Presidential Youth Mentorship Retreat 3.0

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Mentoring is the most measurable and sustainable way of building the leadership capabilities of youth leadership, hence any youth leadership programme that does not factor mentoring into its process has already failed before take-off.

As it is customary with the Youth Development Centre Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, the Centre hosted the third edition of the first and only Presidential Youth Mentorship Retreat in Africa, themed “Removing Barriers Against the Youth”.

The Presidential Youth Mentorship Retreat (PYMR) is an annual programme designed to foster an intergenerational leadership continuum where participants engage (and are engaged by) President Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR (and facilitators selected by him), on concurrent leadership issues and pragmatic approaches to confronting challenges and creating opportunities in all areas of endeavours.

The retreat slated for November 23 -26, 2022 was a fully residential event with exclusive features like an interactive mentoring session led by President Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, and Mr Ayodele Aderinwale, MFR, a panel discussion led by Samuel Ajibola, tours, sports, movies, and an African dinner among many others.

After a long countdown, all selected candidates across the country excitedly arrived the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 and they were treated to a “Welcome Dinner” which turned out to be an opportunity for the YDC Programmes team and the participants to bond aside dining and wining. The participants had the opportunity to introduce themselves and network before going to bed.

Just as Baba’s daily routine, the next morning, all delegates were led to observe an early morning exercise, before freshening up to have breakfast. At the opening ceremony, the Chairperson of the Youth Development Centre, Dr. Mrs Bisi Kolapo warmly welcomed the participants and motivated them to up their expectations and realign their perception to provide solutions and create opportunities rather than present themselves to be spoon-fed.

While waiting the arrival of President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Chairman of Justrite Stores, Mr Ayodele Aderinwale, MFR, gave President Olusegun Obasanjo’s speech and the steered the first interactive mentorship session on Removing Barriers Against the Youth engagement. He reflected the exact position of President Obasanjo, who was unavoidable absent due to an emergency duty call to Ethiopia. At the end of his session, he challenged participants to engage in activities that would change the African narrative by participating fully in all the socio-economic and political activities that guarantee a better future for them and not allowing those who are messing with their future to succeed. After this session, delegates were taken on a tour to Obasanjo Farms at Owiwi and later treated to a Movie Night at the OOPL Cinemas.

The third day of the retreat started with the Youth Governance Dialogue, a youth-adult learning platform for young people to engage the experience of older and past political office holders and technocrats, distilling from their philosophies and overriding principles on how to effectively engage the governance process. This dialogue, attended by over a hundred participants, featured a Keynote Address by Prof. Pat Utomi and a Panel Discussion among a few youth representatives.

True to his word, President Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, enroute from his trip to Ethiopia, unexpectedly walked into the retreat venue for an interactive session with the delegates. He emphasized the need for young people to see no barriers in their quest for greatness. His parting: “Let me also assure you that no human being has been foolish enough to stand in front of a high-speed train and has lived to tell the story. Obstacles are what we see when we lose focus of our goals”.

After an eventful day, the retreat ended with a closing dinner (African Night) featuring a music and dance performance from the Egba Cultural Troupe and a culture exhibition by all delegates.

“A good snapshot keeps the moment from running away” please visit gallery for pictures of the retreat

Congratulations to all 23 new Mentees of His Excellency! We desire that you rise above all barriers in life and career as you apply the lessons from the retreat in your daily life and local communities.





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