SaharaReporters, a groundbreaking platform for investigative and citizen reporting in Nigeria, launched the inaugural edition of its education café, an initiative that seeks to properly re-orientate Nigeria's youth through quality mentorship.

The project was launched on Monday, July 31 at the SaharaReporters Civic Media Lab in Lagos and featured Pius Adesanmi, professor of African studies at Carleton University in Canada, and Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, a veteran journalist, speaking on the topic “Common Excuses And Alibis For Youth Disengagement.”

Mr. Adesanmi said the initiative aims to correct the educational deficiency among young people in Nigeria.

“Our educational system is in a shambles. Is there anything we should do to complement the remnants of the educational system we have left in our country? Or is it appropriate for folks like us to see what is going in our polytechnics and universities and still leave not only the practical side of education but the entire philosophy of education to the hands of the same forces that have systematically and progressively destroyed it in this country?” he said.

Mr. Adesanmi said it was the need to correct such defects that led him and SaharaReporters founding publisher Omoyele Sowore to conceive the idea some years ago.

Also speaking, Mrs. Ademola-Olateju urged the participants to train themselves for the future.

“Luck is where opportunity meets with preparation. When you prepare and you see that opportunity and you grab it that is what is called luck. Luck does not come to anyone who has not prepared,” she said

She also lamented the lack of excitement about education among young people.

Mr. Adesanmi added the young people have been distracted by politicians and affluent Nigerians who made their wealth by cutting corners.

He further emphasized the need for the Nigerian youth to rise above the educational challenges they face because the world has become a global competitive space where those who have acquired the highest quality education lead the competition.

SaharaReporters is convinced that the argument for education in Nigeria cannot be left to educational institutions that have been ignored by the political class. 

Recently, SaharaReporters also launched its Lagos Civic Media Lab to strengthen citizen journalism in Nigeria and to create a space where activists and journalists can interact and deliberate on ways to move the nation forward.

In less than three months, the lab has trained a number of students and journalists on how they can explore new media tools to write impactful stories.  

Bamidele Ademola-Olateju and Professor Pius Adesanmi speak at the launching of the SaharaReporters education café

Youths at the launching of the SaharaReporters education lab

Pius Adesanmi speaking on youth education

Bamidele Ademola-Olateju addressing the audience at the Civic Media Lab

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