Rector of The Twim Art Institute, Olumide Adeleye, spoke at the 2018 edition of the Concordia Annual Summit in New York discussing the problem of youth employment in Africa.
The Concordia Annual Summit is the biggest and most inclusive high-level non-partisan forum that holds at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. This year’s edition played host to many of the world’s Heads of State and some of the most notable business executives. Several themes, including a strategic dialogue on youth employment in Africa, were featured.
Olumide Adeleye spoke passionately about some of the challenges faced by young Africans leading to massive youth employment. Being able to draw from first-hand experiences first as a Nigerian youth entrepreneur who is resident in Nigeria, and also as the founder of initiatives (such as The Twim Art Institute and the Twim Insititute Annual Conference) through which he relates daily with young, struggling youths, he appealed for better recognition, validation and dignity for the many African youths who go through unprecedented challenges to innovate in Africa. He also spoke about African youths being given opportunities. Using Nigeria as an example, he opined that all structures were concentrated around old people and politicians with very few opportunities for youths. Olumide also praised initiatives such as the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the Queen’s Young Leaders Program, and the African Leadership Academy which have been at the forefront of identifying, training and recognizing African talent even when African governments who should know better have not.
His contributions were well received with many commenting about his passion and bluntness.
Other contributors to the discussion include Uzodinma Iweala of the Africa Center, Fred Swaniker of the African Leadership University, John Momoh of ChannelsTV, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield (former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs), as well as Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Yale University’s Director for Africa, Eddie Mandhry, moderated the session.
Over the course of 2 days, the Concordia Annual Summit pooled other notable speakers including Microsoft President Brad Smith, US first daughter Ivanka Trump, Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo, and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva.