ABU to Represent Nigeria in United Kingdom

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Mary Ekah

The Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, has won the Enactus Nigeria 2017 National Competition thereby winning the opportunity to represent Nigeria at the prestigious Enactus World, a global competition, scheduled to hold in London, United Kingdom soon.

This year at the Enactus Nigeria 2017 National Competition, over 25 tertiary Institutions were in attendance and 20 teams participated in the competition through three rounds; the opening round; semi-final round and the final where Ahmadu Bello University emerged the overall winner of the competition. Covenant University came second followed by University of Lagos. Each team had innovative projects that have impacted their communities and addressed various challenges being encountered by these communities in the last one year. However, Ahmadu Bello Univeristy (ABU) came up with the winning innovation called ‘Baggega Risiing Project’.

Baggega community, a suburb in Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara State, is one of the worst hit states in Nigeria by lead poisoning. It was once referred to as the durbar of the Sudan due to its robust agro-allied farm practices and booming agriculture. However, after the gold-mining rush in 2009 as well as the discovery of huge deposits of solid minerals like gold and lead, subsistence farmers who were barely making between $1-$2 a day could very easily make $10-$20 daily from mining.

This seeming economic boom made farmers abandon farming for mining. Unfortunately, the crude mining methods employed by these farmers had a devastating effect on the lands. Their health was adversely affected as well as the environment and their underground source of water became contaminated with lead-poison too. According to Doctors without Borders, this situation was responsible for over 1,500 deaths and losses in excess of over $20,000 worth in crops and livestock.

The project was able to record immense success in providing clean, potable drinking water to Baggega community, reduce heavy metal contamination of land and underground water, combating food insecurity, improving community health and sanitation, checkmating dessert encroachment, providing new and improved mining techniques and process and creating new jobs and employment opportunities.

Over the years, the Enactus World Cup journey provides the platform for Enactus Nigeria and its partner organisations to make deliberate investments that develop the participating Nigerian youth into business leaders who are able to lead with courage, passion and integrity with the purpose of changing the world starting from home. One of such is the Youth Leadership Summit, which serves as a tool for exposing the urgent need to nurture dynamic leaders who exhibit the values of integrity, selflessness, honesty, transparency, accountability, equity, justice, compassion and vulnerability in all spheres of endeavour while serving as role models in helping other youths develop and imbibe this much needed quality.

The Country Director, Mr. Michael Ajayi, explained that “beyond the competition, the Enactus programme provides the unique opportunity for capacity development for the participating students in the areas of leadership and entrepreneurship whilst encouraging selflessness and promotes volunteerism.”

Supporting the competition this year are African Capital Alliance, Lekoil, Axa Mansard Insurance Plc, Sovereign Trust Plc and products donation from Coca-cola and UAC.

Enactus is an international non-profit organisation that brings together student, academic and business leaders who are committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. Enactus Nigeria started operations in 2001 and since then over 7,000 students from over 45 Universities and polytechnics nationwide have been equipped to execute over 600 community projects that have educated, empowered and transformed the lives of people in their communities and at the same time, helped the participating students to imbibe valuable leadership qualities and entrepreneurship skills.

Annually, there are over 2,500 students, business and academic leaders from around the world who gather at the Enactus World Cup to deliver impactful presentations that showcase the results of their community outreach projects and how these projects are transforming lives and creating a better world.

As a result, each year, every participating country holds a national competition to determine its representative at the prestigious Enactus World Cup. At the national competition, various projects showcased by competing Enactus institutions are evaluated based on the depth and reach of the impact of their projects by a team of top business leaders serving as judges. The team with the most impactful, relevant, innovative, scalable and sustainable projects is named national champion and represents the country at the Enactus World Cup holding in London, United Kingdom this year in September.

This exciting journey to London, United Kingdom for every Enactus team in Nigeria, starts with a good team succession programme that ushers in new team leadership with a renewed desire, drive, passion, focus and purpose to make further progress which in turn propels and motivates the team to success.

Everyone at Enactus Nigeria, the students and institutions see the entire journey to the Enactus World Cup as an immense learning cycle and a life changing experience. And true to its objective, the journey has significantly transformed participating Enactus students into result-oriented, analytical, resourceful, committed, forward thinking and value-driven youth leaders with a knack for excellence.