The 24th of June, 2017, marked a memorable day for the University of Jos community as well as the city of Jos as all roads led to the Multipurpose Auditorium (MPA), Main campus, University of Jos, for the 2017 CSAAEINC International Youth Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Career Building Summit.

Over 1302 people attended the event including students from over 15 tertiary institutions in Nigeria, about 35 Emerging Nigerian Leaders, members of the Network of Effective African Leaders, graduates, lecturers, workers and job seekers.

Welcoming the participants on behalf of the Vice Chancellor of University of Jos, the Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship Studies, Dr Rahila P. Gowon thanked CSAAEINC for choosing the University of Jos as an avenue to positively impact lives. He enjoined all to participate actively and learn.

In his opening remarks, the president and founder of CSAAEINC, Rev. Fr. (Dr) Godswill U. Agbagwa thanked all participants for coming to be part of a great endeavour. He informed all present that he founded CSAAEINC to address issues of underdevelopment and poverty in Africa. He said that the Centre believes that underdevelopment and poverty in Africa are caused by a combination of failure of leadership, loss of moral and social sense as well as lack of entrepreneurial spirit.

To facilitate development and end poverty in Africa, the Centre provides free ethics, excellence in leadership and entrepreneurship trainings for African youths. The Centre focuses on youths because it wants to nurture a new generation of leaders and work-force that will bring about positive socioeconomic change to Africa.

“While the Leadership Summit provides an opportunity to evaluate the progress of our Emerging Leaders Nurturing Program, the Career Building and Enterpreneurship Summit is a component of our Career Building and Entrepreneurship Program (CBEP) that helps youths build the capacities, competencies and character to accomplish career goals or become successful entrepreneurs and contribute to the African socioeconomic development,” he said.

CBEP Summit aims at providing participants with the necessary information on how to use their educational trainings and talents to gain good jobs or start-up enterprises, and in turn contribute to the African socioeconomic development. The Summit not only teaches students in Nigerian Universities skills and strategies that they can use to make a living with their degrees, but also provides them with real time resources – otherwise unavailable in the classrooms – to do so.

CBEP Summit brings together experts from across the globe to help students build self-awareness, project management skills, ethical base, teamwork capabilities, resources and contacts to succeed in life. At the end of the Summit, the Centre invites participants to pitch in their ideas. The Centre works with students to actualize ambitious ideas that can contribute to the African socioeconomic development.

In his keynote address, New York based entrepreneur and co-founder of Whoseyourlandlord, Mr. Ofo Ezeugwu challenged participants to dream and chase their dreams without looking back. He narrated how challenging life has been for him and his family as they struggle every day to realize their dreams in the highly competitive New York city.

Speaking on how to become a successful entrepreneur, Mr James Elekwachi, UK trained business developer and Making Markets Work expert, introduced all present to various areas of market demand which individuals can venture into to make good profits.

Many individuals often get deterred by finances in starting up their own businesses. Addressing this issue was Dr. Farouk Kurawa, an expert in project funding. Dr. Kurawa informed all about various funding agencies and how to go about obtaining funds for various businesses.

Certified Human Resources expert and former Diamond bank top hiring officer, Mr Alex Ugwuezuonu was also present to educate participants on how to get their dream jobs: how to prepare CVs and resumes, what employers look out for, and so on.

CSAAEINC’s founder and president, Rev. Fr. (Dr) Godswill U. Agbagwa, enlightened the participants of the summit on how to further their education abroad, especially in the United States. He walked the participants through the application process for admission and scholarships.

A mind-blowing showcase of some community development projects undertaken by Emerging Nigerian Leaders was also part of this historic event. Recent graduates, Mr. Opara Augustine (Imo State University) and Fwangshak Tanko (Federal University of Technology, Minna) told all of how their snail farming and recycling projects respectively were inspired and supported by CSAAEINC. They told of their successes so far and encouraged participants to make use of the knowledge they obtain from the summit to work to great heights.

Jos Rhythm F.M broadcaster, Mr David King, while anchoring the summit spiced it up with his finesse and professionalism. He thanked CSAAEINC for bringing a rare opportunity to the Tin city of Jos. Every participant had something wonderful to say about the summit. They expressed their gratitude to CSAAEINC for giving them the opportunity to take part in and benefit from the summit. Some of the participants had these to say:

Halima Salisu: “I benefitted a lot. I want to start my own career. I want to be my own boss. I have a dream of becoming a fashion designer and with this summit, I believe my dream will come true, sooner or later”

Sunday Emmanuel Clement, student of UNIJOS- “It was a great moment being here, the programme was meant for people like us because very soon, we’ll soon be graduating. I am fortunate to be among the participants to prepare for the labour market.”

The 2017 CSAAEINC International Youth Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Career Building Summit ended with participants obtaining certificates of participation issued by the CSAAEINC United States office. The Summit was indeed a great one, inspiring and impacting lives. It was one which the UNIJOS community and indeed the entire city of Jos will ever be grateful.

Ekwuonu Francisca Chinelo

Lead Organizer, 2017 Jos Summit