6th September, 2021
By Eniola Dawkins
The Lagos State Government on Monday launched the Lagos SDGs Youth Alliance aimed at amplifying and repositioning the broad tendencies of the youth for common good.
Solape Hammond, Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) & Investment, at a news conference in Ikeja, Lagos, said the alliance emerged from conviction that youths represented formidable and potent force through which positive impact could be made in all sphere of human endeavours and where meaningful engagements with them was a prerequisite for achieving the Greater Lagos Agenda and by extension the Global Sustainable Development Goals.
She said as a government that recognised the value of collaboration and engagement, government was establishing a clear and enduring pathway for meaningful youth participation in governance and in shaping the future they so much desire while at the same time providing them with required support and enabling environment to thrive.
“Far from addressing them as mere beneficiaries of the 2030 Agenda, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has demonstrated his passion to position young people as active architects in the State’s developmental pursuits and he has continued to engage them in the frameworks and processes that support implementation, follow-up and review of development initiatives.
“Certainly, we are starting a new journey and shaping an exciting future by enabling young people to immerse in a social reality and responsibility that will help unleash a new tribe of citizens that are committed to common good.
“We are poised to make this movement a special purpose vehicle that will drive a society of resourceful youth whose potentials are to be harnessed to drive the Greater Lagos ambition by channelling their energy, education, intellect and resourcefulness towards positive engagement for a better future,” she said.
Hammond added that government was determined to deepen the focus on youth-oriented approach to social change, saying that, youths, along with their drive and enthusiasm to do well, bring a diversity of fresh perspectives and interpretations to the challenges and opportunities the society faced.
“They remain a source of new energy and solutions to the persistent problems of our time. This administration is not oblivious of the unique challenges of today’s world. Nonetheless, having an active and substantive engagement with young women and men of great potential and deploying their competence into planning, articulation and implementation of development priorities will improve the efforts of the government and establish positive influence on the society,” she said.
“To the Youth, you are the native speakers of the global language of this decade; you are the most tech-savvy, digitally enabled and media-driven generation of all time. You are fiercely creative, incredibly innovative, amazingly resourceful and very vocal; instigators of movements that speed through our digital and physical worlds and shift culture and attitudes in a manner and pace never before seen.
“We see you express this in music, fashion, social media engagement…in your protests. You have shown you can be captains of your own destiny – and boldly ask for what you want,” she added.
Hammond charged the youths to maximise the advantages of invaluable networking, priceless contacts, profound deliberations, quality mentorship, exchange of brilliant ideas and collaborative action that were available through their participation in this noble cause.
She said government was highly optimistic “as we see some notable Champions of this fellowship already committing resources and efforts to solve some emerging challenges in our communities.
“I am hereby using this opportunity to encourage well-meaning Lagosians, corporate institutions and other good-spirited bodies to renew their efforts towards the advancement of our society and to drive impact in achieving the SDGs in Lagos State.”