The Neoteric Governance Boot Camp 2021 Lagos held from the 17th – 20th August 2021 at the Barack Obama American Corner. As with the Abuja Boot Camp, it was aimed at equipping grassroot civil society organizations (“CSOs”) with the fundamental rudiments of governance and as well as embark on a solution-finding discourse with the CSOs in attendance in trying to find solutions to getting the grassroots interested in civic engagement.
The event was graced by the Deputy Public Affairs Officer at the United States Consular General, Nigeria, in the person of Jennifer Foltz. She was in attendance with the YALI/MWF Coordinator at the United States Consular General, Nigeria. She delivered Opening Remarks to declare the Boot Camp open. In her Opening address she commended the CSOs in attendance for the laudable work they did in the grassroots communities they worked with, and hailed them as the heroes of the day. She re-echoed the sentiments of Secretary of State, Blinken, that any democracy that would thrive is one that has an active civil society sector. She encouraged all the attendees who had not yet taken any of the YALI programs such as the RLC training and the Mandela Washington Fellowship training to key into these programs as they are the signature efforts of the United States Government in Africa to invest in the next generation of leaders.
In her Opening Address, the Founder and Executive Director who is also the Convener of the Boot Camp, Ms. Ifezue pointed out that the purpose of the Camp was two-fold. First, to tap from the well and wealth of the seasoned speakers on fundamental rudiments of governance. And secondly, to then embark on a solution-finding discourse to identify the challenges to grassroots engagement and come up with workable solutions to addressing apathy at the grassroots on issues of civic engagement.
Over the course of the 4 days, the CSOs were equipped with knowledge on topics such as the Office of the Citizen and the importance of government accountability to citizens. At the end of the Boot Camp, all the participants were unanimous in asserting how enjoyable and beneficial the Boot Camp was to them.
The next stage of the Boot Camp both in Lagos and Abuja is the community project component. One lucky CSO who submits a convincing concept note of a community project to impact the knowledge from the Boot Camp to the grassroots will be encouraged with N50,000.00 to carry out the mini community project. More details will be shared as they unfold.
© Glory Ifezue Foundation, 2021.
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