Centre for Social Awareness, Advocacy and Ethics
Years of ineffective leadership, corruption, poor entrepreneurial spirit and lack of commitment to common good have led to underdevelopment and massive poverty in Africa. In order for Africa to make progress and ensure that its people can enjoy a better quality of life, the continent needs a new generation of leaders who can fast-track development and end poverty in Africa. With youth under the age of 25 comprising 60 percent of the population, much of the hope for Africa’s future lies in its young people. They are the agents of change and stakeholders in a better Africa
Launched in 2013, CSAAE is dedicated to harnessing the potential of young people and providing the kinds of tools and trainings that endow them with the capacities, competencies and character necessary to sustain themselves, create opportunities that help others sustain themselves and embrace their roles as critical actors in building a better Africa. CSAAE is registered as a non-profit organization in Nigeria and a 501(c)(3) in the United States.
The Founder, Reverend Father Godswill Agbagwa grew up in Nigeria. While studying abroad as a college student, he was struck by the contrasts he saw between the levels of poverty and under-development in Nigeria compared to Western countries he visited. That experience became the genesis for CSAAE, its programs, and the core values at the foundation of his work, which include:
- Accepting responsibility for one’s activities and in a transparent manner.
- A commitment to the common good.
- Being honest and fair.
- Thinking and actualizing new ideas.
- Being prompt and following through on commitments.
CSAAE focuses, in an integrated way, on four programmatic areas designed to channel young people into activities that develop leaders of character; cultivate a spirit of entrepreneurship; promote good governance, transparency, and accountability in government; and encourage mentorship among youth. Though distinct in their areas of focus, they share the common goal of creating positive social, economic and political change one youth at a time.
The Center’s longest standing program is the Emerging African Leaders Program (ELP) launched in 2013 to prepare youth for positions in public service that are critical to development including political, media, religious, business and judicial leaders.
Graduates of ELP form a Network of Effective African Leaders (NEAL) with one goal of taking over the leadership of Africa for good. Under the guidance of the Centre, Effective Leaders run for offices, serve in government, shape public policies and launch enterprises that enhance the greater good for Africa. They bear on each other on good governance, mentor emerging leaders and champion social impact projects in Africa.
Its Career Building and Entrepreneurship Program (CBEP)began in 2014 and engages youth in discussions about career direction while helping them navigate three paths from college to career: entering the workforce, pursuing a graduate degree, or starting a business. These youths in turn commit to using their careers to enhance the greater good for Africa.
The Youth Ethics and Anticorruption Program (YEAP)launched in 2016 seeks to raise the consciousness of youth to the importance of transparency, human rights and accountability in the work world while teaching them how to identify, resist and fight corruption hindering development in Africa.
CSAAE was founded by Godswill Agbagwa, a Priest of the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria. He follows a bottom-top approach to development and has developed effective mentoring modules for helping key drivers of development including aspiring political, media, religious, business and judicial leaders build the capacities, competencies and character to facilitate development and end poverty in Africa.
Rev. Fr. Godswill Agbagwa obtained a Doctorate in Ethics and Moral Theology (with concentration in Social Ethics) from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. He also holds a Masters in Legal and Ethical Studies from the University of Baltimore with emphasis in Professional Ethics. He has additional graduate training in workplace Mediation and Clinical Pastoral Education. Currently, he teaches Masters level Social Ethics at St. Mary’s University and Seminary, Baltimore, Maryland while completing another PhD in International Development at the University of Southern Mississippi. He is an elected member of the World Bank and IMF Civil Society Permanent Working Group representing Africa.