Former World Bank Vice President as well as Nigeria’s Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili says Africa has the potential to actualize economic development at a faster pace than it took China, with massive adoption and deployment of disruptive technology.
Dr. Ezekwesili made the submission while delivering the keynote address at the maiden edition of the Change and Development Forum organized by the Dare Adeboye Foundation at the Redemption Camp, Ogun State.
The goal of the event was to drive policy and strategic discussions aimed at social development with the focus on young Nigerians. It is also aimed at promoting dialogue as well as partnerships among stakeholders within the social impact sector.
The foundation which was established to immotalise, Late Pastor Dare Adeboye, one of the sons of Pastor Enoch Adeboye that died last year, has as one of its mandates to help the country achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Dr. Ezekwesili eulogized the late Pastor Dare Adeboye , describing him as a silent and unsung driver, promoter and pillar of sustainable development and nation building.
She also shared their mutual fondness for young people and Nigeria and urged the leadership of the Foundation to sustain and institutionalize the late Pastor Dare’s passion. .
Speaking on Africa’s opportunities to fast track sustainable development, she stated that if the continent gets it right, it would take it shorter time than it took China to develop.
According to Dr. Ezekwesili with good policies, focused leadership that involves young people and disruptive technologies, Africa will break all obstacles to development.
She stated that, “it is Africa’s moment, if Africa gets it, it would take Africa shorter time-span than it took China to happen”.
Dr. Ezekwesili who expressed regret that the continent missed the Agricultural Revolution, Industrial Revolution and a bit of the Knowledge Revolution; believed that the continent now has the opportunity to break even with the current ICT revolution, that has seen about a billion Africans having access to mobile phones.
“Africa missed the Agricultural Revolution, the bus of the Industrial Revolution and a bit of the Knowledge Revolution but caught on with the ICT revolution with about a billion Africans having access to mobile phones. It is a structural revolution that can jump-start a continent”, she stressed.
She described the penetration of mobile phones and digital devices in Africa as the continent’s first revolution ,with the mobile phone as a powerful asset for the average African.
In a remark, the First Lady of Ogun State, Mrs Bamidele Abiodun called for concerted efforts by all to drive sustainable development, granted that Government alone cannot drive development agenda.
Pastor Idowu Iluyomade , the Special Assistant to the General Overseer of RCCG on Corporate Social Responsibility, highlighted the reach and impact of the interventions of the church in alleviating hunger and poverty as well as in the nation’s health sector.
A major highlight of the event was a panel discussion where key industry leaders harped on the need to leverage collaboration and knowledge sharing to drive more impact towards the actualization of sustainable development.
The event held on the 4th May 2022 at the Redemption Camp, also marked the first year memorial of the passing of Pastor Dare Adeboye.
Other notable personalities in attendance included Chief Executives of some financial institutions; members of the Adeboye family and Widow of Pastor Dare Adeboye.
The event also had the leadership of the Young Adults and Youth Affairs of RCCG in attendance.
The Dare Adeboye Foundation was launched on June 9th 2021, to sustain and entrench the legacies of Pastor Dare Adeboye, a senior Youth Pastor in RCCG and the son of the General Overseer of the Mission.
The foundation has four key programs which focus on: youth empowerment, Kingdom Expansion, Leadership & Governance; and Education.