Skip to content
Thomson Reuters
Gender Equality

Amina J. Mohammed: Invest in our young people, and we will certainly get the returns

Amina Mohammed

18 Oct 2016

“When we say things are urgent – we have no idea how urgent they are.”

Named in March of 2016 as one of Fortune Magazine’s ‘50 Greatest World Leaders’ and Special Adviser to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, Amina J Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Environment talked to Aarti Shah for Thomson Reuters Sustainability at the Second United Nations Environmental Assembly in Nairobi Kenya.

Aarti Shah for Thomson Reuters Sustainability: And finally, what gives you hope?

Where there’s life, there’s hope. And when I see what people do in situations that those of us that speak in these corridors would never survive in – that gives me hope.

Because against all odds, they’re surviving. And when we say things are urgent, we have no idea how urgent they are. When we say “I’ll do it in a couple of weeks,” I don’t think that we would live through a couple of weeks of how people suffer. They get through that and somehow they’re at the other end – hoping for us to come along and help them get to where they need to get to. That gives me hope.

It gives me hope that there is a youthfulness; that the continent that you talk about has so many youths. For me it’s hope, it’s opportunity.

Certainly there are challenges, people talk about the population and young people, but I think those are all our assets, and what we’ve got to do is invest in those assets and we will certainly get the returns.

EXECUTIVE PERSPECTIVE: On Leadership from Lucy Demery, finance executive EXECUTIVE PERSPECTIVE: “It is okay to fail” Ifedayo Durosinmi–Etti EXECUTIVE PERSPECTIVE: Women Leaders are the Key to a Sustainable Future – Jane Reindorf-Attoh Gina Miller: Becoming a Leader and Advocate in the Face of Adversity EXECUTIVE PERSPECTIVE: Becoming a Leader and Advocate in the Face of Adversity – Gina Miller EXECUTIVE PERSPECTIVE: Measuring What Matters on Gender Equality Newspaper sanitary pad wakes Britain up to ‘period poverty’ Record number of LGBT people run for U.S. office Burundi reversing school pregnancy ban not enough to protect girls – campaigners Colombia shatters glass ceiling with gender-equal cabinet