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ALUMNI ALERT: A catch-up with Dr Shina Akeem Oyewale, The Institute’s Doctoral alumnus…

 

… [To] the youths of Nigeria, those on the streets hoping strongly for opportunities and guidance to unleash their potentials. You are not voiceless. You are being heard. The Motherland needs you. You should also hearken to her appeal and hold your destinies in your hands. This work gives you a tool. Please use it. 

– A dedication, by Dr Shina Akeem Oyewale 

Dr Shina Akeem Oyewale – Image: Supplied
Dr Shina Akeem Oyewale – Image: Supplied

 

Youth unemployment is a global issue and of enormous concern. It is even acutely pronounced in South Africa where youth unemployment figures are currently sounding critical alarm bells. The issue, however, and as aforementioned, is not limited to South Africa. Northwards, on the Gulf of Guinea, on the Western Coast of Africa, the Nigerian nation is faced with the same conundrum. Many a people have sounded suggestions that businesses or corporates could play a role in reducing unemployment figures. From the academic space, individuals have been researching this chronic economic challenge in their attempts of finding sustainable solutions.  

To help co-create an environment where employable young people have access to opportunities, one leader who has taken the responsibility of investigating this issue of youth unemployment, focusing largely on the nature of the issue in his native country of Nigeria, is Dr Shina Akeem Oyewale who is a proud DaVinci Doctoral graduate. 

His thesis is entitled, The Afro Integral Impact Investment Framework: A Framework for Alleviating Poverty in Nigeria through Youth Entrepreneurial Development 

The title of his research hints of the fact to seek to address the underdevelopment of young Nigerians. The chief concern of the study, as Dr Oyewale states, is the youth of Nigeria who are increasingly being embroiled in the poverty cycle, with huge numbers of graduates unable to have jobs. A concerned citizen, Dr Oyewale observes that in Nigeria, “[e]ducated and uneducated youths are roaming the streets without any hope of turning the curve in the next few years.” He further notes that these challenges are not just limited to his country, that such are replicated in several other African countries as well. Dr Oyewale explains that his quest via his Doctoral thesis following the southern relational research path of Integral Research, within the mode 2 learning of DaVinci, is to co-create innovative ways to nip off the wicked problem of youth unemployment that is heavily entrenched in Nigeria and the African continent. He further accords that “to answer this, we listed a few research questions including: How can the issues of poverty and youth unemployment be addressed through an integral impact investment framework that is scalable and replicable in Nigeria and Africa?”

Dr Oyewale recognises that consequent to this research, through a cooperative inquiry approach, “my co-researchers (including the emerging CISER [Centre for Integral Socio-economic Research], Offa community and Offa Descendant Union) and I, successfully tested an Afro Integral Impact Investment Framework in Offa that will not only provide opportunities for youths to use their natural talents to generate employments for themselves and members of their community, but to do so in a manner that is sustainable and scalable with measurable impact on themselves, their immediate community and beyond. The result was a sustainable agribusiness in Offa community employing about 20 – 80 youths directly and indirectly.” 

Moving beyond his Doctoral programme, Dr Oyewale says that “this framework is hoped to be institutionali[s]ed as a support to drive the various initiatives of the Nigerian government and private investors across the board. It will encourage organi[s]ations to create structures that would allow Corporate Social Responsibilities budgets to evolve to Corporate Social Investments with measurable impacts. And above all, it will [hopefully] lead to the attainment of several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and reduce the toga of Africa as the poverty capital of the world.” 

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Dr Shina Akeem Oyewale is a remarkable example of an alumnus of our business school following our dream of influencing the co-creation of humane, sustainable societies!