By Williams Ifidon

Strong and visionary leadership comes in many guises, and exists in all walks of life. Great leaders share a common set of qualities: they have passion and a sense of vision ; they have mastered the art of communication and the exceptional ability to motivate, inspire and bring out the best in others.

With the diversity of the world, we need to understand what it takes to be leaders. A much broader intervention would be required to drive sustainable leadership. The government alone cannot succeed much without the support of the private sector for the country to attain sustainable life. The government and the private sector would jointly set a platform for sustainable leadership, living by example and providing opportunities to identify productive opportunities.
The Edo state economic summit ” *Alaghodaro* ” is no doubt the rallying point for economic experts, analysts, local and international investors and the government officials ; a forum to rub minds and share ideas on how best to strengthen the state in particular and Nigeria in general. Edo state is the cardinal point between the south, west and the north with a rich historical background, huge potential natural resources.

The *Alaghodaro* summit is a framework for private – public sector partnership for development, the summit will attract top firms within the breadth and length of the world. The robust participation of private sector in the summit is not something out of the blues, but encouraged by the fact that Edo State government recognises the vital role the private sector play in the economy and state government is carrying the private sector along as critical stakeholder. For example the *Alaghodaro* investment summit organising committee 2017 will be co- chaired by someone from the private sector Mr Asue Ighodalo.
According to Mr Asue Ighodalo, the summit will showcase economic and institutional reforms being implemented by *Godwin Obaseki* – led administration, which intends to open up investment opportunities in different sectors of the State economy.

“Governments are looking beyond oil to alternative revenue sources in order to ensure sustainable development, and we must also get creative and take action today for our future and the future of our children,” Ighodalo said.

The summit is a platform for generating ideas that will contribute towards moving the government’s vision to see that the state is transformed into a business hub in south south. It is a platform for stakeholders who have any role to play in delivering the vision to associate, to share minds, network and basically collaborate with government.

The summit would focus on strategies for accelerating sustained growth in the State’s Economy, the major goal of the summit is to provide cross – fertilisation of ideas with a view to accelerating rapid and sustained economic growth in the state, some of the investment opportunities the state will showcase include its huge potential natural resources deposit, agriculture, industry, human capital, infrastructure, real estate, transport, as well as the institutional reforms being undertaken to make the state investment friendly.

Edo State government has furthered develop a strategy to improve her investment climate during a special session dedicated to ‘Improving the Ease of Doing Business In Edo’ at the forthcoming ALAGHODARO Investment Summit.
The session will be anchored by Dr. Tayo Aduloju of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group *(NESG)* and will feature Dr. Jumoke Oduwole of theme Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES) at the Presidency, on Friday, November 10, 2017 at Edo Hotels, Okada Avenue, Benin City.

Other panelists expected at the Ease of Doing Business session include former Head of Service of the Federation, Mr. Steve Oronsaye; Co-founder, BudgIT, Seun Onigbinde and Andrew Nevin of PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
The session at the summit is intended to engage with policymakers, development workers, state officials, private consultants, the NESG and EBES to fashion a new template for improving the state’s business environment.

The summit, is christened *alaghodaro* which means ‘Progress,’ is an investment drive by the state government and would host a potpourri of investment gurus, investors, academia and others.

Confirmed panelists for the summit include, former Governor, Cross River State, Donald Duke; Board Chairman, Leyland International, Yemi Idowu; Research Fellow, Forum for Growth and Innovation, Harvard Business School, Efosa Ojomo; Department for International Development (DFID) representative, Esohe Eigbike, Member, Education Task Team, World Bank, Dr. Tunde Adekola and Chinedo Ugwu-Chinwuba of General Electric Health).

Others are David Ladipo of Azura Power; co-founder, BudgIT, Seun Onigbinde; Jayakrishnan Gopklokrishnan of International Enterprise, Singapore among others.