It has been a great joy for me to associate with the Center for Social Awareness, Advocacy and Ethics, Inc., and to be part of her scholarship scheme for Emerging Leaders in Africa. Why?
The great John F. Kennedy once said, “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. And in line with Mahatama Gandhi, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”. These two quotes run through my mind whenever I think of Nigeria, because they emphasize the need for seeking solutions to and acting on problems, rather than complaining about them. Nigeria is a country with the potential of being one of the greatest countries in the world if its citizens would adopt the problem-solving mindset, as opposed to merely accommodating and complaining about issues. Nigeria is well endowed as a country, and if we all contribute our modest quotas, an enabling environment for extraordinary accomplishments would be in place. This is not just the responsibility of government, although government should take the lead.
Human capital development is critical for the socio-economic development of any nation, particularly developing countries, such as Nigeria. The Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) which focuses on improving the human capital in Nigeria by equipping selected young Nigerians from every part of the country with the right skills and ethics, is therefore a right initiative that needs the support of all development focused individuals and groups.
I am impressed by the educational and personal development contents that ELP offers, as well as the rigorous and transparent selection process. I see in ELP, great leaders and entrepreneurs to bring the desired change that Africa needs. I feel quite pleased to be associated with its lofty objectives. As someone who lives in a more developed society like the U.S., where the engine of development is private sector driven, I am particularly pleased that the community development projects seek to expose students to the real work problem solving situations. This would prove very invaluable to navigate the increasingly complex environment that we live in. It is also gratifying that some of these projects are already turning into small entrepreneurial successes, and this should be further encouraged.
I am therefore humbled and honored to be chosen as one of the mentors, and thank God for the privilege to be of some minimal assistance. My name is Eloka Okonkwo, originally from Nnewi in Anambra State and I live in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A. I am enrolled in the Economic Development Doctoral program at University of Southern Mississippi and can be reached at Chieloka.firstname.lastname@example.org