It is said that every decade or so our world creates a new global order – as generations shift, leaders transform, visions change, and creativity and innovation force us all to live our lives better, longer, differently and certainly with more challenges. Today, more than ever, we need to address security challenges, abject poverty and the lack of development -- protecting in the course of these efforts, basic civil and human rights.
So today I want you to think like a leader in the 21st Century – think about both the challenges around the world, and development issues – both in my view are strategic issues -- needing more innovative thought, better strategic communications, and more partnerships as we move forward in the 21st Century.
This is a tall order, therefore since I am primarily before a Nigerian audience today, let's narrows this down to the practical – looking at both Africa and Nigeria. Africa's security and development landscape is much, much different than it was 10 years ago, 5 years ago, or even last year, and so is Nigeria's. I consider both these key components -- security and economic development -- fluid, needing our evermore robust, innovative efforts, action, and creative thinking.
Let's look at some examples of broad demographic categories and then drill down from there.
-- Only nation having 100+ mobile phone (important tools for business and education innovation);
-- 10 million – number of young Africans of working age added yearly to the 75 million already seeking jobs/employment according to the African Union (Political Body of African States);
-- 547 million – number of Africans living without electricity and energy;
-- 227 million - number of hungry people every day who live on the African Continent;
-- 3 per cent – number of African adults with credit cards; only a quarter of young African adults have accounts at formal financial institutions -- meaning the majority of Africans are still not connected in any way to the global formal financial system.
This being said, again all the news isn't bad for the Continent either, just like it is not all bad news for Nigeria.
Here are "The Positives:"
-- 7 out of the 10 fastest growing economics in the world are in Africa;
My Message for Today -- Lean Forward!
3.) Think about the strategic long term to changes these development demographics, improve them -- or in the case of population – help to build societies, communities where young people, young Africans feel: embraced, enfranchised, and most importantly empowered.
A FEEEDS Blogpost
[i] 9/19/14 CCTV TV live newscast, Miriam Kalma reporting
[ii] CCTV 9/19/14 live TV newscast Africa Live Report
[iii] UN Week 2014, McKinsey Session on Nigeria, Remarks by Director Richard Dobbs, New York Palace Hotel, N.Y.
[iv] U.S. Small Business Regional III Advocate Official Speech, July 10, 2014, Gallup Headquarters, Washington, D.C. at the FEEEDS-Gallup-Allafrica.com US-Africa Summit Forum
[v] 2012 speech, Commandant Eisenhower Resources College, National Defense University, Washington, D.C. on occasion of ICAF College name change
[vi] Nigeria's Palma Ranking
[vii] Palma Ratio
[viii] www.statisticbrain.com human development report
[x] Nigeria current GDP at $510b http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21600734-revised-figures-show-nigeria-africas-largest-economy-step-change
[xi] Number of Nigerians without electricity http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Not-Darkest-Africa-but-Darkest-Nigeria-120-Million-Without-Electricity.html
[xii] NB: Libyan port city from which many migrants are departing Zuwara
[xiii] Speech by former Nigerian Finance Minister & former VP World Bank Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Woodrow Wilson Center, February 2012
[xiv] 8/2014, Former Nigerian President Jonathan's "Housing Stakeholders Meeting"; Nigeria Former Housing Minister "Housing Stakeholders Conference," 11/2014
[xv] 6/2015 Human Rights Watch Annual Global Summit, Chicago, Drake Hotel, panel "World Migrant Issues."