L – R: Board Member, LEAP Africa and Founder, Bellanaija, Mrs. Uche Pedro;Debate
Winner, Ms. Olorunyomi Covenant; Senior Pastor, The Covenant Nation and Convener of the Platform Nigeria, Pastor Poju Oyemade; Debate Winner, Ms. Peace Ayandele; and Board
Member, LEAP Africa and Country Director, DAI, Dr. Joe Abah during the debates finale.
Lagos…on October 2nd 2023
LEAP Africa, one of Africa’s foremost non-profit organisations focused on youth leadership development is pleased to announce that the grand finale of its Youth Leadership Debates 2.0 held at the Platform Nigeria for the second consecutive time
since it commenced and the University of Ilorin emerged winners.
The Youth Leadership Debates which commenced in 2022 is a pillar of the Nigeria Youth
Futures Fund (NYFF), an initiative of LEAP Africa. It creates a platform for young Nigerians in tertiary institutions across the nation to lend their voices to topical issues that affect Nigeria through the art of debates.
Participants were taken through courses on self leadership, active citizenship, sustainability, and
advocacy. At the end of the learning process, 32 teams from 19 tertiary institutions in Nigeria
qualified for the debates. After two virtual elimination rounds, quarter-finals, and semi-finals,
University of Ilorin and University of Ibadan made it to the grand finale at the Platform Nigeria.
The finalists were tasked with debating the topic, “Nigeria’s Long Standing Position as the Giant of Africa is no Longer Tenable”. Following very engaging and brilliant arguments from the
proposing team, University of Ilorin, and the opposing team, University of Ibadan, scores from the judges, and the audience, who also got an opportunity to vote for their winning team, were tallied, and The University of Ilorin emerged winners of the Youth Leadership Debates 2.0.
The third place winners, the University of Lagos, went home with a cash prize of N1,000,000. The second place winners, the team from the University of Ibadan was rewarded with a cash prize of N1,500,000 while the first place winners, the University of Ilorin received a cash prize of N2,500,000.
While speaking about the debates and the role of young Nigerians in birthing the Nigeria we want, LEAP Africa’s Executive Director, Kehinde Ayeni, stated that, “Youth voices and youth-led actions are very critical to nation building and this is one of the key propellers of our efforts to activate youth voices across Nigeria. Young people should not be silenced, however, they should be guided on how to leverage their voices and the right channels for advocacy that will lead to sustainable change.”
Also speaking to the importance of the Nigeria Youth Futures Fund initiate, the Project Lead for NYFF at LEAP Africa, Ikenna Ogbudimkpa further emphasised the essence of advocacy in amplifying the agency of young Nigerians. He said, “The Nigeria Youth Futures Fund initiative was launched as a catalyst for youth voices and to amplify the efforts of young Nigerians towards the Nigeria We Want.It has become apparent that the Nigerian youth are ready to advocate for the change they desire in Nigeria and the brilliant arguments of the debaters in this season is proof of that.”
The Youth Leadership Debates 2.0 was made possible through strategic partnerships with
organisations and institutions like MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, Future Work Africa,
Lagos State University (LASU), LASU Student Union (LASUSU), LASU FM, and LASU Sustainable Development Goals Centre and Club (LASUSDG), University of Lagos Radio Station (UNILAG FM), and the Platform Nigeria.
About LEAP Africa
For 21 years, Leadership, Effectiveness, Accountability, and Professionalism (LEAP) Africa has stayed true to its mission to equip a new cadre of African leaders. LEAP Africa achieves this through its training programmes, research publications, convenings, and, most recently, e-learning. Our programme interventions focus on two core thematic pillars—raising talents to actualise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Making Secondary Education Work in Africa. Through all these, our overall objective is to change youth’s mindset, equipping them
to lead ethically, motivating them to deliver positive changes in their communities, and building sustainable social enterprises for socio-economic transformation. Kindly visit www.leapafrica.org
for more information.