After School yesterday, former US Undersecretary for Political Affairs and to NATO, Professor Nicholas Burns and Professor David Gergen of CNN moderated a Session with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ambassador to the United States.
I asked a question – Nigeria like the UAE has huge Oil Deposits but the UAE, a land without form, covered in sand and water has in the last 40 years experienced sporadic, sustainable growth such that it has become a model for many Nations of the world. What Lessons can Nigeria learn from your Country and what can we do differently?
This was his Answer: “LEGITIMACY. When the People know that their Governments and actions of Government are legitimate, they will cooperate with the System to institutionalise widespread development. People rob and shortchange a System that caters to no one but few privileged citizens. They know no one cares about them. We invest the resources we generate from Oil in our Youth, Education, infrastructure and Innovation. Our current Minister of Youth is 22 years old because we recognise that the next generation has the capacity, insight and energy to change the world and we must get them ingrained in the system and step back for them to continue from where we stop. Government Leaders must be Visionary and must seek out the talents and abilities of their citizens and leverage them for Progress. In addition, we established the Ministry of Happiness, Ministry of Tolerance and Ministry of the Future because our Government believes that we must continue to shape the behavioural attitudes of our People from the bottom up.
Ladies and Gentleman, this Fellow who is in his early 40s has been a Representative of the UAE to the US since the George Bush Administration and he was described as the most effective and respected Ambassador to the United States as at Today.
This is Yousef Al Otaiba. Inspiration for Days.