The keynote address is a yearly tradition that has seen some of the nation’s most respected role models from across the world address the brightest and best Nigerian young leaders directly in an intellectually charged environment – one of the unique attributes that have made the awards stand out in stature and impact. 2008’s Keynote Speaker was former Minister for Education and Vice President of the World Bank, Obiageli Ezekwesili and 2010’s Keynote Speaker was Managing Director of the World Bank, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Indeed, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala’s turn at the podium last year is memorable for injecting into the media and youth culture the revelation that the youth constitute 70 per cent of the population. That information and the charge from her speech for young people to take charge of the change process has been credited as the launching pad for initiatives like Nigeria’s largest coalition of youth groups working for free and fair elections, Enough is Enough Nigeria and other initiatives for good governance.
This year’s Keynote Speaker is expected to walk in that fine tradition. Olusegun Aganga, former Managing Director with Goldman Sachs is Nigeria’s Minister of Finance as well as Chairman of the 2010 Board of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (BWI).
Mr. Aganga has degrees from the University of Oxford and the University of Ibadan. He is a Fellow of Association of Certified Chartered Accountant (ACCA) of the United Kingdowm and worked with Ernst and Young before joining Goldman Sachs, London in 2001 where he rose to be Managing Director in 2003.
More importantly for this occasion, Mr. Aganga is the founder of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI), which was established in January 2006 as an international non-profit, non-partisan organisation registered as a charity in Nigeria, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
Through its Leadership Seminars, Symposia, Social Responsibility Projects, Essays and Business Plan Competitions, it works to mobilise the energy, talent and resources of Nigerians worldwide to collectively tackle challenges that confront Nigeria. Backed by an Advisory Board of distinguished individuals and corporate partners, the NLI has continuously encouraged emerging and established Nigerian leaders drawn from all parts of the world to take more responsibility for the future of Nigeria.
The mission of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI) is to create a growing, global network of credible, accomplished community-spirited Nigerian leaders, committed to taking responsibility for driving positive change in Nigeria and Nigerian communities.
“Mr. Aganga is certainly another example of a Nigerian whose impact and achievements are recognised across the world and who stands out for integrity, diligence and a commitment to country and people beyond the call of duty,” said Kenneth Oliko, spokesperson for the awards. “In his words, he is “excited to be able to meet with young Nigerian leaders” and we are just as excited to welcome him amongst the brightest and the best that Nigeria has to offer.”
The Future Awards (TFA) 2011 this year holds at the Landmark Events Centre in Lagos. Winners will be unveiled in categories from Best Use of Science and Best Use of Technology to On-Air Personality of the Year and Creative Artist of the Year.
TFA continues to blaze a trail as Africa’s biggest youth awards and Nigeria’s most influential youth event, partnering over the years with the World Bank, the British Council, the Federal Ministries of Information, Education and Youth, amongst others, and reaching up to 10 states of the country as well as Ghana, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
This year’s edition is supported by Access Bank, HiTV and the Miccom Golf Resorts. Official media partners are Y! (www.ynaija.com), Cool FM and Wazobia FM. More information is on www.thefuturenigeia.com