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Creating a Cohort of Young people for innovation

Creating a Cohort of Young people for innovation.

The ICPD held in Cairo in 1994 marked a paradigm shift in the global commitment to young people. Since then most global polices and agenda, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), have drawn from the Programme of Action  of the conference, especially with respect to sexual and reproductive health services and rights. As part of the celebration of UNFPA@50 and ICPD@25, UNFPA Nigeria in collaboration with Young Innovation Leaders is building the capacity of young people through creative thinking and innovation around the three transformative results among others.

Forty (40) young persons were enrolled in a Youth Innovation Leaders Fellowship Programme which commenced in Lagos on 20th May 2019. The programs was for selected, exceptional and talented young professionals between 18-28 years of age. They were brought together to solve some of the developmental challenges facing Nigeria today. The 4-month competitive fellowship programme include a life-long mentorship opportunity for the participants. During the programme, participants will provide solutions to challenges that require application of innovation and creative concepts and tools. Some of the innovators are expected to go on to scale up their projects to become startups and social impact initiatives.

During the four day booth camp, the young persons were formed into teams to think out innovations solutions around selected developmental challenges, including UNFPA transformative goals. They were linked with global mentors who are highly skilled in generational experience transfer, as well as in the subject matter of the challenges. For example, the team working on maternal mortality was linked to Dr. Jonha Mink, who is an Associate at Focus Group Consulting- a firm that design, innovate and provide commercially viable solutions to improve outcomes and reduce cost of health care in Israel.