Actualizing SDGS: Meet some of Nigeria’s youth actors, by ‘Seyifunmi Adebote

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 ‘Seyifunmi Adebote writes about young Nigerians whose recent efforts have pushed Nigeria steps forward in the quest for the successful actualisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

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Members of the Nigerian Yiuth SDGs Network
Members of the Nigerian Youth SDGs Network during a youth SDGs forum held in  March, 2017 at Lagos, Nigeria

The successful actualization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria, as in other countries of the world, lies to a great extent on involvement of young people in the process; this has been clearly proven by countries ranking top on the SDGs actualization index: Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Switzerland.

In summary, the ultimate vision of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – which are successors of the now expired Millennium Development Goals – that came into being in 2015 is to end poverty, protect the planet as well as ensure prosperity for everyone. Therefore, each of the 17 individual goals has specific targets and should be met by 2030.

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The level of awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) among young people in Nigeria will determine their capacity to engage with the process and ultimately results in the success of the Global Goals in Nigeria.

Sadly, it seems a greater percentage of Nigerian youth do not have  the desired understanding of the SDGs hence are still  unable to key into the ideals of the goals and work towards their success in the country. This development has therefore left much of the work of raising awareness and taking action about the SDGs in Nigeria on the shoulders of the few youth that understand these goals, hence are working round the clock to actualize the SDGs in Nigeria.

Though Nigeria is presently ranked 141 out of 149 countries, in terms of the implementation of the SDGs in the world, these young folks deserve a credit.

Through DEAN Initiative, Semiye Michael nicknamed ‘Mr. SDGs’ has done so much to help young people acquire an understanding of the goals and work towards their success in Nigeria. Hamzat Lawal, the young brain behind Connected Development (CODE) has through his organization also contributed towards increased transparency in governance at the grassroots.

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Rose Keffas who works with the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs has channeled lots of energy in engaging with youth and supporting events and projects geared towards the actualization of the SDGs in Nigeria. Joshua Alade of the Nigeria Youth SDGs Network has created a lot of impacts creating synergy between SDGs-focused individuals, groups and organizations.

The singular commitment of Olumide Idowu, co-founder of Climate Wednesday, a platform that promotes environmental issues; Jennifer Uchendu, founder of Susty Vibes and co-founder of Ogoni Stories; the consistency of Esther Agbarakwe, Special Adviser to the Minister of Environment on strategic communication and stakeholders participation; the energy of Felix Abayomi, the team lead for Wildlife of Africa Conservation Initiative – have all attracted the attention of the international community which appreciates the involvements of young Nigerians in the quest to actualize the SDGs in the country.

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Adam Alqali, Oyinye Edeh, Wonne Afronelly, Ose Egbie, Daniel Nwaeze, Laz Ude, Dexter King, Muyiwa Felix, Tokoni Olobio, Precious Ajunwa, Ebenezar Wikina, Imran Buba, Adepeju Jayeoba, Tamara Possibi, Gideon Olanrewaju, Damola Morenikeji and many other hardworking young Nigerians silently driving the SDGs in Nigeria are making impact and in the process serving as a huge inspiration to millions of other youth in Africa and beyond the continent.

‘Seyifunmi Adebote, is an environmentalist, writer, and media personnel

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