Managing Director of Flutterwave, a digital payments infrastructure platform, Iyinoluwa Samuel Aboyeji, has challenged the AUN Class of 2018 to prepare to play critical roles in the continued survival of the African continent.
Mr. Aboyeji, who was the Commencement Speaker at the 2018 graduation, said, “As some of the best-educated young people in this country, you are now not only responsible for yourself, but also for the fate of our human species.”
Aboyeji listed the realities of Africa over the next 20 years and emphasized that the world-class education received from AUN and before their university days, prepared them for this challenge.
Envisaging the next two decades, Aboyeji said, “More than half of the global population growth between now and 2050 will happen in Africa. Nigeria will be on track to being the third most populous country in the world with well over 300 million people, while Lagos is, and will remain, one of the largest and fastest growing cities in the world.”
Also, a severe whittling down, or total disappearance of Nigeria’s oil reserves in the Niger Delta, and a population boom of possibly 200 million-plus Nigerians should be expected.
As such, some of the problems needing solution will include ensuring our women don’t die giving birth, increasing numbers of children, building enough schools, hiring and training enough teachers to cater for the continent’s needs, as well as housing, food, transport, employment and governance needs, all without the easy oil money.
Pinpointing the enormous task ahead, he warned that parents and leaders of today would not figure it out. "They are too short term-minded and will likely not live to see this future. They cannot even imagine it." Aboyeji contended that "if our species will survive...it is we - who have had the preparation of a world-class education over the last 20 years - who have to take responsibility for the world we will live in over the next 20 years."
Already, he said that what is happening in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Dapchi, Santa Fe, and Texas is "a small preview of what the world will look like if the leaders of tomorrow fail...if we do not rise to this challenge."
He called for more innovation, creativity, selflessness and hard work, leveraging the best technology, thinking, training and talent to build the future, adding that individual answers to the following questions will help each graduand arrive at meaningful projects.
One, ‘what matters most to you’? Taking the time to figure out what truly matters to you and passionately working for it, is your first step to taking responsibility for our future.
Two, ‘What are you building that lasts?’ We have to build for the future intentionally. We cannot build things so that we can make money or please people. We have to think long and hard about the future and dedicate ourselves to building institutions that will stand the test of time.
Three, ‘What will you make possible by what you build today?’ Keep that image in your head. It will get you through many nights.
Concluding, he said, “The future is our responsibility. The fate of humanity hangs in the balance. It lies in our hands.”
Reported by Innocent Nwobodo