We went to Chibok last week…
We have always said it is important to walk the talk.
As many people know, this year The Future Awards Africa celebrates a major milestone – 10 years. 10 years of building entrepreneurs, supporting change makers and transforming societies working with Africa’s brightest and best youth.
But we decided that celebration isn’t enough. We have to remind people of the incredible amount of work remaining for countries across Africa, and for citizens across Africa – and then galvanise them to take action, to solve problems, to build more young Africans who accomplish enough to win one of the prestigious TFAA prizes. The campaign is themed #AfricaNeedsYou.
To that, we kicked off a tour of 100 cities across Africa – going to meet communities of youth where they are and engaging their issues directly.
This tour will
- re-focus attention on the issues young people are facing across the continent,
- present the case studies of how TFAA’s global brain trust has solved these issues and then
- set up hubs in each city – made up of past winners, nominees, partners and volunteers at community-levels – to solve these problems.
We visited Enugu, Port Harcourt, Banjul, Ibadan, Badagry, Kano and Abuja. And I was very humbled to lead my team members as undertook the dangerous journey across Nigeria’s North-East conflict-zones – Mubi, Yola, and Chibok, where 276 Nigerian school girls were kidnapped last year by the terrorists of Boko Haram. Next week, we will be visiting communities in Johannesburg.
The trip took us to the Internally Displaced Camp in Yola where a bomb went off three months ago, visited the sites where Nigerian students have been captured and bombed in Mubi, and passed through innumerable bomb sites across our 20-hour jouney, speaking to the displaced, sharing with the attacked, and donating what we could, while promising to galvanise our brain trust to do more.
The trip confirmed some of our worst fears – the sheer scale of the reconstruction, engagement, and intervention that needs to go on across communities. As well as underline the fact of how many young Africans are desperately leaving Africa – despite growing GDPs and FDI.
But it also fired up our resolve.
We are fired up by scale of work that remains to be done. We are also fired up by the case studies of success we found – from the local vigilantes to NGOs doing God’s work. And so we are deploying the massive networks the awards have built over the past 10 years to get this work done, to solve these problems at scale, community by community.
Over the next one year. We are building TFAA hubs across these 100 communities in the next one year, made up of our alumni, partners and others, to solve these problems that we see. There is no need to duplicate efforts, and so we will be working with local NGOs already dealing with this issues, and helping them get the attention, resources and scale that they need.
We invite you to join us as we build hubs across the continent to solve these problems, at scale.
We also invite you to join us as we launch the portal howcanIgetinvolved.com at this year’s awards – 6 December, 2015, to support these hubs.
There is so much work left to be done for millions of young Africans.