Social Sector

The Evolving EU-Nigeria Social, Economic Alliance

The European Union (EU) has had a lot of successes since it was founded on November 1, 1993, in Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Although the body’s activities actually started as far back as the 1950s with a different nomenclature, it formerly became a union in 1993.

Beginning as a pretty much amorphous geo-political entity with only six countries as members, it now covers a large portion of the European continent.

It was founded upon numerous treaties and has undergone expansions that have taken it from the founding six member states to 28, a majority of the states in Europe.

However, with the result of the Brexit, the number of member states is more accurately fixed at twenty-seven and half, pending when the negotiation of socio-economic and political relations between the EU and the United Kingdom is completed.

There is also growing global apprehension that with the surprising Brexit outcome, the shocking election of Donald Trump as the United States president and other seeming nationalist positions being taken by more prosperous nations around the world, the era of globalisation may be ebbing out, leaving regional bodies like the EU in need of urgent strategic reforms to remain relevant.

Conversely though, for its relationship with Africa, the EU has achieved quite a bit. From the EU observer missions to the various elections within the African continent which have tacitly forced many African dictators to play fairly during electioneering, to massive economic aids and cooperation, Europe has to a considerable extent shown commitment the well being of Africa.

Apart from Nigeria which has put up an argument against some provisions of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, most of the other countries and regions have endorsed the EPA, paving the way for massive trading between them and Europe.

EU Effort in Nigeria

The primary instrument for EU assistance is the European Development Fund (EDF). The current allocation to Nigeria from this global fund is around €512 million over the period 2014 to 2020. In addition, the EU provides funding from a number of other aid instruments such as humanitarian aid, support for civil society and assistance to fight terrorism.

The three priority sectors for the current development EU assistance are: In the social sector, improving access to quality primary health care, the fight against malnutrition and measures to strengthen resilience and promote social protection. Included here are support for routine and polio immunization campaigns, activities to improve access to clean water and sanitation, and reinforce livelihoods and revenue generation in rural populations through food and nutrition security.

As for the economy, the EU is helping to increase access to sustainable electricity, supporting efforts to improve conditions for economic growth with a focus on improving competitiveness and diversification, development of renewable energy and energy efficiency measures and strengthening public finance systems at state and federal levels, to create a stable environment for trade and investment activities.

In the governance sector, there is continued support for action to strengthen democracy in Nigeria, the fight against corruption, the fight against trafficking of human beings, drugs and small arms, the reform of the justice system, measures to manage migration more efficiently and effectively, and capacity building for civil society organisations.

All current European Union (EU) development cooperation activities in Nigeria are funded primarily through the allocation of EUR 689 million from the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) to the EU/Nigeria National Indicative Programme (NIP).

The only 11th EDF operations that are already being implemented are those funded from the Bridging Facility.

These are primarily an additional EUR 15 million towards the electoral process leading up to the elections in February 2015, an additional EUR 8.5 million towards the campaign to eradicate polio in Nigeria and EUR 1.5 million to provide psycho-social support and schools in a box to communities directly affected by Boko Haran violence in Borno and especially those in the Chibok area.

Operations in Nigeria funded under the EU Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) formerly called the Instrument for Stability and from various EU Thematic Budget lines are also included as is EU funded humanitarian assistance in Nigeria.


A Fresh Euro 44bn Fund

Also, last weekend, the EU announced that it has launched a €44 billion Africa economic development fund aimed at helping Nigeria and other African countries drive economic growth and development.

The Vice President, EU, Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip, said the EU is already developing a strategic framework for the implementation and disbursement of the fund, maintaining that the EU is also designing security measures to ensure the fund is effectively and efficiently disbursed.

Ansip during a press briefing in Lagos explained that the fund which would be made available for disbursements in first quarter 2018 as credit money, was designed to help developing economies cover identified risks to attract foreign direct investments (FDIs).

The fund is also going to help the digital industry in Nigeria which the EU sees as one of the areas with the strongest growth potential.

He said: “Our aim is to help developing economies.  We have decided to create the European external investment fund which is targeted at covering main risks to attract private investment. This kind of fund was really efficient in the European union (EU) where we created investment for strategic investment and we believe this fund will go a long way to help the African economy.”

According to him, the fund would go a long way in reducing the number of refugees who seek greener pastures in European countries, saying that in the last two years, Europe has experienced the greatest mass movement of people since the second World war.

He pointed out that more than 1 million refugees and migrants have arrived in the EU, adding that EU has agreed on a range of measures to deal with the crisis.

“This fund meant for supporting development in African countries will be beneficial to the European countries as you know today that most people in Africa prefer to leave African countries to seek greener pastures in European countries. We are faced with lots of refugee crisis. To tackle this menace, we can provide some help to those countries to help build their economies instead of seeking refuge in Europe,” he said.

He said: “Our aim is to support digital development in Africa and also help to build healthy economies in developing countries. The EU is the biggest donor of digital development aids. We believe the fragment of digital aid is little in developing countries, this is where we are.

The European Union wants to support digital development in Africa. We will like to provide financing to build strong and healthier economies in developing countries in Africa.”

He said digital development in Nigeria and in other African countries has grown rapidly, noting that internet penetration has grown to over 80 per cent where 100 per cent of Nigerians now has access to Internet services.

“The development was much more rapid when compared to Europe. I believe in digital development for the bright future of Africa,” he said.

He said funds are important for economic development, but stressed that ideas and how to cooperate with other African countries is even more critical to get more assistance of development funds.

He said African countries must create the right environment for digital development, create an effective regulatory environment that would have a much bigger influence than funds in the future of African countries.


culled from Crusoe Osagie(Thisdaylive)


Building good leadership is often thought of in terms of the resources or ingredients that are put into someone, when really it’s more about drawing certain qualities out.
The traits of a good leader depend on the innate style of the individual: their personality, and the strengths and skills they have cultivated over time. There is no blueprint or structured path to follow; each leader uses their natural qualities to understand and adjust to their own particular working context.
During arguably one of the toughest times in social sector history, how can good leaders be nurtured and encouraged to grow?
We recently explored the challenges faced by current leaders at a roundtable held in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund. Many have been exhaustively documented: a drop in funding, changes to the commissioning environment, increased accountability and declining public trust. But we’re far less used to talking about the effect this is having on our leaders, who – for the time-being, and we suspect for some time to come – are having to think very much in the short term.
Faced with knottier problems, much more legislation and restricting budgets, social sector leaders are having to do more with less in order to survive. This means that they are increasingly valued for the networks they have and their ability to raise funds.
However, to innovate and bring fresh new ideas to the social sector, leaders need to be game-changers too – people who step outside the box and think of new ways to solve persisting social challenges, which, in turn, alter the landscape of the social sector. Conversely, funders tend to prefer game-players – people who behave predictably, who follow funding protocols and who act and think in a similar way to them.
The knock on effect of all this is that the social sector hardly ever recruits from within. New leaders – found in other sectors – bring with them new contacts and new opportunities for funding: a much more attractive proposition.
But given that the social sector is unique in its challenges and in the qualities it needs from its leaders, how can we focus on those already driving the sector forward? How can we “draw out” the best in our people to support organisational stability and sustainability?
It’s far more important to recruit people, rather than roles, and to invest in them.
Succession planning – the process for identifying and developing internal people with the potential to fill key leadership positions – cannot work if future leaders do not know they’re lacking skills. We should reflect on what is needed to become a successful leader within our own organisations, diagnose any gaps and invest in those individuals coming up the ranks.
We could also do more to encourage peer learning and collaboration. The social sector is notoriously territorial: resources are hard won and increasingly limited. Organisations often pass up the chance to collaborate due to distrust, when it could provide leaders with some of their most important opportunities. Learning from and sharing with our peers not only supports the transfer of new and original insights, it also allows future leaders to develop all-important soft skills. We should train our people in collaborative skills that will help charities and social enterprises achieve what may have been previously out of reach – which means more impact for the organisation.
Identifying leadership gaps in those already working within the sector will give future leaders the platform to develop the skills they need, which peer learning will only serve to strengthen. By sharing skills, organisations can potentially unlock the qualities needed for an individual to develop as a future leader of the social sector.

5 Things Young People Can Do to Change the World

Young people aren’t just the leaders of tomorrow – they’re making huge changes to the world around them, right now. Whether it’s through social media or ‘hashtag’ activism, writing online or in their paper about a cause, or taking part in a protest, there are many ways that young people can ‘be the change’ and make a difference to the world.

1. Volunteer
Many young people volunteer in some way these days. It’s not just for adding experience to your CV – whether it’s a teaching or sports project, to animals and conservation work, to a hospice or a community centre, you can make a real difference!
Usually, the more local you can volunteer, or the more focused the action point, the better! Volunteering abroad can often be a great experience, and definitely life changing, but ‘voluntourism‘ projects aimed for young people aren’t always the best way to help communities. To start with, focus on how you can help your local area or a cause within your country.

2. Write to your political representative
A great way to start writing to your political representative is researching what some of your favourite charities are doing. Many charities, such as anti-poverty or environmental ones, will be running advocacy campaigns with petitions or with options to write to your representative regarding the issue. Through these, you can learn the best ways you can ask your representative to take action.
MPs want to hear from their constituents and what they’re interested in – that’s their job! However, they can’t tackle poverty or climate change singlehandedly – what they really want is to know what they can personally do about it. Write to them, or even ask for a meeting with them, and show them what you think they should be focusing on.

3. Use online platforms to reach others
There’s never been a greater time in history for reaching out to millions of people around the world. You’ve probably seen how a single Twitter hashtag can create massive social awareness, such as #BlackLivesMatter and #YesAllWomen. What hashtags can you contribute to, or even create?
If longer writing is more your thing, writing for an online portal like Huffington Post is a great place to start. You can write blogs and original content for HuffPo to reach new audiences, and if it’s featured then you could see your article reaching thousands of people.

4. Giving other young people a role
One of the best ways you can make a difference is to inspire others to join you. Not only are you teaching other young people about important issues, but you’re encouraging them to teach others too. That’s one reason why many charities and organisations have resources for young people who want to get involved as an ambassador for their cause. But you can do the same thing! Maybe you want to launch a campaign on raising awareness of a social issue, for example, but you need help to do everything. If you can create a team to join you, by giving everyone a role as an ambassador and a change agent, you’re helping them to put their own ideas into reality and make a much wider difference.

5. Think out of the box
Why do videos, campaigns, or pictures go viral? Normally a big reason behind this is because it’s something not many people will have seen before, which makes it ‘shareable’. By finding a way to make a difference in a completely unique way, you can find ways to reach entirely new audiences.