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Nigerian teenage programmer, gymnast, poet receive Early Achievers Awards 

Three Nigerian teenagers have been honoured with the Early Achievers Award at the 2023 National Children Leadership Conference for attaining exceptional feats in their respective pursuits.

The teenagers were recognised alongside other Nigerians at the closing ceremony of the conference on Monday night in Abuja.

Joshua Agboola, a 13-year-old award-winning programmer and a Cloud practitioner certified by Amazon Web Services, received the ICT category of the Early Achievers awards.

The Lagos-State born young programmer is reputed to be the world’s youngest AWS Solutions Architect Certified and AWS Developer Associate Certified.

Stephanie Onusiriuka, a 13-year-old gymnast, who won her first international gold medal in South Africa when she was just eight years old, received the sport category of the awards.

Also, young poet Hauwa’u  Al-Mustapha, 10, was honoured with the Arts category of the Early Achievers Award.

The conference, organised by the Children of Africa Leadership and Values Development Initiative(CALDEV), holds from November 17 to November 21.

It has the theme: “Rebuilding Nigeria through investment in children’s education, welfare, and security”.

Bamidele Salam, Founder and President of CALDEV, who congratulated the young achievers, said the award was conceived to celebrate teenagers who had recorded excellence in their fields and to inspire others to work hard.

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“In the past four days, Nigerian children from different parts of the country have converged in Abuja for the purpose of leadership training, mentoring, knowledge sharing, capacity building, competitions, networking and collaboration.

“We did not only bring them here for mentorship; we want to celebrate those who have made remarkable impacts in terms of winning global laurels and making Nigeria proud.

“This includes those who have made an impact in the area of technology, innovation, sport and education,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Child-Right Advocacy Awards was given to those who champion children’s rights with Hajiya Fatima Abbas, Wife of the Speaker of the House of Representative, Tajudeen Abbas, leading the pack.

Others who received the Child Right Advocacy Awards included the First Lady of Ekiti State, Dr Olayemi Oyebanji; the First Lady of Niger, Hajiya Fatima Bago and her Yobe counterpart, Gumsu Mai-Mala Buni.

Earlier in his goodwill message, Vice-President Kashim Shettima congratulated the children and the organisers of the conference and affirmed the government’s commitment to the wellbeing of Nigerian children.

NAN reports that the 2023 Children Leadership Conference drew 300 children between the ages of 12 and 17, from 24 states.

It featured leadership training, a children’s parliamentary session, children’s dialogue on values, national unity and patriotism, as well as children’s financial literacy session.

Other highpoints included panel discussions, quiz competition, children’s films and books exhibitions, art exhibitions, cultural dances and awards.

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