The history of youth activism and political participation in Nigeria is not complete without honouring the strategic role universities played as spaces for moulding leaders. Universities served as spaces for intellectual debates and youth expression and were catalytic to the involvement and participation of youth in governance and leadership. However, university student activism in Nigeria has suffered a decline over the years due to continuous intimidation, unfavourable policies and a lack of resources for sustainable engagement. It has become imperative that to work towards the Nigeria we want, we need to provide holistic support, inspire confidence and strategically harness youth voices as agitators for national development.
The Youth Leadership Debate will serve as a platform to provide holistic support and strategically harness the voices of young people toward national development. Furthermore, in view of Nigeria’s 2023 General elections, young people will begin to advocate from the point of knowledge and involvement as we collectively shape their visions for Nigeria, through constructive dialogues in the form of debates. The programme will engage undergraduate university and tertiary-level students across the six geo-political zones in Nigeria through an online campaign and campus tour that will foster policy debates on key socio-economic issues and inspire active youth participation in electoral and decision-making processes. The debates will be centred around the theme #TheNigeriaWeWant.
The Debate entries would be focused on the following thematic areas:
- Employment and Education
- Media, Sport and Entertainment
- Peacebuilding and Security
- ICT and Entrepreneurship
- Climate Change and Environment
- Civic participation
Teams will consist of a maximum of 4 individuals from the same tertiary institution. Teams can apply by sending in a video of not more than 5 mins with 2 debaters addressing any socioeconomic issue from the 7 thematic areas. The teams will advance through 6 stages and the final two teams will compete in the national finale.
Below are some of the exciting cash prizes to be won:
- 1st Position – N1,500,000 + Other benefits
- 2nd Position – N1,000,000 + Other benefits
- 3rd Position- N600,000 + Other benefits
This programme is a component of the Nigeria Youth Future Fund (NYFF), a $5 million fund seeded by the Ford Foundation and MacArthur Foundation that will support and strengthen the youth leadership ecosystem in Nigeria.
The Youth Leadership Debate, a component of the Nigeria Youth Futures Fund will provide capacity building to select young people across tertiary institutions in Nigeria hence equipping them to be active citizens.
LEAP Africa, Senior Communications Coordinator 0703-455-9613
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