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Community engagement key to Africa’s development, say experts

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Lagos

Community engagement and participation have been described as key to achieving a constant growth and development in Africa. Hence, there is need for stakeholders to develop tools for an all-inclusive approach that will support the active participation of community members, as they are the major drivers of impact and developments within the continent.

These were the resolutions of industry experts, key players, thought leaders and stakeholders who gathered yesterday at the second edition of the Aspire Coronation Trust (ACT) Foundation breakfast dialogue in Lagos.

With the theme, “Fostering Ownership: Driving sustainable impact in communities across Africa,” the programme aimed at strengthening existing partnership in a bid to accelerate the pace of building critical high-level alignment and ownership around the strategic direction of global development.

The Keynote Speaker, Executive Vice President, Unilever Ghana-Nigeria, Yaw Nsarkoh, who noted that the quality of the citizenry is determined by the quality of education, charged various governments across Africa to increase efforts geared towards promoting institutional capacity.

Besides, Country Director, Google Nigeria, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, noted that the continuous growth of technological innovations and deployment had condensed the world to a global village where industrialised societies harness technological gain for sustainable development.

She, therefore, urged individuals and organisations to leverage on the power of technology to increase profitability.

Also, Chief Executive Officer, Private Sector Health Alliance (PHN), Muntaqa Umar-Sadiq, reiterated that emphasis should not always be on what government is not doing right, but citizens can come together to make things work.

“We should see government as partners and stakeholders, we should come up with the expertise and resources and try to engage them. The government will always be there as a stimulant to support the modules instead of seeing them as enemies that make them go in defence,” he said.

Other panellists, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Aliko Dangote Foundation, Zouera Youssoufou; Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, Akintunde Oyebode and Chief Executive Officer, Biola Alabi Media, Biola Alabi, among others, proffer solutions to issues and challenges beseeching the African continent, including policies and framework for continued impact, community engagement for sustainable development, the role of private sector in driving sustainable impact, accountability in the non-profit sector and driving sustainable impact through technology, among others.


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