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AfDB president urges Oxford MBA graduating class to be change-makers



African Development Bank (AfDB) President,  Dr Akinwumi Adesina,  has urged the Masters in Business Administration (MBA) students of Oxford University to be change makers.

Adesina made the call while delivering the Saïd Business School’s 2023 commencement address.
He urged the graduands to use the skills and knowledge acquired to address some of today’s most pressing global challenges.
He listed some of the challenges to include climate change and the quest for a hunger-free world.
“It is unacceptable for more than 2.3 billion people in the world to go hungry each day.
“Class of 2023, I see in you, builders, and shapers of hope. You have been well prepared to go into this world to be change-makers.
“You have received a world-class education. You are ready, and the world awaits you.
“I urge you to draw lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure future global pandemic preparedness and that no one is left behind in terms of access to affordable healthcare,” he said.
Adesina highlighted the need to help the 940 million people worldwide living without electricity, three billion people without clean cooking energy, two billion living without access to clean water, and 4.5 billion without sanitation.
He noted with concern the 1.7 billion people who lacked access to basic finance, credit, savings, payments, or insurance.
He also stressed the need to build a better world for the 244 million children who were out of school, including 129 million girls.
“Their dream, is to be like all of you today as you graduate with a world class education.
“But they cannot achieve their dreams, and neither can our world achieve our collective dream of a more just and equitable world.
“Unless we prioritise financing for developing countries to accelerate development,” he said.
Adesina encouraged them to promote transparency, inclusion, honesty, and integrity, and to stay within the rules and regulations.
 The president urged the graduates to build alliances and collective partnerships rather than individual success.
According to him, nothing works better than collective success”.
He said that the global financial architecture was failing development in the world as it faced multiple global challenges.
“The global financial architecture must be modified to tackle global challenges more effectively and to accelerate the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
“The global pension funds and institutional investors, which many of you will go on to work for, have over 145 trillion dollars of assets under management.
“As you do, take leadership in ensuing that these vast resources are directed towards the collective good.
“Use the skills and tools you have acquired at Oxford, to help make our world a better place for all,” he said.
Soumitra Dutta, Peter Moores Dean and Professor of Management at Saïd Business School, encouraged the class of 2023 to dream big and assume the mantle of leadership waiting for them.
“We want you to become great leaders who will shape tomorrow and have a positive impact on our world.
 “To become a great leader, it is very important that you are inspired and that you dream big. With your dreams, you will raise the aspiration levels of others around you,” he said.
Prof. Alex Connock, Specialist in Media Business and Artificial Intelligence (AI), called on the class of 2023 to set the terms and conditions of what they do in life, and devise the strategy.
“You must be confident about making choices that work to your vision of your own future.
“So please, throw your own javelin confidently into the infinite space of the future, starting from today.
“Go out there, make a difference. Bring this splintering world back together. Don’t settle for a new Cold War.
“Don’t settle for global warming. Make good things happen,” Connock said.
The Associate Director of the Saïd Business School’s MBA programme, Amy Major, said: “Display kindness to yourself and others.
“You all hold yourselves to high standards, but as you move into the real world, whether gainfully employed or searching, facing financial pressure or not, moving back to your family or away, you will all experience different challenges and opportunities.
“No matter where life takes you, you possess something that can never be taken away: your Oxford MBA and your rightful place as Oxonians,” he said.

bbc news nigeria today

Lucy Ogalue

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