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Strengthening Youth Participation in Nigeria’s Journey for Sustainable Development

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Dear Esteemed Participant,

Thank you for making out time to attend and contribute to the Naija Youth Sustainability Forum on April 7, 2022 themed ‘Strengthening Youth Participation in Nigeria’s Journey for Sustainable Development’. The forum was hosted by Lagos Business School Sustainability Centre in collaboration with the Youth Sustainable Development Network.

We hope you found the presentations and dialogue useful and impactful. The forum brought together young people to share their experiences in making a positive social impact in Nigeria, as well as opportunities to share policy recommendations based on evidence-based research studies in order to improve SDG implementation strategies and solutions.

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Delivering the keynote speech, Mrs Damilola Ogunbiyi, the Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy, emphasised the importance of Sustainable Development Goal 7 – access to modern energy.

Youth participation
SDG 7 underpins many of the SDGs applicable to Nigerian youths, and clean energy is the key. According to the keynote speaker, Nigeria is the first country in Africa to put down an energy transition plan, which highlighted that transition is only possible if you put people at the centre of the plan. She added that SDG 7 requires urgency if we are to deliver and that young talent and innovation is needed. She concluded by saying that transformative voices are also needed to secure an African future that leaves no one behind.

Effective Policy Implementation for Sustainability Development in Nigeria.
How youths could enter international policy-making? 

  • The youth must do their research and work with international organisations. The world is moving towards sustainable development, so we need a narrative to frame our global character. Young people must understand the need to leverage and think of ways to distinguish and strategically position themselves. 
  • The youths must have the right mindset. To succeed, they must think they can, especially because they have the support of many organisations 
  • Young people should not grow weary. They can pick a particular SDG that speaks to them, start from somewhere, then scale. Young people can find ministries that speak to their work and collaborate with them and position themselves to help the government instead of waiting for the government to help them.

Youth Participation: How can Nigeria achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS).
How can youths be engaged to achieve the sustainable development goals? 

  • One way to advance the SDGs is to imbibe in our culture social responsibility. The youths have to be socially responsible and in that way; they are aware of the environmental problems and how to solve them. 
  • There should be collaboration amongst the civil societies, the public and private sectors, because no party can do it alone. The youths need to create jobs rather than depend on the government, because the government can’t solve all the problems 
  • Achieving sustainable development goals does not have to be a big deal. It could be as simple as not throwing trash on the road, recycling papers at our workplace. We need to examine our daily lifestyle and business practices. In addition, youths should take advantage of the various opportunities; grants and capacity building programs that are made available.