When the most influential man in the United Kingdom for the year 2016 decides to host a Gala Dinner in Nigeria, then without being told, it must be for a worthy cause. So it was, on the eighteenth of November 2017, at the glamorous Jasmine Hall of the renowned Eko Hotel and Suites a good cause was set a-rolling.
Trendsetters from all walks of life on the African continent and from foreign shores heeded the call of this great man. It was tagged the African Science Academy (ASA) Gala Dinner. It was an international gathering of beauty, brains and the will to improve the world. Supported by a trustee of the African Gifted Foundation Andrew Alli, our host, who is also a Trustee of this Foundation and Chairperson of ASA, was none other than Thomas Segun Ilube.
The African Science Academy (ASA) is a girls-only, Advanced level school for science and mathematics, which opened in August 2016 in Tema, Ghana. The school has already forged its way to limelight and at this event Tom Ilube wanted guests to get a glimpse of the vision of the school and join in this tidal wave that is sure to wash over the continent sooner than later. In the wake of the world’s 4th industrial revolution of Artificial Intelligence or AI, African youths need to be empowered with the right knowledge and skill set to enable them place Africa at the very front of the AI wave. It can be done. It is what fore-thinkers like Tom Ilube and his team are doing by setting up this ASA. What better cause is there to raise funds for than the future of AFRICA?
Tom Ilube happened to do a very excellent job at being the MC for the event and it was especially entertaining to see him introduce himself to the podium for his speech later in the evening but the highlight for this event was the speech by the guest speaker.
The guest speaker for the evening is the co-founder of Transparency International, a two-time Minister in her country, as well as Vice President of the World Bank. She has internationally become synonymous with strategic planning, fighting corruption in developing economies, education and empowerment of the African girl-child. She is recognised internationally for her positive contributions to humanity. We are sure by now you must have guessed correctly: Nigeria’s very own Dr. Obiageli K. Ezekwesili.
“Madam due-process”, as she is fondly called, diligently took us on a journey in her speech titled ‘The Future of Education’. In it, she talked about current value systems and how if we really want to grow we should shift our focus from mineral and agricultural resources to intellectual resources.
She pointed out that education for the future will be “Talent based” and she explained the need for “Affective skills” and increased “Emotional and Love Quotient”. Of course, she did not leave out the importance of educating the girl-child. In the future, a country’s growth will depend on the growth and development of their educational systems.
The evening would not have been complete without introducing guests to the physical layout of the school. This was done by the Headteacher, Mrs Efua Adabie. With visual aids, she showed us their current infrastructure, some of the teachers and students. She also spoke about their numerous record-breaking achievements since inception. ASA has started making statements worldwide and the world is looking our way.
Tom Ilube was able to siphon the energy in the hall and channel it towards the vision of the African Science Academy (ASA).
The LR team was honoured to be a part of history in the making. It is even more gratifying when the event is an initiative of our previous guest feature on our motivational platform and what is more, it is an event in line with the progress and future changing horizon of the African Continent. It was equally fulfilling to see among the guests, other people Team LR had already featured on our platform like Obi Olloh. Simply put, change happens when positive and like minds congregate, cerebrate and work in harmony.
We encourage schools and institutions to connect and encourage all academically gifted girls with a passion for mathematics and science to key into this wonderful opportunity being offered to our African girls. We know their inspirational stories are about to be written and we look forward to sharing them with you.
Many thanks to our editor Eryhio Obodo for representing Team LR at this event and enabling us all to have a peek into the proceedings at this auspicious gala night through her eyes.