Coordinated by Nwachukwu Sidney, Editor, Sahara Weekly

From the throne of Oduduwa, redefining the new culture of governance, leadership, entrepreneurial inventiveness and the ingenuity creative enterprises of our brilliant young populations has been at the epicenter of my Stool. Unfolding the maiden edition of the Royal African Young Leadership Forum (RAYLF) is an audacious mission of my peace and unity outreach. As a nation and the whole continent of Africa, I can boldly say that the world is more reliant on us more than ever before because of the exciting young populations that abound. Our young populations remain the major catalysts in boosting Nigeria and the whole of Africas economic growth. Africa is regarded as the next economic frontier in globalization. The eagle eyes of the global community continue to see a continent that is rich both in human and natural resources. The sheer size, young population explosion, innovation development, sophisticated creative culture and the continent diversity distinctiveness are true potentials that are attracting global attention into the continent. 
The reality of Africa rapid population expansion is expected to reach 2.8 billion by 2060 according to the

World Bank statistics, with 65% of these counted as young, an energetic and innovative driven demography. This demography is building multipurpose vehicles and economic application systems that are aiding new milestones of individual economic successes. In economic terms, Africa is already reaping a tremendous demographic dividend from this millennium generation with exciting and fascinating growth which is altering the continents socioeconomic development. With an incredible and remarkable youth population that are gaining new knowledge, modern skills acquisitions, complex innovation mechanisms with technology agility, dexterity and adroitness, the continent is assured. 

Through the Royal African Young Leadership Forum and its incubation device, my mission is to transform the economic landscape and make it more inclusive and address the challenges of poverty, unemployment and access to free healthcare. It is against this backdrop that the theme of this year’s gathering, “Africa of the Future: Unleashing the Assets of Its Narratives,” resonates with Africa’s integration development and its vibrant economic vision. This is a formidable theme, I believe, given the context we currently exist in, as a global community. 

Strikingly and as we all may be aware, Africa has the largest volume of the worlds’ youngest population with stimulating depth of human capacity and arrays of entrepreneurial relentless spirit, new dreams, unquenchable energies and ambitions. Compellingly, it is gratifying to herald that a new spirit of governance, leadership, creative culture and entrepreneurship is evolving. Of a truth, this is the ‘Africa of the Future’ with immeasurable leadership shrewdness, innate propensities to create wealth, expand job markets, and rebuild the economic viability of African heritage and materials of culture across villages, cities, and urban sprawls in both the government and private sectors. 
President Nelson Mandela reminds us that “significant progress is always possible if we ourselves plan every detail and allow intervention of fate only on our own terms.” Undoubtedly, Africa’s diverse cultures, multiethnic embroidery, mineral resources, technology advancement, education development, wealthy creative culture, and its young population defines its powerful and flourishing heritage. In the global world where Africa is encrypted to fulfilling its mandate of building a stable and economically thriving society for its people, it is therefore very imperative to harness the governance, leadership, creative culture, innovation and entrepreneurship trajectories of young Africans through various spectrum.

Through the Royal African Young Leadership Forum (RAYLF), I’m committed to redefining and resetting the ancient roles of Africa to the world civilization; governance, leadership, its long-established creative culture, and entrepreneurial rich resilience spirit of Africa which embodies many defining principles of its identity which includes– economic prosperity, blessings of natural resources, rich inheritance of its diversity and human capacity opportunity. RAYLF remains a catalyst with finest aspirations of inspiring the future generations of the best and brightest transforming, shaping, reconstructing and anchoring a new economic frontier by establishing innovative clusters through various mechanisms which is able to give Africa a competitive advantage. 
The united voices of millions of young populations in Nigeria and across Africa will certainly contribute solutions through their own ingenuities that would help in painting a picture of what they want for themselves, the future generations and the continent as these youths are the leaders of tomorrow. They will have to dream new dreams and rightly become custodians of their own development. As the great African American civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr., eloquently affirmed our young generation “are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

Primarily, the mission of rebuilding the fabrics of our continent commonwealth should be strategically pursued and achieved. This is an epic movement which I’m committed to. A movement celebrating excellence in all areas that will last forever. In Nigeria our beauty lies truly in our diversity, and until that is celebrated we will not advance. 
As I have always stated from the beginning of my ascension to the throne of my forbearers, this throne is dedicated to the youths and I have taken it upon myself to celebrate the compendium of outstanding successes that our young people are stamping on the threshold of global space. I am using these 100 awardees all between the ages of 20-39 to showcase the hidden treasures and ground breaking feats that impeccable children are recording across Nigeria and internationally. This will act as a turning point for the country, pushing us to celebrate our own; If we do not tell our own stories, who would tell them for us. I am personally celebrating all Nigerian youths that are publicly and silently redefining their socioeconomic environment through positive enterprises and inspiring mechanisms that are worthy of emulation.

To my admirable and outstanding young Nigerians youths that are breaking the ceilings, changing the status quo and birthing new speeds of visible and non-visible achievement across this incredibly and most populous black nation on Earth-the few of you that have been selected for my Royal African Young Leadership Award are representatives of other millions, be rest assured that we are just getting started. I wholeheartedly celebrate you and all the greatness you represent both for this country and the continent of Africa. This week which is dedicated to your celebration marks another historical milestone and transformation of our continent through our collective vision. I wish you all the best of success in our noble commitment to the greatness of Nigeria, Africa and the black nations. 
May the history in humanity favourably admit and treasured all of your giant strides as saintly and priceless.

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