• Says with education, challenges facing developing countries can be addressed
• Former VP’s initiative partners with UNESCO on interactive dialogue
With the right education for young people, a myriad of challenges facing developing countries can be tackled, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, has said.
This was the submission of the immediate past Vice President, Prof. Osinbajo, on Thursday, July 27, 2023, at a virtual interactive dialogue themed “EdTech for Transforming Education in Nigeria,” the first public event of Future Perspectives co-founded by him.
In fact, the virtual dialogue was a collaboration between Future Perspectives (an initiative of the immediate past Vice President and some of his young partners) and UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (IESALC) to support the capacity-building component of the United Nations Global Youth Initiative in equipping young people with necessary skills for transformative education.
Six youth education innovators and stakeholders from different backgrounds and levels of engagement in EdTech, such as practitioners, creators, advocates, and policymakers were members of the virtual panel discussion that explored the challenges faced within the Nigerian educational ecosystem. Speakers indicated some of the solutions they have applied to scale-up their innovations.
While giving the keynote remarks, Prof. Osinbajo noted that “if there were a single issue that could address problems of poverty, joblessness, inequality, and even better health outcomes, especially in developing countries today, it would most likely be education.”
He explained that at Future Perspectives, education is the “cornerstone of our organization’s work, as we recognize its profound impact on social change and youth empowerment.
“Our mission aligns perfectly with the aspirations of the high-level UN Transforming Education Summit, a crucial global summit held in September last year which responded urgently to the global education crises and placed education at the forefront of the global agenda.”
Acknowledging the important role young people play across the world, the former VP made the point that “no matter the resources available or the great ideas we have, very little of the change we desire can be accomplished without young people stepping up to their roles as catalysts and innovators of change.
“This is why Future Perspectives, the organization itself, is established to drive transformative change in Africa, through the power and potential of the African Youth.”
The panellists at the virtual dialogue were Rachel Onoja, Head of Operations at AltSchool Africa and TalentQL; Afeez Saka, Founder of Community Tech Lab; Victoria Ibiwoye, Founder of One African Child Foundation; Oluwaseun Kayode, Founder/CEO of Schoolinka; Joy Ogbonna, Founder of Kareer Day and Julius Ilori, Founder of Learner’s Corner.
Guest speakers who provided their own insights were Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, Immediate Past Commissioner of Education in Lagos State; Lanre Ogundipe, CEO of Imperial EdTech; Oyedayo Otokiti, CIO of Lagos Business School; Karimot Odebode, Founder of Black Girl’s Dream Initiative; and Rasheedat Sadiq, 1MT (3rd DAN).
The dialogue featured representatives of UNESCO IESALC: Ms. Bosen Lily Liu (Lead on Young People Transforming Education, UNESCO/IESALC), Ms Giulia Ribeiro Barao, education stakeholders, tech advocates, members of the diplomatic community, and the Executive Director of Future Perspectives, Mrs. Abby Asekun, (who gave the opening remarks). The event was moderated by Olanrewaju Oniyitan, whose Foundation provides holistic solutions to helping schools serving children from low-income families build lasting pathways to quality education.
Below are Prof. Osinbajo’s full remarks:
SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, THE IMMEDIATE PAST VICE PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA AT THE VIRTUAL DIALOGUE EDTECH FOR TRANSFORMING EDUCATION IN NIGERIA ORGANISED BY UNESCO AND IN COLLABORATION WITH FUTURE PERSPECTIVES ON THE 27TH OF JULY, 2023
Good afternoon, distinguished guests, it is a real pleasure to be here at this important dialogue on EdTech for Transforming Education in Nigeria. Future Perspectives is a new organization and perhaps a new type of organization. And although I am said to be the founding Chairman, I am actually a co-founder alongside some very young people including Abimbola Asekun who just introduced me.
The point really is that all across the world it is becoming evident that no matter the resources available or the great ideas we have, very little of the change we desire can be accomplished without young people stepping up to their roles as catalysts and innovators of change. This is why Future Perspectives, the organization itself, is established to drive transformative change in Africa, through the power and potential of the African Youth.
Our belief at Future Perspectives is that Africa’s young voices will not only be at the fore of shaping crucial global conversation but also a driving force to some of the most pressing challenges facing our continent. We will be hearing from some of these brilliant young innovators during our conversations today.
Today the conversation is about education. Education is the cornerstone of our work at Future Perspectives. If there were a single issue that could address problems of poverty, joblessness, inequality, and even better health outcomes, especially in developing countries today, it would most likely be education.
Education stands as a cornerstone of our organization’s work, as we recognize its profound impact on social change and youth empowerment. Our mission aligns perfectly with the aspirations of the high-level UN Transforming Education Summit, a crucial global summit held in September last year which responded urgently to the global education crises and placed education at the forefront of the global agenda.
A key achievement stemming from the Summit is the United Nations Global Youth Initiative (GYI). The Global Youth Initiative is the first multi-stakeholder, global initiative to enable young people to engage and take leadership in education policymaking.
For, perhaps, the first time ever, young people are beginning to participate, become leaders in education policy-making, and in effect, own educational policies and become architects of their own educational journeys. And we at Future Perspectives are proud to be key partners in this ground-breaking global initiative dedicated to ensuring meaningful youth engagement and leadership in education policymaking, empowering young minds to become architects of their educational journey.
I am particularly delighted about our collaboration with UNESCO IESALC, which leads the capacity-building component of GYI, to co-launch the “Innovation to Transform Education Training (ITET)” in Nigeria later this year.
So Future Perspectives in partnership with UNESCO IESALC, will work towards strengthening the capacity of youth and students, especially the most marginalized, to enable them to become agents of change in transforming education in their specific national contexts through the “Innovation to Transform Education Training (ITET). This will involve equipping young education innovators with the essential skills of innovation, policy and project implementation.
These skills will be essential in supporting their initiatives to engage meaningfully in educational practices and decision-making. With the large numbers of out-of-school children in Nigeria, the significance of this global initiative launching in Africa cannot be overstated.
And today, our dialogue on “EdTech for Transforming Education” is poised to be an eye-opening experience. We anticipate that this discussion will help contextualize the specific skills that our young EdTech innovators require to revolutionize education in Africa.
I am thrilled to be kicking off the UN Capacity Building Project through this dialogue, where we will have the privilege to hear directly from these young innovators. We will learn about their challenges and solutions and witness their tremendous impact on society.
I look forward to hearing from these remarkable young innovators and other education stakeholders and I extend my best wishes for a day filled with inspiration and insights.
Thank you for joining us for this important occasion.
Media Office of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON
Vice President (2015-2023)
28th July 2023