The international youth day is an awareness day designated by the United Nations to address the challenges facing the youth especially in the areas of cultural and legal matters. The first IYD was marked on the 12th of August, 2000. This year The Junior Chamber International Nigeria, JCIN in Partnership with European Union presents International Youth Day 2019 summit with the Theme: TRANSFORMING EDUCATION: Rethinking The Present which was held at the prestigious Eko Hotel & Suites on the 20th of August, 2019.

This event hosted lots of Dignitaries from Nigeria and Diaspora like Ambassador Ketil Karlsen( Head of the European Union delegation to Nigeria and Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS), Edward Kallon( United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator  in Nigeria represented by Dr. Roland Kayanja), Russell K. Brooks ( Public Affairs Officer U.S. Consulate General Lagos), Abiodun Bamidele ( First Lady Ogun State, Nigeria)  host of panelist and Moderators.

The event started at exactly 10:17am at the Zina hall of the hotel with the Nigeria’s National Anthem, European Union anthem, and Juniors Chambers International Creed as lead by the anchorperson Oladele Ogunlana, he welcomed everyone to the event and thanked their event partners such as European Union, united Nation, Grow with Google and Zenith bank.

Sen  Adetola Juyitan President JCI Nigeria gave her 5min welcome Address. Adetola said it is a flagship program of its type and that in this inaugural version; we aim to discuss how to Transform Education while Rethinking the present as this theme is needed as through it, that innate fire and enthusiasm within us can be stoked as we bring together all youth stakeholders and have those needed  conversations necessary for the growth of any Nation.

She further said, “I am of strong belief that with the bright, youthful minds present here today, this conference would help with charting a new, progressive course and birthing a novel ideas for the educational space in Nigeria

Adetola charged everyone present to rise fellow compatriots, and do that thing, unique to us and fitted to our talents that we have been offered a chance to do’ in conclusion of her speech.

Keynotes addresses were given by Amb Ketil Karlsen, Dr. Roland Kayanja and Russell K. Brooks.

Amb Ketil Karlsen in his speech, admonished Nigerian Youths to think big and stay united as these factors would change the Educational system in Nigeria charging the youths present on the need to embrace Education as we proffer solutions to educational problems in Nigeria and that the solutions to the Educational problem in Nigeria should come from Nigerians by creating policies that are workable for Job opportunities. According to him, children of 5-14 in the Northern part of Nigeria do not have access to Education hence he stressed on the need for Nigerians to run an inclusive Educational system in Nigeria.

Amb. Ketil Karlsen shared his life story saying that he is a product of free Education in his home country and how his parents struggled during the Second-World-War2. He also said, shared an opportunity with EU about a platform known as Erasmus meant for Scholarship under the EU, whilst empasizing on the need for every Nigerian youth to take advantage of this scholarship program for the betterment of their future in a bid to Transform Education in Nigeria and also said that EU have put aside a large sum of euro for Education in Nigeria through an initiative called African Alliance. He concluded his speech by appreciating JCI Nigeria for putting this event together and pledged their continuous support to the Nigerian Youths.

Dr. Roland Kayanja who represented Edward Kallon in his speech pointed grey areas towards a sustainable development and a digitized future with the need to build and prioritize foundations for healthy informed youths, engagement and participation, economic empowerment for decent jobs, youth and human rights; rights to quality education. A mini documentary message by the U.N secretary General Antonio Guterres was shown as he charge the Nigeria youths to be agents of positive change.

Russell K. Brooks’s keynote address was insightful, motivational and inspirational.

Mr Ifedayo Ayoade representing KPMG explained the procedure in selecting the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of Nigeria Award for 2019 as JCI Nigeria President presented the various award to the awardees as follows:

  1. Adeola Adefemi – Academic Leadership and/or Accomplishment
  2. Glory Osei – Business, Economic and Entrepreneurs
  3. Naomi Ekpoki – Children, World Peace and/or Human Rights
  4. Folarin Falana – Cultural Achievement
  5. Oluwaseun Osowobi – Humanitarian and/or Voluntary Leadership
  6. Temi Giwa Tubosun – Medical Innovation
  7. Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola – Moral and/or Environmental Leadership
  8. Lauretta Onye – Personal Development
  9. Samson Itodo – Political, Legal and/or Government Affairs
  10. Onyeka Akumah – Scientific and/or Technological Development

 Ogun State Governor’s wife, Abiodun Bamidele presented her speech as she commended the Ten Outstanding Youth Award recipients on their various impact and contribution towards Change in Nigeria. Whilst concluding her speech, she thanked JCI Nigeria and their event partners with a quote from JCI creed which says ‘That earth’s great treasure lies in Human personality’

In-between the tea break and lunch, there were two panel discusions moderated by Ayo Mairo-Ese(multiple award winning broadcaster) and Bankole Williams(UK Certified Life Coach). Amongst the panelists were past honorees, JCI 2019 awards and other change makers in the digital space like, Seun Oluyemi(among the 100 influential Young Nigerian), Samson Itodo(Executive director of YIAGA AFRICA), Adeola Azeez(Deputy Country Director of Deutsche Bank) and a host of others.

There was a 15mins breakout sessions for possible solutions to Educational problems in Nigeria with various Facilitators after which we had two comedian cracking our ribs with jokes.

The event came to a close at about 4pm


Reported by:
Anita Ajah & Bondze Blessing Jessica