As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) towards empowering residents of its host communities, Dangote Cement Plc, Ibese Plant has partnered the umbrella youth association, the Yewa Youth Association to stage its maiden Leadership Conference successfully.
Besides, the Cement Company also sponsored youths from its 17 host communities to the Conference in an effort to allow them imbibe leadership skills geared to help them in the development of Yewaland.
The conference, which held at the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro attracted Yewa youths from across the country and in the diaspora, as they brainstormed on the socio-economic development of the area and the expected roles of the youth leaders.
Dangote Cement Ibese Head of Social Performance, Mr. Ademola Ojolowo said the company partnered the Youth Association and sponsored some Yewa youths to the conference because of its recognised need for continued empowerment of the youths with up-to-date information and social network required for the present socio-economic situation in the country.
According to him no fewer than 37 youths from the host communities were sponsored by the company from their bases across the country, with all expenses paid, “because we believe knowledge is power and more informed the youths the better for the society.”
“Youth leadership training is of paramount importance to the management of Dangote Cement given the state of economic uncertainty and social challenges bedevilling the nation now. How are you playing to your strengths, mobilising your team, steering organisational change and restoring confidence in these challenging times is what the conference is all about and that is why we took keen interest in it”, Ojolowo stressed.
He explained that the company has executed various empowerment programmes in the mould of vocational training with start-up kits with the underlining philosophy that formal education is no longer enough for stable future for youth but additional vocational training so that the youths of the area can be self-employed gainfully and be useful to themselves and the society at large.
With the theme ‘Empowering Youth: Leadership, Civic Engagement & Active Citizenship’, engaging sessions were held on building youth capacity for effective participation in local governance and community development, opportunities and prospects for community development through active citizenship, building resilient businesses and strategies for overcoming challenges, at the conference.
A session on ‘Border Dialogue for peace and youth empowerment in Yewaland’ held on the last day, with speakers and panellists drawn from the Industry, Academia, Government, and Civil Society.
Chairman of Dangote Cement, Ibese Youth Assembly and a representative of Ibese Community at the Conference, Mr. Ajayi Idowu, commended the management of Dangote Cement Plc for sponsoring host youths to the conference, while underscoring the importance of such an educative conference for the youths to continued peaceful co-existence with the Plant.
Prince Ewedairo David, a Youth representative of Ijako Orile, said “the Conference was an eye-opener for us, and the event has brought about a paradigm shift in our perception, especially on the common misplaced parlance among the youths that education is a scam. Personally, I have come to realise that good education is required to maximise effectiveness of natural talents, and I promise to cascade key lessons from the conference to other youths in my community”, he concluded.
While appreciating Dangote Cement Plc, Ibese Plant for supporting the Conference, the President, Yewa Youth Association (YYA), Jabar Ayelaagbe, assured that the Association is committed to redefining youth engagement in Yewaland for inclusiveness and socio-economic development.
He promised that the Yewa youths would work with the management of Dangote Cement to sustain the prevailing peace and tranquillity, noting that no development can come from an atmosphere of violence and business disruption.