By Dr. Kwabena Amponsah-Manager
There is a popular saying that ‘garbage in, garbage out’. What this means is that if you receive poorly refined instructions, codes, methodology, you act on it as you receive it. When this is true, it reduces one to the level of a robotic machine or a lower level being.
What makes you a superior being, that is if you think you are, is that you are not at the mercy of the external instructions you receive. You have the capacity to refine and filter out the ‘garbage in’ so that the output is not garbage. This is the reason I do not run chemical reactions that explode and burn my laboratory buildings or develop ‘weapons of mass destruction’ despite the myriad of information available to me on the web and the library.
You are the middleman between the instruction, information and codes you receive and the output they are meant to produce. Whether you receive the bulk mixture from your accountant, PTA, spiritual leader, politician, counselor, etc., your role is to filter out the garbage, retrieve and concentrate the fine code to get required output.
There will always be garbage in, but that does not mean there has to be garbage out if you and I pay our part.
Legal icon and Human Rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana and top Nigerian film maker, Mr. Kunle Afolayan were among eminent Nigerians honoured by Youth Focus Initiative (Y.F.I) on the recognition of distinguished roles they have played individually in motivating several young people in the society.
The historic event tagged “Youth Focus Role Model Awards 2013 and Public Presentation of SOURCES OF SUCCESS” was held on Saturday 19th October 2013 at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry Conference Building, Ikeja Lagos.
In his welcome speech, the Founder of Youth Focus Initiative and President of Upward BAO Consulting, Dr. Tunde Oseni said Y.F.I is a pet project which he started in 2001 at the age of 24. He asserted that since then, the idea has remained to motivate and engage the youths wherever they are. “I am happy to report to you that our strategy is working. We have transformed Y.F.I into the Corporate Social Responsibility and Advocacy of Upward BAO Consulting, a growing Human Capital Development Company’.
The awardees and their categories of awards are: Petroleum Geologist and retired Senior Manager of Chevron, Prince Adekunle Oduborisha (Leadership), Mr. Femi Falana S.A.N (Career Development), Mr. Kunle Afolayan (Entertainment), Founder and C.E.O, Flying Doctors, Dr. Ola Orekunrin (Social Entrepreneurship) while Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan (Chairman, Ejigbo LCDA) and Comrade Ayodele Adewale (Chairman, Amuwo Odofin Local Government) bagged awards on their roles in Grassroots Development. Continue reading “Youth Focus Initiative Honors Falana Afolayan, Others, Report by Ajibola Olarinoye” »
Categories: Issues, Motivation & Self-Help, Social Enterprise, Student Center Tags: corporate social responsibility, human capital development, Human Rights activist, sources of success, Youth Focus Initiative
by Dr. Kwabena Amponsah-Manager
Doing something and feeling at the end that you did the right thing at the right time gives a kind of a sweet feeling.
Last week I was at Aketenchi, a village in the Western Region of Ghana to help train health workers as part of the Ghana’s grassroots healthcare delivery program. After the training, I had about 2 hours before our team was scheduled to depart from the village. I had a wonderful idea. I did something which was the most fulfilling part of the day. If everything works right, I believe I might have prepared the next presidents, UN Secretaries, teachers, pastors, businessmen and women of the next two decades, hoping every kind of luck under the sun works out too.
I called three kids who were roaming about the streets of the village and started to talk to them about the importance of school and education. Initially I was afraid what their parents would say if they found me talking to these children without the patents’ knowledge. I had no idea what I was getting into. Within minutes of starting, the crowd had grown to over 40 children and 14 adults. I was scared. I was really terrified about someone getting hurt with each child trying to find their way to get as close to me as possible. I had no security personnel for crowd control.
I talked to them about why they need to love school and stay in school. I assured them of the possibility that any of them can become the president, a teacher, a scientist, a pastor, footballer, a businessman or woman or the next PULSE volunteer to come and help their own community in the future. The grins on their faces were beautiful. They listened attentively.
I had some gifts (pencils, crayons, books, balls, games etc) that I carried with me to the village that day. Because I had not planned for such a large crowd, I did not have something for everybody. I therefore gave a quiz and the kids who got the answers right got gifts first and everybody else by chance. It was chaos but so much fun. Continue reading “Motivating Tomorrow’s Leaders: Doing it While the Plane is Still on the Runway” »
by Dr. Tunde Oseni
Being a Communique of The Obafemi Awolowo Foundation Executive Leadership Seminar On The National Conference held at the foundation’s office, Lagos, on October 7, 2013.
The Obafemi Awolowo Foundation mounted an Executive Leadership Seminar on the theme: ‘The National Conference: Roadmap to Nigeria’s Stability?’
Held at the Foundation’s office located at 15 Lanre Awolokun Road, Gbagada Phase II, Lagos, on October 7, 2013, the seminar was convened at the instance of the Executive Director, Dr Olatokunbo Awolowo Dosumu and chaired by Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, CFR. It was attended by academics, civil society activists and other professionals who brainstormed exhaustively on various aspects of the proposed national conference.
In particular, the seminar considered the following sub-themes:
a) The case for a national conference;
b) Lessons from other lands;
c) Modalities of the conference, especially the issue of design and representation; and
d) ‘No-go’ areas
The conference commenced with a call by the chairman for a minute’s silence in memory of all those who lost their lives in recent tragic events, including the air crash of Thursday October 3, 2013, and the massacre of students by insurgents.
The Executive Director’s welcome address emphasized that the seminar was called as an effort to contribute to the on-going national discussion on the national conference.
The seminar received a goodwill message from Chief Olu Falae. Papers were also received from Professor Banji Akintoye and Professor Suleiman Elias Bogoro.
After thorough and careful deliberations, the seminar observed and recommended as follows: Continue reading “National Conference: Roadmap to Nigeria’s Stability? by Dr. Tunde Oseni” »
British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline is seeking regulatory approval for the world’s first malaria vaccine after trial data showed that it had cut the number of cases in African children.
Experts say that they are optimistic about the possibility of the world’s first vaccine after the trial results.
Malaria, a mosquito-borne parasitic disease, kills hundreds of thousands of people worldwide every year.
Scientists say an effective vaccine is key to attempts to eradicate it.
The vaccine known as RTS,S was found to have almost halved the number of malaria cases in young children in the trial and to have reduced by about 25% the number of malaria cases in infants.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is developing RTS,S with the non-profit Path Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI), supported by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“Many millions of malaria cases fill the wards of our hospitals,” said Halidou Tinto, a lead investigator on the RTS,S trial from Burkina Faso.
“Progress is being made with bed nets and other measures, but we need more tools to battle this terrible disease.”
The malaria trial was Africa’s largest-ever clinical trial involving almost 15,500 children in seven countries.
The findings were presented at a medical meeting in Durban, South Africa.
“Based on these data, GSK now intends to submit, in 2014, a regulatory application to the European Medicines Agency (EMA),” GSK said in a statement.
The company has been developing the vaccine for three decades.
The statement said that the hope now is that the Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO) may recommend the use of the RTS,S vaccine from as early as 2015 if EMA drugs regulators back its licence application.
Testing showed that 18 months after vaccination, children aged five to 17 months had a 46% reduction in the risk of clinical malaria compared to unvaccinated contemporaries.
But in infants aged six to 12 weeks at the time of vaccination, there was only a 27% reduction in risk.
A spokeswoman for GSK told the AFP news agency that the company would file its application to the EMA under a process aimed at facilitating new drugs for poorer countries.
UK politician Lynne Featherstone, International Development Minister, said: “Malaria is not just one of the world’s biggest killers of children, it also burdens health systems, hinders children’s development and puts a brake on economic growth. An effective malaria vaccine would have an enormous impact on the developing world.
“We welcome the scientific progress made by this research and look forward to seeing the full results in due course.”
After leaving Ikorodu News, I had proceeded to earn a First Class degree in Political Science at the University of Ibadan, a Masters at the University of Oxford, and a Doctorate at the University of Exeter in United Kingdom, all on scholarships. As a matter of fact, only God knows if these feats would have been possible had I not sharpened my writing, research and presentation skills during those good, solid eighteen months at Ikorodu News.
She was born in 1997 in Pakistan. She is an education and women’s rights activist and was almost killed in an assassination attempt last year. She is one of the most famous teenagers on earth and one of the 100 most influential people in the world. She is also a Nobel Peace Prize nominee. Who is this 16 year-old?
Malala Yousafzai began blogging for BBC News at age 12 under a pseudonym, depicting her daily activities under Taliban rule and her views on education for girls. Her profile began to rise when she started appearing on television to publicly advocate for female education. She had earlier appeared in a documentary by New York Times. As Malala became more popular, she started receiving death threats. In fact, death threats against her were published in newspapers.
Last year at age 15, a Taliban gunman boarded Malala’s school bus in northwestern Pakistan, shot her and two other girls in an attempt to kill her. The bullet went through her head and neck, and lodged in her shoulder. The Taliban, by the incident, wanted to show what would happen to anyone who had the courage to stand up for education, freedom and self-determination, particularly for girls and women. Malala was flown to the UK for treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and on February 2nd, 2013, she underwent a five-hour operation to reconstruct her skull and restore her hearing. The Taliban has threatened to kill her if she returns to Pakistan.
Today, a global campaign in Malala’s name, spearheaded by the United Nations (UN) Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, a former prime minister of Britain, is already on in support of what she stands for. The main focus of the campaign is that no children will be left out of school by 2015. On her 16th birthday on July 12th 2013, she spoke at the UN to call for worldwide access to education. The UN called the event “Malala Day”. Hear this extract from her speech at the UN: Continue reading “The Sixteen Year-Old Girl Who Has Impacted the World” »
By Rebecca Morelle, BBC Science
A malaria vaccine has shown promising results in early stage clinical trials, according to researchers.
Researchers found the vaccine, which is being developed in the US, protected 12 out of 15 patients from the disease, when given in high doses.
The method is unusual because it involves injecting live but weakened malaria-causing parasites directly into patients to trigger immunity.
The research is published in the journal Science.
Lead author Dr Robert Seder, from the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health, in Maryland, said: “We were excited and thrilled by the result, but it is important that we repeat it, extend it and do it in larger numbers.” Continue reading “Malaria Vaccine Shows Early Promise in Clinical Trials” »