African Libertarian Students project for the future in historic Leadership Retreat
A Report of the Second Annual African Liberty Students' Organziation Leadership Retreat.
Venue: AfricanLiberty.org's office/Elegushi Beach, Lagos-Nigeria
Date: 15th – 17th December, 2012
On the 15th of December 2012, 35 Leaders of the African Liberty Students' Organization (ALSO), from several schools from Nigeria converged at the AfricanLiberty.org office to brainstorm about the challenges they face on their respective campuses and find solutions as well as ways of advancing liberty effectively on their respective campuses. The forum also provided these leaders with the opportunity to foster camaraderie amongst one another as well as to deliberate on lessons learned during the past academic year.
Adedayo Thomas, Publisher and Director of Outreach of AfricanLiberty.org spoke to these leaders on the topic “Effective Advocacy for Liberty on your Campuses”, this subject generated a lot of contributions as regards what constitutes the basis for “effective advocacy for liberty” with several leaders sharing strategies they have adopted in their respective institutions taking into consideration the realities of their immediate environments.
Ayodele Thompson, Executive Director of the Initiative for Public Policy Analysis presented a paper on Corruption in the Private Sector and the need to adopt entrepreneurial approaches to advancing liberty. His presentation provided an overview of the challenges and hindrance of corruption in the private sector in Nigeria. He also spoke to participants on the importance of adopting entrepreneurial approaches to advancing the ideas of liberty on their respective campuses.
Olumayowa Okediran, Outreach Assistant of AfricanLiberty .org spoke on Students For Liberty's theory of social change as well as the partnership between African Liberty Students' OrganIzation and Students For Liberty. This presentation served to answer some questions about the relationship of ALSO to SFL as well as educate the participants in SFL's approach to social change based on Hayek's hierarchy of production.
Japheth Omojuwa, Editor of AfricanLiberty.org did a presentation on the effective use of New Media in advancing liberty. Japheth's presentation educated the participants on the usefulness of new media and the potential to reach a wider audience with the message of liberty. It covered ethics relating to the use of social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, he also encouraged ALSO leaders to contribute to the web platform by submitting articles for publication on AfricanLiberty.org. He stressed that there was a need to maximize the use of Libertarian materials and encouraged the students’ leaders to read a lot more.
Participants also had time to reflect on the successes achieved in the last academic year as well as deliberate on the challenges they faced. Some of the challenges faced by these leaders on their respective campuses include:
1. Hostility from the school administration to the ideas of liberty
2. Limited access to funds for campus activities
3. Hectic academic calendar
4. Apathy on the part of students
5. Irregularity of the academic calendar
The forum provided these leaders with the avenue to learn from one another and rub minds on the most effective approach to advancing liberty on their respective campuses. The after socials of the leadership retreat took place at the Ikeja City Hotel where these leaders got to network with each other and deliberated on possible collaborations in the nearest future. The informal atmosphere acted as a catalyst.
Participants of the leadership retreat also took time out to visit the Elegushi beach in Lagos, where they spoke to sightseers who were predominantly students of several tertiary institutions in Nigeria about the ideas of liberty, handing out copies of the “Ideas for a Free Society” CD to them. Several of the students who received copies of the CD and engaged the members of ALSO expressed interest in starting up chapters of ALSO in their respective schools in the coming year.
The leaders resolved amongst themselves to collaborate a lot more in the coming year and fine tune their strategies for advancing liberty and enhance their online presence.
The leaders also expressed their appreciation to AfricanLiberty.org for the moral, financial and educational support for the year. This support made them stand up and withstand the challenges posed by the socialist/communist students’ organisations who usually receive great support but with less or no content programs/events.
The media was equally well appreciated given the level of coverage to ALSO events. Of mention is “The Nation Newspaper” .