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When I go to school, I am not ashamed of anything.

But others cannot understand why I am a student while I already have a child. I tell them that if I study, it is precisely because I want to help my child". Habou Lamirou Driver , Niger.

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Oumarou, Soldier, Niger. It has been three months now since we fled from home. I want to become a soldier one day to fight and eradicate Boko Haram from my country". Young people on the continent face chronic unemployment and underemployment and those who succeed do so, largely against exceptional odds. Over the years, award shows have been created to celebrate these achievers and to inspire other young Africans.

The 'Nigerian prince' narrative. The pair were keen to amplify and celebrate Nigeria's talented youth at a time when the country's image was dented by the rise of email scams written by self-proclaimed Nigerian princes. Many Nigerians believe the scam narrative persists and they bemoan this global perception of their country. They feel the actions of a few have unfairly tarnished the image of country with a population of close to million people. Adebola Williams.

Reclaiming the Future

After more than a decade, the Future Awards has established itself as "Nigeria's most important awards for outstanding young Nigerians," according to Forbes. This weekend, it will host its 14th edition and prizes will be given to Nigerians in different categories including business, fashion, tech and media. It has produced over winners and over nominees since its first edition.

We also wanted to change the perception that young people have of themselves," Williams says. Despite efforts by the Future Awards and others to change the narrative of Nigeria, their efforts have been hampered by recent high profile arrests of Nigerians involved in scams both home and abroad. Seventy-seven of them were Nigerian. Also indicted separately, for computer and wire fraud was Obinwanne Okeke, a widely-feted and prominent young Nigerian entrepreneur , who was named by Forbes as one of Africa's top entrepreneurs under 30 in Okeke, 32, was a sought-after speaker for events, in and outside the country, where he gave motivational speeches about the secrets of his success.

However, the FBI maintains that the source of his wealth was from email scams.

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Williams says these developments have threatened the gains of the past decade. Williams noted that The Future Awards Africa has now put strict due diligence checks in place. We do our best to not only get them to do questionnaires, we research about them, we visit their offices, we call their references. The Nigerian media mogul who helped three presidents get elected. Also, when we put out the names of our nominees, we give time for people to refute any claims being made by any nominee.

We've had people come forward to call out people for age to false claims, some were found to be true and we disqualified them from the process. Africa's youth population is growing rapidly, leading to what is known as the 'youth bulge.

The People's Republic of The Future

While acknowledging that many setbacks could make it difficult for many Africans to succeed at a young age, Williams added that the key targets of talent, hard work and achievements are achievable. Affordable medicines and medical devices and implants are becoming a reality for more and more sections of our people. A greater number of Indians than ever previously have access to proper housing, with modern sanitation and electricity. Connectivity - in the form of ports and inland waterways, upgraded railways and new metro services, national highways and rural roads, cost-effective air services to the interiors of India, and of course the surge in mobile phones and data access - is bringing us together as never before.

India has been united and integrated - now it is being networked. Leapfrogging technologies and leapfrogging enlightenment are empowering our farmers and equipping our soldiers. They are enabling our traditionally deprived fellow citizens and educating our daughters and our sons.

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They are exciting the entrepreneurial energies and the infectious start-up culture that has made our younger generation and our India the focus of world attention and admiration. In my travels across the country and my engagements with all sections of our society, I have sensed appreciation for such efforts and such hard-won advance. This is more so in the perception of senior generations that have lived through and strived to overcome the shortage economy. In area after area, commodity after commodity, we have converted difficulty into availability.

We have done this step-by-step and year-by-year. And yet whether in foodgrains or LPG cylinders, telephone connections or even the ability to get a passport, change is apparent and change is visible. In many cases, technology has been a force multiplier.

Republic Day Celebration - President Speech - Know India: National Portal of India

And in all cases, inclusiveness has been a moral multiplier. No conception of India's development can be complete without a salute to our spirit of inclusiveness - of access and opportunity for all; of an expansion and an embrace of those whom we consider our own. This country belongs to each of us and to all of us - every group and every community, every region and every identity. It belongs to every citizen and every individual. India's pluralism is its greatest strength and its greatest example to the world. The "Indian model" rests on a tripod of diversity, democracy and development.

We cannot choose one above the other; we must have all three and we will have all three. The best indicator of social change in India is change towards gender equity and towards providing equal opportunities, under conditions of equality, to every girl child and every woman. In my experience, when given the chance, our daughters tend to not just equal but outperform our sons in the classroom.

Young women in our country are moving ahead in every field - from academics to the creative arts, from sports to the armed forces. There is no stopping and no hesitation in this process. It is the route to India's future. Our Republic has come a long way and we must appreciate how far successive generations have brought us. Equally, we must appreciate that our voyage is far from complete. There are still waters to cover, still gaps to fill and still tears to wipe. We have to recalibrate our yardstick of achievement and success - from quantity to quality; from a literate society to a knowledge society; from a nation that has room for all segments and all communities to a family that invokes, encourages and celebrates the uniqueness and potential in each person - each daughter and each son.

In his book "India of My Dreams", Mahatma Gandhi wrote of an India where the poorest will have an "effective voice", where there will be no "high class and low class", where "all communities shall live in perfect harmony", and where "women will enjoy the same rights as men". These ideals are a constant reminder of the India that we are building.

In this context, the recent constitutional amendment to provide special facilities for talented children from poorer families is another step to an India of our dreams - and of Gandhiji's dreams. The human experience is built on partnerships. Partnerships at home build a family.

Absolutely amazing! - President Hotel Prague

Partnerships at work build a business. Partnerships of different stakeholders build society. Partnerships of the government and the people build our nation. And partnerships of nations build a better world. In this manner partnerships are the thread knitting together family, nation and world - and leading to the treatment of the World as a Family: Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. Partnerships are enhanced by open communication, honest conversation and unstinted compassion.

This is true with members of our families.


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This is also true with sections or groups that have been historically disadvantaged and whose grievances must continue to be heard and addressed. It is important to create avenues for such conversations, even if they are inconvenient. In a society experiencing rapid change, we must be prepared for such conversations. And similarly we must be alive to the need for compassion - to those less privileged than us and to the differently-abled, for example.


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Our society has shown great regard for those, whether individuals or institutions, who devote themselves to people's welfare and go beyond the call of duty. The concept of seva, of devotion to public service and to the broadening of the ambit of justice, must get its due. Well-intentioned contributions of individuals, of groups of people, of institutions, whether public or private, of society at large, or for that matter of the government, must be acknowledged and appreciated.