Executive Summary: SHAPING NIGERIA 2017

SHAPING NIGERIA 2017 wrapped up three inspiring days of activities in Kano. It was the first time ever Shapers from all over Nigeria will get together, network, share ideas and develop action plans to help lead Nigeria forward. Day 1 began with a Welcome Dinner and networking event at the Bristol Palace hotel, most shapers had arrived earlier in the day and for most, the travel to Kano was a learning opportunity in itself.

For a lot of the visiting shapers it was their first time in Kano. Thus, day 2 was an opportunity to take in the sights of Kano and learn more about the rich history and culture. It began with a visit to the Makama Museum which is situated right opposite the historical Emir’s Palace. The museum also known as Gidan Makama served as abode of the Colonial Master's when the British conquered Kano in 1903. Gidan Makama was turned into a museum in 1953 by Governor Lord Lugard due to its beautiful ‘Hausa’ architectural designs and historical artefacts.

Next stop was the Kofar Mata Dye Pits which have been in existence for over 500 years.  Shapers learnt of the amazing history of the pits and how dyes were made in the olden days to make beautiful and colourful fabrics for which some shapers couldn't resist buying.  Shapers then proceeded to the Children's Home Nassarawa to see the children at the orphanage. Shaping Nigeria wasn't all about bringing shapers together, interacting and exploring ideas for the way forward but also about giving back to our communities hence the visit to the Children's home. Shapers got to see the kids, interact with them and also donated food and household items to help with their upkeep, it was a heart-warming experience for all.

After an hour’s lunch break, the shapers converged at The Avenue Event Center for Curator’s Corner; a plenary session for curators and founding curators to discuss difficulties, best practices and some of the activities of their hubs. It was a very inspiring discussion for all shapers present. Two difficulties that stand out for all the hubs were funding and active commitment. However, all the panellist commented that they make the best use of what they have in terms funds and resources to run the hub. The discussion was concluded with comments and questions from shapers.

Day 2 also saw Shapers pay a courtesy visit to the Acting Governor of Kano State Prof. Hafiz Abubakar at the Kano State Government House. The Curator of the Kano Hub, Mahmood Salisu made a detailed introduction of the Global Shapers Community while the Founding Curator of Port Harcourt Hub, Bitebo Gogo, spoke on behalf of the visiting hubs where she thanked the Kano State Government in creating an enabling environment for Shapers to have a seat at the table and have a voice in policy making. 

The Founding Curator of the Kano Hub, Salihu Tanko Yakasai, who is also the Director General Media and Communication to the Kano State Government gave brief remarks. The Acting Governor in his response spoke at length about the status of girl child inclusion in the field of education in Kano and challenged shapers to help the Government find solutions that will address waste management issues in the State.

The day ended with a visit to the Kano Polo Club where shapers enjoyed a bit of horse riding before having a soiree at the Gidan Dan Hausa. The ‘Gidan Dan Hausa’ is another historical site of Kano, considered the first school in the northern region founded by Swiss-British educationist; Mr. Hanns Vischer in 1909. Mr. Visher was courteously, nicknamed Dan Hausa (Son of Hausa) because of his command of the Hausa dialect. His exploration of the Sub-saharan region is somewhat considered an open sesame to other British explorers. Gidan Dan Hausa means ‘Residence of Hausa Son’

Day 3 was the main conference day which opened with a keynote address by the founding partner of Sahara Energy Mr. Tonye Cole; who gave a motivational and inspiring address. He charged Shapers to dream big and ensure they’re “remembered for something” and advised shapers “not to live your life living someone else’s dream’’. The day went on with two educative panel discussions, the first on “Unity in Diversity - A Tool For Economic Growth” which had Mr. Japheth Omojuwa, Ms. Emilia Asim-Ita, Ms. Yadoma Bukar Mandara and Prof. Muktar Halliru. The session was moderated by Dr. Ruqayya Nasir Sani, a shaper from Kano Hub.

The second panel discussion was moderated by the incoming Curator of Abuja Hub; Andy Madaki and it featured Amal Hassan CEO of The Outsource, Fantis Mohammed founder of Santi Foods, Olusola Amusan incoming curator of Lagos hub and Microsoft Head of Philanthropy and Prof. Garba Sheka of Bayero University Kano, the panellists deliberated on “Entrepreneurship: Future of Nigerian Economy”.

Thereafter all the hubs got the chance to make presentations highlighting some of the very important projects they undertake. The evening wrapped up with two ‘Meet the Leader Sessions’, the first was with the President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) A.B. Mahmoud SAN (OON) and later with the Emir of Kano, H.H Muhammadu Sanusi II. Both sessions were very educative, Mr. Mahmoud charged shapers to see themselves as Global Citizens and develop themselves so they can compete in a world becoming increasingly a globalized environment. HH Muhammadu Sanusi II took time to give shapers a history of the role traditional institutions play in a modern society and in his closing remarks asked shapers to “think of how you’ll like to be remembered and live like that”.

Shaping Nigeria 2017 was wrapped up with an exquisite dinner at Cilantro Indian Restaurant. A rooftop restaurant at Tahir Guest Palace Kano with an amazing night view of the modern part of the ancient city of Kano. Shapers from the invited hubs were speechless and stunned by the overall excellent organisation of the event by the Kano hub. The Curator of the Lagos Hub, Emilia Asim-Ita gave a vote of thanks on behalf of all the visiting shapers.‎

An important part of the legacy of #ShapingNigeria2017 is the commitment and passion that led to the creation of a team which will design and create content which will be used to educate Nigerians on the various cultures we have in our beautiful Nation. The need was highlighted during the panel discussion on Unity and Diversity and immediately shapers from different hubs volunteered to join the team. There was also unanimous agreement that Shaping Nigeria should become an annual global shapers event for Nigerian hubs. Although, the host city for #ShapingNigeria2018 is yet to be decided. For a detailed pictorial story of Shaping Nigeria, check Kano Hubs Facebook page.