The future of Africa belongs to those who dare to dream

The future belongs to those who dare to dream .

50% of all children out of the classroom in the world today are Nigerian, This is an awful statistic especially when you think that 1 in 5 members of the black race are Nigerians this is a sad indictment on the government and people of one of the richest endowed countries in the world. With Nigerians leading the polls as the most educated ethnic minorities in most western countries, an achievement that has earned us the monicker of the ‘Lion parents’ a reference to the ‘Tiger parents’ of the eastern ethnic minorities. This is a crying shame the huge gap between those who are lucky enough to have an opportunity to learn and those who have been shut out of education is a travesty. Education should be a right not a privilege but with current government budgeted expenditure hovering between 6–9% there is little hope insight.

Over 10.5 million children are currently out of school! With averages of 30 students to 1 teacher we would need to train and make available 350,000 teachers to bridge this gap. We simply do not have the time. In the next 10/15 years this vast number of uneducated kids will be the next generation and an even greater number fast on their heels we are in a crisis of cataclysmic proportions. We are grooming the largest standing army the continent has ever seen we must act now and act decisively.

At Popbeachclub we’ve been involved with providing primary education for the last 3 years, we have seen first hand the effect of education on communities and we’ve had a glimpse into the future and what is possible. Weve seen how fast Ideas spread and are adopted how eager people are to help and how helpless those that need help are. Most importantly we have had hours and hours of invaluable discussions with industry leaders across many fields from technology to finance from religion to education we have listened and taken notes we’ve read thousands of articles and seen hundreds of youtube videos in our quest to find scalable deliverable quantifiable solutions to delivering education to remote locations

Comparative advantage is a phrase that is very much in fashion amongst politicians right now, it’s a double edge sword there is also a comparative disadvantage to be had when you do not take the advantage there is always an opportunity cost. The cost of supporting a a huge useless (due to low education levels) population. Our diverse languages and cultures further stress the conversation and divide the nation . Education bridges the gulf it unites when we are dealing with these numbers and it’s the only way forward.

Another area of opportunity is plastic. Plastic proliferation is choking life out of our lagoon and ocean destroying our seafood one of the great natural resources we have. It allows us support such a huge population. We need to focus on this problem and how we can turn this to our benefit there is no point in talking about plastic in the same terms as waste, it simply isn’t waste, you can’t throw it away you cant bury it you can only use it. Our amazing population gives us a comparative advantage/ disadvantage in plastic we have to create uptake industries that will recycle the plastic . We have to encourage startups that use this resource and this could be a real opportunity for us to take a lead in life in the 21st century. There are so many areas for growth here. The current production of plastic and introduction into the ecosystem far out paces the rate of growth of uptake industries the problem is not collection its is recycling .And there are so mny ways in which the government should support the birth of an industry. Lagosians are not the greatest engineers but we are great innovators and opportunists our universities churn out a vast number of engineers who should with the proper supportive ecosystem behind them innovate existing technology in the field of plastics

Our vast population in the city of Lagos needs to be empowered it is mainly dead capital, right now the haves and have nots live parallel lives ! Not much mixing or free flow of capital between both worlds, The mirage of wealth seen on the islands of Victoria and Ikoyi are just that, most of the wealth is underpinned by politics and the extractive industries specifically oil and gas it’s a very small demographic the capital it possesses is locked out of the real economy and there is very little movement of capital into the real productive sector. The situation has existed for years and been made worse by successive governments. We should look to the youth to break this stand, we should look to the millenials who have their backs against the wall to change the status quo . They will need to think big, start small and be prepared to actually create. The days of rent seeking are over.

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