By Sunday Ani
A nongovernmental organisation, Boys Champions, will on November 25, gather over 2000 youths, drawn from different sectors and communities nationwide, to discuss and proffer solutions on how to end gender based violence in Nigeria.
The conference, which will be held at the Base Landmarks Event Center, Independent Layout, Enugu, will feature the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, as one the discussants expected at the event.
Titled, “Shaping the Future,” the youth conference, will pull together over 2,000 young leaders from different sectors in Nigeria and across the continent, who are working to make a social impact in their communities.
Speaking about the conference, the convener and founder of Boys Champion, Noel Ifeanyi Alumona, told journalists that renowned personalities, including Cardinal John Onaiyekan, emeritus Archbishop of Abuja Archdiocese, a former presidential candidate, Prof Pat Utomi, Bishop (Prof) Godfrey I. Onah of the Catholic Diocese of Nsukka, the CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri Erewa, and erudite scholars from Oxford, Cambridge and Vanderbilt Universities would make presentations at the event. He added that the award-winning novelist and celebrated feminist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, is also expected at the conference as moderator.
Alumona, who won the 2022 AFS Award for Young Global Citizens recently, equally told newsmen that the conference would provide an interactive forum with young people as part of the ongoing campaign by the organization to arrest the spate of violence against women in local communities. He noted that participants would be exposed to impactful and transformative panels, workshops, and speeches, by high profile resource persons, which would help them to build sustainable networking for personal and career development. “It is expected that the participants would become the vanguard of the crusade in their local communities, and spread the value chain across the length and breadth of the African continent,” he added.
He expressed optimism that the conference would be profitable to the youths, as they would tap from the resources of different speakers, who had made their marks in education, humanitarian, political, business, and other areas of human endeavour
He further explained that the conference was his little way of giving back to the society, and promoting inter-cultural dialogue to stem the tide of violence against girls and women in African society. According to him, the programme would also be a golden opportunity for several deprived youths, as it would create a viable platform for them to gain quality training and mentoring sessions from captains of industry, erudite scholars, as well as local and international experts. He said delegates would have the opportunity for question and answer sessions with leading experts, and also build lasting relationships and connections that could help them advance their works and social contracts with the people in their respective communities.
The Conference, he said, would feature a plenary session, where experts would discuss global education and the Nigerian struggle, opportunities for youth, gender equality and women inclusion, ethical leadership, conflict prevention and peace building, among others.
Dr. Maureen Manning of the Pie News, USA, would be the keynote speaker at the conference, which would also include presentations by the President of AFS Intercultural Programmes, USA, Daniel Obst, Prof. Veronica Boix Mansilla of Harvard University, USA, and Dr. Nancy Dickson, from Vanderbilt University, USA.
Other speakers expected at the event include, Dr. Helmut Schuster, from the United Kingdom, former Ambassador of Nigeria to India, Retd General Chris Eze, Augustine Achu, United States Marines Corp, Virginia USA, Hawa Taylor, United Nations Global Communications Office, Dr. Onyeka Nwelue, visiting fellow, Oxford University, and Chike Nwoke, Carleton University, Canada.
Others are the CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri; Ephraim Bassey, United States Institute of Peace; founder, Center for Value in Leadership, Prof. Pat Utomi; founder, Stand to End Rape, Osowobi Oluwaseun Ayodeji; founder, Shewriteswoman, Hauwa Ojeifo; and Prof. Joy Ezeilo of the Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus.
Alumona said scholars lined up to discuss the theme of global education and the Nigerian struggle during the conference include, Prof. Veronica Boix Mansilla of Harvard University, USA; Dr. Nancy Dickson of Vanderbilt University, USA; Bishop Godfrey I. Onah, Catholic Bishop of Nsukka Diocese; and Chike Nwoke of Carleton University, Canada, among others.