In furtherance of renewed efforts to build a generation of empowered youths to support the long-term sustainable development strategy of the State, the Lagos State Office of Sustainable Development Goals and Investments has launched the Lagos SDGs Youth Alliance platform to accelerate youth involvement in the attainment of the global ambition.
The idea, which is the first government-initiated, youth-led SDGs action in Nigeria, is designed towards creating an effective platform to promote the involvement of youths towards achieving the Y2030 Agenda, as well as establishing an avenue for discussion, and creating the conditions for active engagement.
According to a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the Governor on SDGs and Investments, Mrs. Solape Hammond, the initiative is focused on galvanising the potentials of youths towards making a strong impact in each of the targets of the SDGs and solving some of the leading challenges at the local level.
She explained that the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu recognises the need for development of common and inspiring spaces for young people to contribute as active citizens in various activities aimed at societal advancement.
Her words: “Lagos has an immense potential to reap its demographic dividend. The skills and strengths of the youths with different views, faiths and ethnic backgrounds must be duly recognised so that they can be engaged in development activities”.
“Development of the country depends on how productive and creative its young population is and how much importance the government accords to its youths. Despite the growing economy and technological progress observed in the State, there are still many societal challenges that need to be overcome to enhance human development; recognising the significant roles the youths can play in the attainment of the SDGs is a potent means to catalysing the development agenda of the State”.
Also speaking on the initiative, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Sustainable Development Goals, Mr. Lekan Fatodu, stated that the latitude of youths in fulfilling the global ambition is getting wider on daily basis, hence, the government recognises the potency of creating a channel for them to share and discuss ideas and make an informed opinion.
“Youths are the torchbearers of the Y2030 Global Goals for multiple reasons. They are critical thinkers because of their inquisitiveness and strength, they have the capacity to identify systemic flaws and proffer solutions. They are change-makers and have the faculty to mobilise people for causes they believe in”, he emphasised.
While revealing that the initiative is to further highlight the vital roles young people can play in eliminating poverty, reducing inequality and ensuring that no one is left behind, the Senior Special Assistant noted that engaging young people in development programmes has a compelling impact on their personal development, their empowerment, their ability to connect with more people in their community.
Fatodu reiterated that the youth-led network will help strengthen their commitment in the monitoring and reporting on the SDGs as well as facilitating several youth-driven initiatives that will enhance desirable change in society.
He further maintained that government is determined to engage, inspire and share ideas with the youths to deliver impactful and sustainable projects across the State, adding that the network is awakening the youths to their responsibility of owning the development ecosystem.
“This is a valuable opportunity to boost your endeavour, through engagement with like minds to support development of others in Lagos State. The Lagos State Youth Alliance Initiative is inviting you for an active engagement towards the attainment of SDGs in Lagos by visiting: www.lagossdgsyouthalliance.org to register and be part of a mission of a lifetime”, Fatodu declared.