Friday, May 9, 2014

#ShapeAfrica2014 Azonto Ambassador in Abuja

My first trip to Abuja, and second to Nigeria (I'd been to Lagos with Rotary/Rotaract in 2013) was pretty awesome.

As members of the Global Shapers Accra Hub; 7 members from our hub and I attended #ShapeAfrica2014 in Abuja last weekend. Shape Africa is the annual conference of World Economic Forum Global Shapers hubs on the continent and this year's was a precursor to the World Economic Forum being hosted in Abuja at the Barcelona Hotel.

+Ato Ulzen-Appiah , +Donald Ward +Yawa Hansen-Quao  and I were the first four from the team to make the trip on Friday and we were self-appointed #ArikAir ambassadors.

The early check-in time had us all feeling #SomeWayBi especially as the staff weren't at their station on time. After finally getting ticket confirmations for the flight at the very last minute, it was smooth sailing into Abuja and Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport.

My host +Oluwayimika Angel Adelaja and her husband were phenomenal, that evening they broke bread with members of the Accra and Abuja hubs over barbecue that leaves my mouth watering whenever I go down memory lane....I can still see Patrice - the chef/help - bringing freshly blended all-natural pineapple and watermelon juice in jugs...#Joy #Foodian #234Moments.

Before the conference started, I was invited to speak a bit about WEF: Global Shapers, life in Ghana (both political & social) on Christy Makut's show on Nigeria Info 95.1 FM

Day 1 of #SHAPEAfrica2014 exceeded my expectations. Before we left Accra there had been disturbing reports about bomb blasts and the unfortunate abduction of 200+ school girls in the country. Instead of fiddling our thumbs and contributing to the heightened rhetoric, + Chidiogo and members from the  Lagos, Abuja & Kano Hubs created a website to collate information on each missing girl. If you haven't already please visit: share & re-share #BoldSolutions

I was invited first to teach Nigerian & Ghanaian Dances: Skelewu & Azonto

Then to speak on the panel

Day 2 was dedicated to establishing friendships with some of the most phenomenal Africans doers on the continent....and taking #selfies

visit #bringbackourgirls

With Arik Air Staff #FlyArikAir

My take away from #ShapeAfrica2014 in Abuja:
  • Nigeria is a beautiful country with beautiful people and real challenges, but news reports are only one side of the story
  • I could live as a working professional in Abuja
  • Similar issues in Ghana are in Nigeria and most times the best approach is to find #BoldSolutions that involve the people; after all, we know what affects us best with noteworthy insights on resolution
  • I was blessed this past weekend, if not for anything, to be amongst some of Africa's best & brightest and with a collaborative spirit our future is bright indeed!