the diaspora because they feel Africa does not provide the enabling environment to thrive.

“So, the organisation is creating systems and platforms throughout the various programmes and initiatives that we have, to ensure that every youth in Africa has the mindset to look out on ways to contribute their quota to the development of their respective nations and Africa as a continent,” he stated.

Over 50 youths from across African countries, including Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, and South Africa, were present at the launch of the academy.

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