Ezekwesili talks big ideas, technology as SPPG sets target, to begin new academic session 

A non-conventional institution of learning, School of Politics Policy and Governance (SPPG) has revealed plans to begin a new academic session for governance and public leadership programme, just as it has unveiled plans to set high standards in leadership training in coming years.

This is as an event organised by SPPG attended by professionals, leaders, students among others under the Big Ideas Platform 2024 Agenda at Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja on Saturday, beamed focus on why Africa needs to rise and take it’s right place in all sphere of endeavours.

Founder of SPPG and Nigeria’s former Minister, Mrs Obiageli ‘Oby’ Ezekwesili, in her speech said SPPG is set up to train different sets of leaders with character, competence and capacity with behaviour as the key component.

She also stressed the need for training of existing and emerging leaders on contemporary expectations.

Mrs Ezekwesili who spoke on the need for a transformative society as a panacea for positive change said, “It is high time those at the helm of affairs in Africa understood the importance of governance backed by technology to transform the continent as well as advance its progress in the world.

“It is the rate of the dearth of ideas that distinguishes one country from the other, one continent from the other. It is the fact that we are not persistent in nurturing ideas to fruition. We (SPPG) are determined not to allow this big idea to die. We are on the journey to ensure that the big idea will give resultant transformation in our continent, especially on a day that we celebrate Africa Day.

“There is an Agenda Africa 2063 in place which will not amount to anything if we don’t generate big ideas. That is why it gives me so much joy that our topic this year is focused on one of the key things that I consistently say will determine whether our continent claims the 21st Century. There are three things. I often say it is the women, the young people, and technology. These are the drivers, these are the game changers for our continent. And this year, we are focused on technology and behavioural change.

“One thing about technology is its very incredible exponential capacity to transform, to change things. The dynamism of the efficiency that technology unlocks for society is only possible for the people who are ready to behaviourally change and this is the greatest difficulty that we have. The failure of governance on our continent is the death knell of ideas which is why what we have seen among the children has shown that we are not a continent destined for failure.

“The failure of governance is actually in the realm of behavioural change, it is the challenges that we failed to tackle that have kept us stuck in a low equilibrium performance whereas other continents understand how to quickly use knowledge and ideas to advance their progress. We stay stuck in the low-intensity realm of what is possible.

“We are not a forum for talk we are a forum for talk and do. This (SPPG) is where unconventional people are trained to become a different set of leaders with character, competence, and capacity because, after all in the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the most important thing ultimately is your behaviour.”

Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of SPPG, Alero Ayida-Otobo, said the school’s programme is aimed at empowering individuals and transform African politics by creating a massive, new value-based and disruptive-thinking political class equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to address complex development issues.

She affirmed that the institution has opened is opening admission Wwndow for those who would apply to be among the graduating Class of 2025.

She said, “SPPG is an unconventional school designed to attract, train, and support a new genre of ethical and effective leaders for our country and continent who will disrupt the endemic problem of poor governance and effectively govern 21st Century Nigeria and Africa more broadly.

“The empirical rationale for the establishment of the SPPG is to build a new model and pipeline of public leadership that can reverse Africa’s acute governance failure. SPPG produces leaders who not only possess the right values but also have the knowledge and skills required to solve complex public problems.”

Amidst the target of churning out thousands of outstanding leaders in years to come, the SPPG CEO said up to 94 renowned academics, practitioners, and experts from around the world are engaged to groom participants during every session of intense 10-month study.

During the occasion with the themed “Information Technology and Behavioural Change” which marked anniversary celebration of SPPG, there were different segment of presentations by experts and invited guests.