Why we need to stand out as youth?

I was invited by Business Administration and Management Students, Lagos State University Chapter to talk about "Managing the Economy through Public Private Partnership Initiative (PPP)."

Getting to the events, I was on sit with Think Tanks from the Academia space as well as the private sector! I was the only one in the Civil Society Space! I was also the only youth on the high table as well as the last person to speak. Unfortunately, I was given lesser time to speak.

Well, it wasn't the first time I had experienced that and I know to distinguish myself I had to show up.

I also felt the previous speakers already did justice to the topic and I was left with, what do I really have to say. But I remembered the power of storytelling and I understood that students really wants to connect with something they can feel.

I tweaked the topic to "Managing the Economy and Positioning yourself to work or function in the Public Private Partnership Initiative."

I painted a scenario of what our current economy looks like. Where many children are out of school, where every six minutes 1 person lives in poverty. Where out of total active labor force, we have millions of people unemployed. Where  people lack access to quality health care. This is the kind of world we found ourselves in and these problems are called wicked problems. So, many of these problems can be solved through Public Private Partnership Initiative.

I also shared how they can create initiatives that solve this problems and get partners from different sector. But you can't get partners if you don't build capacity. I told them how I developed experience through my NYSC Project. How I worked with community members, village heads, Local Government and NYSC. I shared how it positioned me to work in different sector and how it influence many of the work that I do today. I also shared why they need to read about wide range of topics. Management is beyond what you learn in class, you have to get out to work.

Ultimately, I gave four key features of Public Private Partnership Initiative;

1. There must be CLARITY between both parties. That is a memorandum of understanding should be signed and roles should be clearly stated. Often in PPP, Government have the size and authority, while the private sector have the technical knowledge and funds. So, they can both leverage on what they have to improve their workforce and solve problems.

2. Accountability: Often Government serve as the accountability partner monitoring some of these projects and the private sector do the work. More so, corruption might hinder this and personal interest. This is why PPP might fail.

3. Focus: A good PPP is targeted towards solving a particular problem. E.g. Cleaner Lagos Initiative/Vision Scape is to promote and ensure a cleaner Lagos. So, doing something else might affect the partnership goal.

4. Effective Leadership: a lot of funds will be disbursed and a PPP might involve working with diverse people. So, effective leadership is key to sustaining a PPP. I explained how managing a $700 project during my NYSC positioned me to managing future funds.

After the lecture, a young man came to me and said, "You had the best lecture and I enjoyed you from start to finish."

The truth is I used beyond the minutes I was given.

Why was I given more time?

I was prepared! I had taken a course on Yali Network on PPP!

I had been on the field for the past 5 years since I was an undergraduate.

I used storytelling to drive my point.

I understood what the audience want and they were flowing with the lecture.

I was appreciated by other people from the academia space and finally I got an award of excellence.

As young people, whenever we are called to lead, we are auditioned. Be prepared and add value.

Thank you BAMSA LASU Executives for the invitation and my friend Tijani Jamiu Tee Jay for facilitating the process.

Hammed Kayode Alabi ©2018

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