Ooni Ogunwusi Honours 100 Young, Exceptional African Leaders

Posted on July 10, 2024


As part of efforts to celebrate and honour some bright young people across the African continent, His Imperial Majesty, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja 11, will be honoring another set of 100 outstanding youths with the Royal African Young Leadership Forum (RAYLF) Awards.

The revered monarch will be honouring these young leaders —from 39 African countries— who have demonstrated significant impacts in governance and leadership, innovation and technology, entrepreneurship and empowerment, creative culture and academic excellence, during a week-long event in Nigeria.

Founded and launched in 2020, the award, a youth-centered annual event under the Global Outreach Initiative of His Imperial Majesty, is in its fourth year. This year’s forum, themed ‘Africa of the Future: Better Together’, will be held from 9 to 14 July, 2024.

Speaking to a select journalists at a media briefing in Lagos to kick start this year’s event, Ooni Ogunwusi stated that today, more than ever, the world recognizes the importance of Africa not only for her rich natural resources but crucially, for her vibrant and dynamic young population who are illuminating the paths of different communities toward a prosperous and unified Africa.

The Arole Oduduwa added that symbolically, from Lagos to Cape Town, Dakar to Accra, Kigali to Cairo, Africa needs its finest and ever-dedicated young demographic that is rich in creative culture, governance and leadership, innovation and technology, entrepreneurship and academic excellence.

His words: “These are the five-fold pillars that are shaping and reconstructing the very next modernization and industrialization of Africa. They remain the cardinal contemporary life-tube of my Royal mission that is accommodating the exchange of ‘new ideas’ and ‘solving the world’s critical problems’ through various innovative and superlative mechanisms.

“The human resources of Africa are greatly entrenched in the minds of the youth. I believe that their strategic contributions to the future of the continent are inevitable if we are going to achieve ‘Vision 2063: The Africa We Want’. By empowering and engaging this vibrant demographic, we can drive sustainable development and ensure a prosperous future for all Africans. The ingenuity and resilience of Africa’s youth are key to unlocking the continent’s full potential and achieving our shared aspirations.”

World Bank Statistics suggest that Africa’s population is set to reach 2.8 billion by 2060, with 65% being young and full of potential. This demographic shift presents a unique opportunity for economic growth, driven by a generation that is already making significant strides in various fields.

Africa is increasingly seen as the next major economic frontier. The continent’s youthful energy, innovative spirit, sophisticated cultural creativity, and unparalleled diversity make it an attractive destination for global attention and investment.

Therefore, Ooni’s Royal African Young Leadership Forum aims to recognise and honour these additional exceptional 100 young people working tirelessly, day and night, to put Africa on the global map through their innovative and creative ideas.

The scheduled event made available to P.M.EXPRESS correspondent revealed that the honourees were hosted to a State Dinner at the Lagos House, Marina by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday.

The awardees will visit the Dangote Refinery Complex on Wednesday and later pay a courtesy visit to Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun in his office in Abeokuta.

On Thursday, the honourees will have Lunch with former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his Abeokuta and later left for Ile-Ife, Osun State where they will embark on a Cultural and Educational Tour of Ile-Ife town and Obafemi Awolowo University.

On Friday, there will be a conduct of Awardees’ Interview and taking of their portrait pictures, followed by a Dinner with the Ooni at the Palace.

The night will be capped by the Royal African Young Leadership Forum and Awards Ceremony, and launch of N1 billion WOMB project fund with SMEDAN and Official launch of “African Leopards”.

On Saturday, the honourees will be treated to another dinner at the State House in Osogbo, Osun State by the State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke.

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