My name is Oguike Offoaro, the son of two Nigerian immigrants. My parents always surrounded my siblings and me with Nigerian culture, from music to food, to language. They also insisted that we were not strangers to our homeland, going back home every other winter holiday and gaining affinity towards Nigeria, regardless of how different it was from our safe, predictable lives in America. My life experiences up to this point have made me realize that there are two things in this world close to my heart: Nigeria and Sustainability. With the recent protests regarding the SARS police force in Nigeria, most Nigerians have simultaneously called for a reboot of the entire government. As I witness everything going on from America (while doing everything I can to help), I can't help but be motived to reflect on the next strategic agenda for Nigeria, specifically with Sustainability.
A changing political landscape leaves Nigeria with the responsibility to step up its leadership role and to stand up for rule-of-law and multilateral diplomacy. Nigeria requires a new narrative that creates hope and restores trust in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is provoking unprecedented sustainable change.
For Nigeria to realize a sustainable future, it is necessary to:
- Improve access to sustainable livelihoods, entrepreneurial opportunities, and productive resources for people experiencing adverse poverty.
- Adopt more sustainable agriculture practices to produce more food at lower prices.
- Establish recycling facilities on a local level and incentivize it.
- Invest in solar/renewable energy to augment power grids, providing citizens with uninterrupted light.
- Invest in infrastructure that supports the use of public transportation and electric automobiles.
- Encourage and incentivize companies to embrace a work-from-home culture to decrease pollution from traffic gridlocks.
- Create a long-term pipeline to fund the education of young individuals interested in technology, public health, and professions that ultimately contribute to the economic sustainability of Nigeria.
Economic Development + Environmental Sustainability = Sustainable Economic Development. Not only Nigeria can achieve this alone. I am calling for a strong, collective African leadership to listen to their respective citizens’ calls for change. I count on you all to stand up for our common African values, capture the opportunities of the technological revolution, and deliver a sustainable, collective, democratic future for all.
Good luck to everyone protesting for a better tomorrow, and stay safe!
"Live life with modern confidence."