The Future Project (TFP) is a social enterprise/change communications firm affiliated to RedSTRAT that is set up based on a strong, practical commitment to human and capital development, especially in Nigeria. It is also committed to finding effective and innovative ways of addressing social issues.
It has become one of the most respected private sector-driven development platforms with a history of verifiable impact, including in under-priviledged and grassroots communities.
Unemployment statistics for Nigeria are hard to come by. But according to the European Journal of Economics, Finance and Administrative Sciences – Issue 11 (2008) – overall Unemployment Rates in Nigeria as at 2005 were 11.9%. This was a distinct increase from 2003?s 10.8%. Unconfirmed reports now put it at 15%. The International Labour organisation confirms that at least 6.4 million Nigerians are looking for work. It is even worse for the youth population, especially since, out of an addressable population of about 57 million, approx. 31 million Nigerians are between the ages of 12 and 34. This has led to frustration and has stunted the nation’s onward progression in severable ways.
Our sworn mission, therefore, is to empower the Nigerian in practical ways – through the various trainings, workshops, seminars, trainings, symposia, conferences, internships, networking opportunities, town halls and mentorship programmes – especially towards entrepreneurship, enterprise and value creation, with a 2025 target for the present cadre of young people to be able and equipped to take charge of crucial sectors of the country’s economy and polity.
We are also passionate about ensuring that employers and talent scouts, including corporate, governments and development organisations,are able to have access to a well-skilled pool, outside of the conventional classroom.
Towards this end, our programmes are structured after curriculums used globally and actualised in partnership with development organizations like Fate Foundation, Leap Africa, Harambe Endeavour and the AfterGraduate Development Centre.
We also partner with government institutions and structures that are crucial to development, especially as they concern the youth population. Past Development Partners have included the World Bank and the Nigerian Ministries of Education and Youth with alliances ranging from Project Resource support, endorsements to work with the Nigerian School System and Institutional backing to engage youth/development networks and groups across the federation.
TFP also functions as an umbrella of development projects/programmes that seeks to empower young people and re-direct them towards adding value to themselves and society with strong, positive messages. Its flagship project is The Future Nigeria Awards, which is reputed as Nigeria’s most respected youth platform.
Other projects that are components of TFP include the “Do Something” Conferences, The Future School Seminars, The Future Town Hall Meetings, The Future Enterprise Support Scheme, The Future TakeAction, The Future Interventions, The Young Writers Network, The Future Mentorship Scheme, The Future Volunteers Programme, The Future Polls/Research, This is the Future! Book, The Future Youth Opportunity Centre, The Future Youth Crisis Centre, The Future Foundation.
Over the past year, The Future Project has gained some solid national and international recognition. Our project was selected for the US Government’s International Visitors Leadership Programme (IVLP) and for British Council’s World Changemakers Forum /World Economic Forum on Africa in 2009. More recently, we were also selected as observers at the 3rd Ordinary Session of the Conference of the African Union Ministers in charge of Youth (COMY III) in Zimbabwe. We are also working with the AU’s Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology on the African Union Youth Volunteer Corps.
We have also become a major resource for organisations such as the United States Government’s Public Affairs Section and the Nigeria Leadership Initiative (affiliated to the Aspen ), which use TFP as a youth resource partner to identify young Nigerian leaders for their various projects and opportunities.
Finally, we function as a resource organisation for clients, mostly corporates, who are keen to develop their corporate social responsibility arms (CSR) in ways that will be effective. Because of our unique experience working in the grassroots and at community levels while at the same time maintaining high-level government and international engagement, we are able to advise, structure and implement CSR strategies for companies that will convince and ‘convert’ their target markets, especially towards building a reservoir of goodwill for the companies.
Our focus is on making sure that company CSR budgets are not wasted, but actually make real, tangible social impact and lead to sustainable growth and development.
This works in terms of us being contracted as consultants, advisors, project to project managers or serving as members of relevant teams and boards to implement particular strategy or projects/activities, including Needs Assessment and Research, Impact Assessment, Impact Documentation, Training and Compliance.
Clients engaging us towards these also benefit from our wide range of external consultants and partners, with key experience at management levels in the country’s most successful corporates.
TFP is now poised, after direct engagement with development and youth organisations in countries like Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and South Africa, to take its message and its development model to other African countries.