Topsie E. Olatilewa, was the Co-Host of the Cameroon Future Forward Ecosystem Exchange with Gabila Neba -#AfricaYouthFwd, partnership between Ashoka Changemakers and MasterCard Foundation, which took place on the 9th of July 2016 in Limbe at Savoy Palmz Hotel. After the event, she shared with us her experience of life in Cameroon.
1) Describe your experience in Cameroon – that is from the airport, food, hospitality etc?
I had a crazy travel itinerary and a rough travel, so everything about the airport was nothing to write home about. But from the moment I was picked up from the airport was super splendid. Drove straight to Limbe, ate at various restaurants, food was tasty, spicy and delicious. Received a customized bag and a hat as welcome gift, stayed at Savoy Palmz Hotel. Savoy Palmz was breath-taking with a five star hospitality. For the first time in my work-life, I totally shut-down anything relating to work( did not open laptop, files, books etc) because the right atmosphere was just created for me to relax for once, enjoy the moment, take things easy and take it all in. Special thanks to Gabila Neba and Savoy Palmz Hotel.
Topsie Olatilewa E. Speaking at Ecosystem Exchange Event 2016 Limbe-Cameroon.
2) Could you describe your experience being a Co-facilitator at the Cameroon Ecosystem Exchange?
It was awesome and amazing, Gabila Neba and I are one hell of a great team. We work together as committee heads in African Changemakers Network-ACN, team-up also for Ecosystem Exchange Nigeria. So being co-facilitator of Ecosystem Exchange Cameroon was humbling and a unique experience to give back to Cameroonian youth. I met amazing people doing extraordinary things in their community. I also discovered that there is more work to be done for youth development and all hands needs to be on desk, all sectors both private and public must have a youth active programs that’s developing leaders of today for today/tomorrow’s challenge. There is also a lot of untapped business opportunities that can be brought to Cameroon by global investors or companies looking to expand their brands. Cameroon is a fertile ground for business and innovation.
3) What are the aspects which need improvement?
Cameroonian youth energy and vibrant needs to be properly channeled and trained into resourceful areas in helping to develop their community. They need a lot of capacity development skills that conventional schools does not provide. Their leadership, entrepreneurial and innovation skills needs to be highly develop to take on leadership roles and be allowed to co-create their own future.
Topsie Olatilewa E., Gabila Neba and Ecosystem Exchange Cameroon Participants, 2016-Limbe
4) Any general remarks about Cameroon?
I really want to come back to Cameroon more times to empower youth in entrepreneurship and leadership development. So I need private and public organizations both local and international to partner and collaborate with me and my organization to launch ready-to-deploy project/programs to empower Cameroonian youths, women and girls.
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