The 44th Miss Nigeria, Shatu Garko, has stressed the need for more empowerment programs that; would improve the employment rate, decrease poverty and raise self-esteem among economically disadvantaged young people.
Shatu spoke at the Leadership Agenda Summit, organised by the Brian Reuben Organisation; an international leadership development organisation held concurrently in Dubai and Victoria Island, Lagos.
The issue of inclusiveness, unemployment, its adverse effects on the country, and the need to raise young leaders to curtail this problem was the central focus of her address to the esteemed gathering of select dignitaries and senior leaders across politics, business, arts, entrepreneurship, leadership, technology, law and academia.
According to her; “The world demands diversity, inclusivity and fresh perspectives, which can all be provided by young voices and ambitious minds. By this, I am also referring to the inclusion of young women.”
“As the youngest person to win the Miss Nigeria National pageant and the first Hijabi contestant to win a national pageant anywhere in the world; I am a walking, breathing example of the power of diversity and inclusion. To this end, I have made it a personal mission to be a beacon of hope to all disenfranchised youths and people in Nigeria.”
Shatu, who lamented the abysmal state of gender parity and youth inclusion in governance, urged the leaders to include and equip the youths to take up the challenge of righting highlighted wrongs in the country. She said this was the panacea for good governance in any country desirous of growth and development.
“It is apparent that we need to involve young people in leadership, business, and other crucial areas that influence our world. Youths are no longer the leaders of tomorrow. Youths are the leaders now,” she said.
She also advocated for a more intentional approach to; creating an enabling environment to spur innovation in the inclusion and development of Nigerian and African youth.
“Let us remember that if we fail to consider all the different voices available to create a holistic perspective; we will lose the innovation and insights we eagerly seek to create A Brand New World. A world that we rightfully deserve as a people.”
The Leadership Agenda Summit
According to the convener, Dr Brian Reuben, the Leadership Agenda Summit was organised to; facilitate new investments, encourage business development, share best practices, guarantee peer-to-peer networking, offer unique industry insight, showcase excellence and promote global thought leadership.