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Experience Sharing with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo

By February 8, 2017

Experience Sharing and Interaction between Start-up Entrepreneurs of the CBN-EDC Southwest, Incubatees of the ALFTech Hub and General Olusegun Obasanjo.

A total of 18 young entrepreneurs and incubatees of the ALF-Techhub as well as six staff of the Africa Leadership Forum visited to His Excellency Chief Olusegun Obasanjo for the experience sharing and interaction, which took place at Green Legacy Resort, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The event which commenced at about 2.30PM commenced with opening prayer and brief enumeration of the activities of the ALF through the CBN-Entrepreneurship Development Center Southwest, the ALF-Techhub, as well as progress being made on the Empowering Women in Agriculture (EWA) Project. Afterwards, three of the incubatees of the ALFTechhub presented their ideas – HelpMum, Ward Monitor, and Argus Greenhouse – as well as 10 of the start-ups who had undergone the CBN-EDC Southwest Training.

Response from Chief Obasanjo

His Excellency, expressed his pleasure at what he had seen and heard from the young people and affirmed that these young ones have great hope ahead of them. Then then requested that ARGUS Greenhouse should come and take a look at his greenhouses at Owiwi. He then stated his concern with regards to the challenges these young ones might be facing with the running of their businesses in Nigeria. Hence, he requested that they all the young people list two issues of important concern that they think he could influence with his power to ensure that these young people do well in their businesses in Nigeria. After collation of the lists, the top issues were:

  1. Access to finance and short moratorium
  2. Partnership with established national and international organizations to help the up-coming entrepreneurs
  3. Access to market
  4. Government policy

After looking at the feedbacks, His Excellency then suggested that in order to encourage entrepreneurial innovation in Nigeria we should organize a competition in Nigeria which would bring together three young entrepreneurs from each of the six geopolitical zones and make it an annual event so that those who win in the competition could be funded for their businesses. However, some of the young people expressed their doubts with this initiative, some of their previous experiences showed that competitions like this have not enjoyed sustainability and do not deliver on promise. However, His Excellency allayed their fears that those were government-run competitions but this would be privately run and sustained. In closing, His Excellency called the attention of the young people to this fact, “Whatever you do, there are basic human factors to take into considerations.” These young people should endeavor to find out those basic human factors.

The event ended with group photographs.