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10 Feb Written by  Japheth Omojuwa

As Abuja Hosts Shape Africa 2014

Cape Town hosted the inaugural Shape Africa in 2013, and what a spectacle that was. This year, the party is coming to Abuja and with Nigeria never coming short when it comes to rising to the occasion when it matters most, Shape Africa 2014 will register as one of the best gatherings of young people from around the continent.

Before there was Shape Africa, there had been the World Economic Forum and its World Economic Forum for Africa that will be hosted by Nigeria for the first time. Members of the World Economic Forum, Global Shapers, organize Shape Africa around the events of the World Economic Forum for Africa.

The Abuja Hub of the Global Shapers has the singular honour of hosting this year’s Shape Africa. In the spirit of Nigerian unity, the other hubs from around the country, (that is, Global Shapers, Kano and Global Shapers, Lagos) will be part of the planning and execution of the historic sessions of Shape Africa 2014.

It is understandable to see team members of the Abuja Hub of the Global Shapers look all pumped up and ready to go. An opportunity to host their peers from around the continent is not something they’d get a chance to tick on the calendars every year. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it is obvious the Abuja Hub has taken this particular bull by the horn.

Bold Solutions will be the theme of the sessions because the essence of the gathering would be about channeling each delegate’s mental and physical presence towards providing clear, implementable bold solutions to Africa’s many complex socio-economic and political problems.

Think of it as a Social Lab. The solutions will be focused around four pillars: Entrepreneurship, Education, Technology and Agriculture. It is obvious to see why these are essential to progress and development on the continent. If Africa gets it right around these four pillars, Africa Rising will move from the pages of glossy magazines and from the mouths of speakers of the many Afro-centric conferences to being a common reality, not just in select African cities but all around the continent’s known and unknown villages and forgotten streets and corners.

There would be room for games and other forms of entertainment. Young people cannot gather without an excuse to shake-off the mental burden of providing solutions to complex, age-long, continent-wide issues. It would be an exotic cultural mix as the best of Nigeria’s diverse cultures comes in contact with Africa’s best. Anything is possible, and we should expect many seeds and ideas to sprout, bloom and bear fruits in years to come.

Abuja is ready to host 50 young African leaders coming from Cape to Cairo, from Banjul to the Suez. Young Nigerians from across the country will be part of a mix that seeks to help bridge the gap among Africans, outline solutions for the continent’s most pressing needs and in many ways begin many paths to friendships that one would be unwise to bet against in their possibility to redefine African unity in line with the dreams of the founding fathers of the African Union.

Shape Africa 2014 is in May but you won’t blame me for being excited already, why do you think I am packing my bags to return to Abuja? So then, who wants to come to Abuja with me? This land can take us all. Come over here.