The chancellor, Anchor University, Lagos, Pastor William Kumuyi, says Nigeria and other African countries must empower the younger generation to usher in the desired transformation in the nearest future.
Kumuyi made this assertion at the institution’s maiden convocation and awards of first degrees and prizes on Friday in Lagos.
The ceremony was tagged: ‘The Emergence of Peculiar Pearls (Class of 2019/2020)’.
He said African youths are yet to live up to expectations on many fronts, but the training to unearth and raise their potential to meet modern needs and expectations is mostly lacking.
He said millions of young people had their visions crashed through wrong and early marriage and its consequences.
“A good number are victims of destructive behaviours like drug abuse, immorality and other crimes.
“These gloomy realities explain why Anchor University was established with the vision to be a citadel of learning for holistic human transformation and development.
“As an undergraduate in Anchor University, you need integrity to become a total student,” Kumuyi said.
He noted that Africa was considered the youngest continent because of its large youth population with about 60 per cent under 25 years.
“According to the UN’s demographic projection, the median age in Africa for 102 is pegged at 19.8
“Beyond Africa, young people are a very important demography of the world, they own the future but are less equipped for the future.
“Nigeria, like the rest of Africa, must become deliberate about quality education to ensure young people are both relevant in the future and competitive globally,” Kumuyi said.
Earlier in his address, the governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, lauded the mission, vision and core values of the institution, which he said placed emphasis on character building and spiritual values.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr Gboyega Soyombo, also commended the institution for surmounting the challenges of COVID-19 lockdown.
“In addition to the spiritual emphasis, there is also the passionate pursuit of academic excellence on a global scale in teaching, learning and research.
“This you have aptly demonstrated in the ability to hold lectures and conduct examinations for students during the COVID-19 lockdown.
“I want to encourage the university to continue in its service to humanity in terms of education and empowerment in character development of the young people of Nigeria.
“If the first four years of the institution has been this productive and inspiring even in the face of the global pandemic, the future of this university is, no doubt, very bright,” he said.
He charged the graduates to be good ambassadors of the university and use all they had gained both spiritually and academically to transform the nation.