7 December 2017

Nigeria: TEDx to Boost Economic Development in Jos

The Technology, Entertainment and Design, aka TEDx Programme is a globally recognised brand created in the spirit of TED's mission, 'ideas worth spreading'. It supports independent organisers who want to create such event in their own community. The TEDx Program is designed to help communities, organisations and individuals to spark conversation and connection.

The maiden edition of the programme in Plateau State with the theme, 'Shifting Paradigms' and Hashtag #Josshift, is created with the hope to push an alligning narrative for a forward mental, physical, economic and social shift in the state, and in turn, the country at large.

It is designed to motivate young people to activate their leadership potential as positive change agents of their immediate environment by engaging them in intellectual conversations that spur positive action. The aim is to challenge their commitment to issues that responsibly address questions and solutions, which affect their community, their country Nigeria and the world at large. Our most important objective is to further the cause of Peace Building as a Panacea for Economic Development in Plateau State and Nigeria in general.

In view of the objective for the talks the following speakers have been billed to speak at the event; accountant, activist, Deputy Governor of Edo State, and former NANS President, Phillip Shuaibu, who will be speaking on the topic, 'Not Too Young To Run - Why we need more young people in politics'. Imam Muhammed Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye. Ezekiel Gomos (OFR), Director General of the Jos Business School; Troy Zenret Pyelshak; Ufuoma Ejenenobor Mcdermott; AbdulRazaq Bello Barkindo; Fauno B Nadah; Dr Chinnan Mclean Dikwal among other speakers.

In a recent chat with the convener, Mrs. Delmwa Deshi-Kura, a media professional with a deep passion for propagating storytelling and conversations as a means of engaging and mobilizing consensus, she said the programme will hold on Saturday, December, 9 at the Jos Business School, Rayfield- Jos, Plateau State. Nigeria.

Deshi- Kura said the talks would not only be inspirational but instructional. "From a professional to personal and spiritual view, one is bound to find a TED talk that guides or at least nudge you in the right direction, so when in 2016, I was opportuned to release multiple projects at the same time and found myself inundated with messages on social media, emails, and even personal calls from total strangers, all offering to work for me for free, others asking to be mentored, or wanting some kind of professional help, I quickly recognized I wanted to extend the kind of goodwill I have enjoyed from my mentors to these people, but couldn't do it for everyone, and I was watching a TED Talk when it hit me, a TEDx Event where I bring in my networks to share what they know with these individuals could go a lot farther than I could, all by myself, and this is how the idea of a TEDxRayfield was born," she said.

With no financial support from local of international communities, she hopes that the event would be done yearly, "becoming bigger by the year and hosting even more open and honest conversations around the issues that plague the state Socially and economically, while celebrating the victories of our ongoing progress, and successes which barely gets a thumbs up."

Being a community-based event, she noted, "The reception has been humbling to say the least. Coming into the preparations we knew there was excitement about the prospects of a TEDx in Jos, but that didn't prepare us for the support and volunteers we have received. Over the past weeks, we have had to turn down a hoard of offers for help, and this tells us something profound about the Spirit of the City Jos and it's people, they are welcoming, giving, selfless, open to civic and community engagements, and supportive of all things progressive."

On how she intends to improve the outlook of the community through the programme, she said particular care had been taken to ensure that a good number of the speakers have clear roots in the community or have affiliations that makes them relatable, "This means their stories and talks will not only inspire the audience, but remind them that they have just as much to give to the World as a NFL Super Bowl Champion with roots in their home state," she added.

Speaking further on the speakers, she noted that In a time of escalating global conflict, which is destroying economies overnight and throwing millions into poverty and uncertain futures, "we couldn't see a better narrative to address than " Peace Building As A Panacea For Economic Stability" Our speakers are drawn from Solid Economic and Peace Building Backgrounds and will deliver well curated Talks which will align their narratives to drive our community as it continues to rebuild in a Post Conflict Era.

"There has never been a time in history when the gap between the rich and the poor has been seen to expand this fast, and personally, for my community, I see a direct link between resolving underlying religious and ethnic conflict and restoring the economic and cultural glory of the Jos or even the Nigeria I knew as a Child."

Commenting on the difference between TEDx event and other talk-based events in Nigeria, she said being a creative entrepreneur with a deep passion for people and community engagement through media, she would lean towards the entertainment and technology part of TED. "Talks have been held that, in true TED for fashion have been inspirational, however, what sets TEDxRayfield apart is that we are addressing a clear and present need in a community hungry for this Paradigm Shift, so for the young people I've been interfacing with, it's more than just a talk, it's an ignition point to a better version of themselves, a version which takes responsibility for the change they seek in their communities," she noted.

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