Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies and Founder of Gregory University Uturu, GUU, Professor Greg Ibe, has identified lack of visionary leadership as a major impediment to youth empowerment in the South-East.
Ibe who stated this while featuring as Keynote Speaker in the June edition of the monthly Ikengaonline town-hall meeting Thursday night, regretted that political leaders in the zone are bereft of the needed ideas and political will to drive skills acquisition among Igbo youths.
Professor Ibe who spoke on the topic, Navigating the Challenges of Youth Entrepreneurship: Strategies for Success, reeled out his various efforts to engineer entrepreneurship among Igbo youths.
Other challenges confronting entrepreneurship in the South-East, according to the 2023 Abia State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, include: inadequate entrepreneurial education and support, limited access to capital, and poor infrastructure.
He further identified high operational cost, limited access to market, corruption and bureaucracy, insecurity among others.
Ikengaonline monthly town-hall meetings are meant to discuss topical issues affecting the South-East zone of Nigeria in particular, and the Nigerian state in general.
The Chairman, World Igbo Congress (WIC), Professor Anthony Ejiofor, featured in the May edition where he spoke on: Insecurity in the South-East: The Role of Nigeria Diaspora.”
Former Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Kingsley Moghalu, was the guest on the April edition where he handled: “Improving Regional Economy in the Homeland.”
World famous Economist and Nigeria’s two-time Minister for Finance, Kalu Idika Kalu, featured in the March edition wherein he did justice to the topic: “Nigeria’s incoming Government: Prospects & Challenges.”
Former Education Minister, and the current Chairman, Board of Women Political Leaders (WPL), Mrs Oby Ezekwesili, was the guest speaker of the February edition. She spoke on “Women in Politics, East of the Niger.”
Other eminent Igbo personalities have featured on the monthly event since its debut in 2022.
The maiden edition of Ikengaonline town-hall featured the immediate-past Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, in July 2022; while the second edition featured a renowned Political Economist, Professor Pat Okedinachi Utomi, in August.
Former President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo; US-based academic, Professor Okey Ndibe; West African Regional Director, Ford Foundation, Dr Chichi Aniagolu-Okoye; as well as multi-award-winning actress and Director of Communications, Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Monalisa Chinda Coker, had all featured at different editions of the explosive 90 minutes show.
Ikengaonline is a South-East-focused online media outfit which aims at giving voice to citizens of the South-East, parts of Rivers and Delta states, and highlights the challenges facing the region.
Ikengaonline is a publication of Ikenga Media and Cultural Awareness Initiative (IMCAI), a non-profit entity that seeks to promote positive socio-cultural values, accountability and good governance through media and public education.
It is part of the Collaborative Media Engagement for Development Inclusivity and Accountability Project, a multi-level intervention for media independence and government accountability, managed by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) and supported by MacArthur Foundation.