It is well over three years since world leaders from 193 countries adopted the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework at a summit in September 2015 at the United Nations Headquarters, New York, the United States of America. In very simple terms, the SDGs or Global Goals as they are called are 17 goals that reflect a universal call to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure people enjoy peace and prosperity before 2030.
Nigeria, one of the signatories to the SDGs has taken a number of commendable efforts in this regard, all coordinated through the Office of the Senior Special Adviser to the President on SDGs. In the midst of these, the SDG Index and Dashboards Report in 2018 ranks Nigeria as the 150th country, reflecting that there is more to be done than has been done. Going by the 2030 timeline, there is an urgent need to take a very different approach if we really want to achieve the 17 goals and have a Nigeria that is addressing some of the world’s biggest problems.
Since 2017 we have been able to champion a youth-focused SDGs4Universities Workshop, taking the SDGs to tertiary institutions across Nigeria. The SDGs4Universities workshop is focused on introducing the Global Goals to young people and accelerating the contributions of academic institutions towards Nigeria’s achievement of the SDGs. Specifically, the SDGs4Universities project inspires and showcases innovative solutions and initiatives undertaken by young people.
We understand that universities have important roles in achieving the SDGs and the clearer understanding university students have about the SDGs, the easier it is for this group to identify ways of making a difference in their immediate communities and influence many others to do same.
Having successfully trained over 850 students in five universities, the SDGs4Universities workshop has not only has continued to challenge universities on how academics can contribute to the SDGs through teaching and research; the workshop has also clearly empowered young students entrepreneurially and positioned them to be an active part of global development conversations and actions.
For more information about this project, you can contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org