INDIAFRICA Campus Outreach Event

May 24, 2012
University of Lagos, Lagos

In collaboration with AIESEC, with event partners Amity & NIIT and institutional partners Lagos Business School and EDC PanAfrican University, the INDIAFRICA Campus Outreach program was held at the Multi Purpose Hall at the University of Lagos on 24 May. The event was open to all higher learning students, alumni and young professionals who got to interact with young entrepreneurs from both India and Nigeria.

The event comprised of an afternoon session - “Success stories from India and Nigeria” which was open to and attended by students from all disciplines from different Universities within Nigeria. The session was well attended by about 450 students and the interactive session, at the end of the panel discussion, was a great success. The students asked a lot of pertinent questions which were addressed by the panelists and the audience also expressed their opinion and suggestions.

Emcee, Gbenga Ajayi, from AIESEC, welcomed the guests and introduced the session and invited AIESEC Nigeria President, Adebayo Femi to give the welcome address

This was followed by the keynote address by H.E., Mr. Mahesh Sachdev, the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria. He was of the opinion that this initiative will have a significant impact on India - Africa ties. He felt that the contests will provide the youth in India and Africa a unique opportunity to participate and give form to their creative output.

After this Udita Das, Director, theIdeaWorks Presentation on ‘INDIAFRICA: A Shared Future explaining the initiative and gave detailed inputs on the online contests and the Young Visionaries Fellowships. Students showed keen interest in the details and asked relevant questions regarding the same.

After this the Panel discussion began with the first presentation being made by Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu who is a leading social entrepreneur and rural natural resources management expert and is the Executive Director of Smallholders Foundation, Nigeria, Nnaemeka kept the young audience enthralled as he explained to them the advantages of establishing a small scale agricultural unit. That he did manage to inspire them was evident by the nature of detailed questions that were put to him during the interaction post presentations.

Sairee Chahal, the co-founder of FLEXIMOMS an organization that specializes in re-connecting women professionals to work and helping them towards making suitable work-life choices was the next speaker from India on the Panel. She connected with the young audience with directness of her address. She was of the opinion that there is a lot that India and Africa share in common. She said that, “our real challenge is to make the invisible ills visible and convert ideas into action” and believed that “change follows the cycle of acknowledgement, awareness and action and this will happen as young people…become more and more involved with their context and seek solutions from themselves”.

Next came the speaker from Nigeria, Ayodeji Megbope who is the CEO of “NO LEFT OVERS NIG LTD” – a full scale catering outfit which started with a takeoff capital of merely N1,000 (GBP 4, USD 6), but has grown the business into what today has an annual turnover that runs into millions of Naira. Ayo’s story was found very appealing and inspiring by the audience and this was reflected in the personal nature of questions that were addressed to her

Ankit Mathur is the co-founder and COO of Greenway Grameen Infra Pvt Ltd, a rural product development company. He had carried with him an improved biomass cook stove which evoked much curiosity. Ankit believes that “the aspirations and the needs are similar across India and Africa hence the way young people would take charge… to create opportunities out of challenges would also be similar”. The cook stove created and patented by his organization should be seen as an illustration of this opportunity. That the audience agreed with him was evident not just by the questions he was flooded with but also the number of students who wanted to take a closer look at the cook stove! The question and answer session was ably conducted by Pranjal Sharma, a senior journalist from India. Several awards were handed out to the winners of a Quiz on India that was held during the course of the meeting

At the end of this session the students thoroughly enjoyed the live performance by the Indian rock band PARIKRAMA and local Nigerian musician, Cornel Ogar and his siblings.

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Copyright © 2012. INDIAFRICA: A Shared Future