The 5th Edition of the Ghana Nigeria Youth Summit was held on Saturday 28th April,2018 at the Onikan Youth Center, Onikan-Lagos.
Diplomats from the Ghana High Commission, Government officials, young people from all walks of life, Lawyers, owners of private schools, professionals from different fields of endeavor were all in attendance to share their views and make positive contributions at the summit that had the theme as ‘CHARTING A POSITIVE ECONOMIC PATH FOR AFRICA,GHANA AND NIGERIA MUST SET THE PACE’.
Declaring the Summit open, Comrade Barry Ndu Nwaihim, Convener of the Ghana Nigeria Youth Summit ,appreciated all the Delegates that came from Ghana, Nigeria and other parts of Africa for the event. He stated that the 5th Edition of the event was brought to Lagos – Nigeria because of the huge number of Ghanaians resident in that part of the country and to also offer an opportunity for Nigerians who couldn’t come to Ghana for the first four editions to interact directly with their Ghanaian counterparts.
He said that the main idea behind the vision is to continuously offer a platform for Ghanaians and Nigerians to constantly discuss issues that affect the African continent and proffer solutions in an atmosphere of brotherliness, love and unity.Comrade Barry Ndu noted that the huge intellectual and natural resources in both countries can be utilized effectively for the betterment of the people. He advised African leaders to always involve young people in issues of governance as they have the capacity to deliver.
He called on private individuals, companies and Government to always support such laudable initiatives that promote unity and cooperation among sister countries.
He recounted the ordeal they went through in getting funding during the planning of the event as most companies prefer sponsoring Beauty pageants than intellectual events such as the summit that add value to human existence. He thanked the Lagos state Government through the Ministry of Youth and social Development for giving them the venue to use. He pleaded with positive minded individuals to support The Youth Entrepreneurship and Skills Acquisition Center (YESAC) in order to afford many young people the opportunity to be trained on their preferred skill.
Sir Celestine Omehia,Former Governor of Rivers State who delivered the Keynote Address at the event urged young people to become agents of positive change, stating that they can achieve anything they set their heart to do if they remain consistent and committed to it. He commended the organizers for putting together such a wonderful programme that had an array of the best leaders in attendance. He appreciated their commitment and promised to always support their initiative as it is geared towards fostering a positive alliance between the two great West African countries. He recalled the relationship between the two countries which dates back before independence. The former Governor of Rivers state was optimistic that Africa can get it right if its youthful population can wake up and become fully involved in leadership rather than always waiting to be spoon fed.
He asked for unnecessary trade barriers within West African countries to be lifted so that there would be more inflow of Businesses and Development.
Mr Maxwell Awiaga,the Consul General,Ghana High Commission who represented the Ghana High Commissioner to Nigeria noted that this was the first time in a long time that such event aimed at bringing citizens of the two countries was being held in Lagos. Mr. Awiaga, who ensured that Diplomats from the Ghana High Commission, Ghanaian citizens in Lagos and environs were in attendance, commended the organizers and assured of the High Commission’s support in all their plans going forward. He explained that it would be beneficial for Ghana and Nigeria if they can effectively trade among themselves.
Rt. Hon Onofiok Luke,the Speaker Akwa Ibom State House Of Assembly delivered a thought provoking lecture. He called on African youths to stand up and be counted as power is not given but taken. He said that time has come when young people needs to get involved in Economic and leadership issues. He wondered why African countries cannot trade among themselves but find it easier to do business with foreign countries. He called on the leadership of African countries to device a means and strategy that would make it easy for countries to easily do business among themselves.
Mr Paul Drapson, the Speaker of Ghana Youth Leadership parliament who mobilized his members to attend from Ghana hoped for more collaboration with the organizers. He stated that they are on a mission to work with positive minded groups in championing a better future for African youth. He invited Guests to their next parliamentary sitting in August.
Mrs Talatu Ogunlana,CEO of Rare Gems Gold and Jewelry was optimistic that the caliber of young people she saw at the event can take Africa to the next level of Development. She said that Nigerian youths are not lazy but hardworking and positive minded. She assured of her constant and unflinching support to the group.
The Youth Entrepreneurship and Skills Acquisition Center (YESAC) was officially launched to offer a platform for unemployed people to learn different skills so they can become useful to society rather than waiting for Government job. Souvenirs that included copies of Acada Magazine was shared to participants.
Several Awards were given to certain individuals for their commitment to a better society even as they were urged to do more. Some of the Award recipients are Sir Celestine Omehia, Rt. Hon Onofik Luke, Madam Talatu Ogunlana, President Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo Addo, Wisconsin University, Hon. Awaji Abiante, Chief Don Alexander, Sam. A. Jinapor, Dr. Abbey Akinoshun, Mr. Jimmy Eniola.
The Organizers declared that the next edition of the Summit would hold in Abuja- Nigeria on Saturday January 26th,2019.