Untapped economic potentials   Solid minerals: Gold, Lithium, etc.   Information technology (ICT)  
Stronger economies together   Arewa center of excellence   Arewa strategic development  
Era of collaboration & partnership   Small & medium enterprises   Arewa regional decision makers  
Arewa demographic shifts   Arewa, the quest for unity   Publications  



Building trusting relationships among key players that spur the movement of ideas into action in an agile manner for the Arewa region.


Promoting the development of a high quality multi-year plan that builds on the economic strengths of the entire Arewa region.


States Leadership within the Arewa region should come together to create and adopt the Arewa Regional Economic Plan with emphasis on a balanced approach to development and established targets for economic growth of the region. The plan should build on current regional opportunities, collaboration and innovation


It is a new strategy discipline specifically designed for open, loosely-connected networks. Unlike strategic planning that was designed primarily to guide strategic activity in hierarchical organizations, Strategic-Doing is designed for situations in which nobody can tell anybody else what to do. Collaboration is the only way to move forward. It therefore teaches people how to form collaborations quickly, move them toward measurable outcomes and make adjustments along the way.


In today’s world, collaboration is essential to meet the complex challenges we face. Strategic-Doing enables leaders to design and guide new networks that generate innovative solutions. It is a new strategy discipline that is lean, agile and fast.


How does Strategic Doing work?
Strategic-Doing works by teaching simple skills of strategic-collaboration. The skills are simple to understand, but they take practice to master. We teach the skills primarily through three to four hour strategy workshops. For organizations and communities within a region that do not have a strategic plan, Strategic-Doing can generate an initial plan in a matter of hours with an intensively focused and custom workshop. The process quickly forms new collaborations among workshop participants and moves them into learning by doing. 

As these collaborations form and participants learn from each other,
Strategic-Doing advances quickly. Short, focused strategy reviews take place regularly, usually every 30 days. With Strategic-Doing, strategy becomes more like software development. New versions of the strategy appear frequently as participants learn what works. 

What if we already have a strategic plan? Can Strategic Doing help us?
For organizations and communities within a region that are stuck with their strategic plan,
Strategic-Doing provides an agile process to accelerate implementation. By producing rapid-fire strategic action plans, Strategic-Doing moves existing strategic plans to new levels of performance. For instance, using applied Strategic-Doing in a wide variety of contexts from the development of new clusters and regional innovation ecosystems to the launch of new workforce innovations and the regeneration of inner-city neighbourhoods. 

How do we get started?
You can learn about how other organizations, communities and regions have used
Strategic-Doing. Or you can connect with us directly, so we can start to explore your situation together. Since all of our Strategic-Doing work is customized to meet your needs, we start all of our engagements with your situation and identify some concrete outcomes that could help you.

Implement Programs that Build on Regional Opportunities
Introducing innovative programs that complement and add value to all States within the Arewa region’s industry and occupational clusters.

Strengthen Arewa Regional Collaboration and Innovation Networks
The mainstay of the ACRD Center of Excellence’s collaboration work centers on its Strategic Doing initiative. This program will focus on the use of States within the regional networks to accelerate innovation, partnership and collaboration.
Strategic-Doing quickly develops sophisticated collaborations that help advance open innovation across organizational and political boundaries within the entire region. Strategic Doing ignites the spark of regional innovation, partnership and collaboration enabling people in loosely-joined, open networks to think and act strategically. In partnership with Small Business Development Center’s across the World, this program showcases the pivotal role of second-stage firms to employment growth and prosperity and development growth strategies, with the goal of making Arewa region an investment destination.

ICT is the convergence of communications, computing and information technologies and has become the catalyst that enhances development process of a nation...Read On>>


In today's knowledge economy, the main source of value and competitive advantage is the human capital using knowledge, innovation and creativity for development, including using ICT and Data to unlock the region's unique characteristics.


USING DATA FOR DECISION MAKING - To keep Arewa competitive both in Nigeria and in the global marketplace, it is critical that Arewa Leaders understand the economic dynamics of their region and how these drivers affect workforce issues. States within the Arewa region must have continuous access to data and decision support to ensure proper planning that produces workers with the skills that are relevant to the region’s businesses and economic development. ACRD aspires to be the leading source of regional workforce information and insight for the entire region by:

  • Helping to identify opportunities and trends in high growth, emerging, and economically critical industries and occupations;

  • Estimating continuously the gap between labour market demand, available training, and existing or future workers;

  • Helping the region to respond to workforce needs by providing them quality and up-to date information and training in partnership with Universities/Skill Centers located in the region.

Regional Growth Strategies for Local Governments
A regional growth strategy is a strategic-plan that directs long-term and short-term economic planning for the region. The growth strategies are designed to promote human settlements that are socially, economically
and environmentally sustainable and that make efficient use of public facilities, land and other resources to support and enhance regional sustainability and resilience. The development of a regional growth strategy is a collaborative and interactive process, which is initiated, prepared and enacted by a regional local government, with the involvement of local and State Government.

Purposes of a Regional Growth Strategy
A regional growth strategy would work toward, but not be limited by, the following:

  • Avoiding urban sprawl and ensuring that development takes place where adequate facilities exist or can be provided in a timely, economic and efficient manner;

  • Developing settlement patterns that ensures transparency, fairness and that minimize the risks associated with natural hazards (proper town planning);

  • Moving goods and people efficiently while making effective use of transportation and utility corridors;

  • Protecting environmentally sensitive areas;

  • Maintaining the integrity of a secure and productive resource base, including agricultural and forest land reserves;

  • Economic development that supports the unique character of communities;

  • Reducing and preventing air, land and water pollution; and unauthorized settlement;

  • Supporting adequate, affordable and appropriate housing and business facilities;

  • Developing adequate inventories of suitable land and resources for future settlement or expansion;

  • Protecting the quality and quantity of groundwater and surface water;

  • Preserving, creating and linking urban and rural areas including parks and recreation areas;

  • Planning for energy supply and promoting efficient use, conservation and alternative forms of energy;

  • Engaging in good stewardship of land, sites and structures with cultural and religion heritage values;

  • A regional district may design a custom strategy that fits local circumstances by adding other matters that cross local government boundaries and cannot be addressed by one jurisdiction.

  • Engage the citizens to avoid conflict through buy-in of plans by stakeholders.

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  • Better define & execute your strategic plan by leveraging the ready-made strategic plan, which includes sections such as “market analysis”, “competitor analysis”, “SWOT analysis”, “mission, vision & strategic objectives”, “key initiatives to reach the strategic objectives” and “strategic roadmap”;

  • Build a strategy map and balanced scorecard to easily translate your strategy into strategic objectives, key performance indicators and targets;

  • Quickly improve the strategic planning capability and conduct a strategic planning project following 8 simple key steps such as “conduct kick-off meeting”, “provide business insights”, “define mission and vision”, “identify key strategic objectives”, and “create a successful reporting process” and implement, track & manage progress with visual dashboards.


 Preparing & Adopting a Regional Growth Strategy
Regional States may voluntarily initiate a regional growth strategy by resolution of the regional state board. A state government may approve, for instance the initiation or enactment of a regional growth strategy in the State. The process for preparing a regional growth strategy is also largely left up to each state. Some states may undertake extensive research and assessment of a number of options, while others may move through the process more quickly. In all cases, the preparation of a regional growth strategy involves engagement with all levels of government and the public.

Building Consensus
The acceptance and the effective implementation of a regional growth strategy is dependent on buy-in to the process, ongoing involvement and commitment by all affected agencies. There are two mechanisms to achieve consensus and positive working relationships through consultation plans and intergovernmental advisory committees.

Consultation Plans
The legislation requires that the state board consult with individuals, organizations and authorities who they consider will be affected by the strategy, and adopt a consultation plan in this regard. As part of developing a consultation plan, the board must consider the need for a separate public hearing before the adoption of a regional growth strategy. Public hearings allow opportunities for the public and other stakeholders to provide input well before a growth strategy comes to the board for approval. Consultation plans provide flexibility and maintain the integrity of the consultation process while facilitating the more efficient development of a regional growth strategy.

Intergovernmental Advisory Committees
Once a state has initiated a regional growth strategy, an intergovernmental advisory committee is established. This committee provides a forum for senior state and local government staff and representatives of other authorities to advise the regional board on the development of the regional growth strategy and to help coordinate actions, policies and programs as they relate to the strategy.

Reaching Agreement
The regional growth strategy interactive planning model encourages dialogue to support the building of consensus among local governments on decision-making related to growth in the region. Given differing planning priorities and values, disputes can emerge. The growth strategy legislation encourages the use of alternative dispute resolution processes to reach mutual agreement. The commissioner responsible for local government may appoint facilitators to assist local governments to reach agreement on the acceptance of regional growth strategies. If local governments are unable to reach agreement, the commissioner will direct the parties to either a non-binding resolution process (mediation) or a binding settlement process.

Implementation Tools
Once a regional growth strategy has been adopted, all subsequent laws and all works and services undertaken by the regional district must be consistent with the strategy.

Implementation Agreements
A State cannot implement a regional growth strategy on its own and requires the cooperation and assistance of local governments and other public organizations. Local governments have the authority to enter into implementation agreements with other local governments, just as state will enter into implementation agreements with other states in the region as well as other levels of government and agencies to implement the actions and policies of the regional growth strategy.

Regional Context Statement
Local governments (LG) must update their official community plans within two years of the adoption of the regional growth strategy to include a regional context statement. The regional context statement sets out the relationship between the regional growth strategy and the official community plan and how they will be made compatible over time. The statement is subject to acceptance by the state to ensure the LG and the region agree that the two documents are compatible. Dispute resolution processes are available to resolve disagreements if they arise.

Monitoring an Adopted Regional Growth Strategy
Regional States must:

  • Establish a monitoring and evaluation program following the adoption of a regional growth strategy;

  • Prepare an annual report for the public at least once every two years;

  • Consider whether the strategy should be reviewed.

Minor Amendments

States may make minor amendments to a regional growth strategy, but must ensure that amendments that substantially change the vision and direction of the strategy are accepted by other States and all affected local governments. This ensures that:

  • The vision of a regional growth strategy is sustained;

  • Day-to-day technicalities can be dealt with efficiently;

  • Substantive policy decisions can be discussed and decided.

Regional Issues Assessments
A regional issues assessment is a joint Community/LG government review of the issues affecting local governments in the area. In consultation with the State government agencies, other organizations and the public, consensus is reached on issues, linkages and priorities. Possible follow-up actions such as a regional growth strategy, inter-jurisdictional agreements, joint community planning, local government restructure or infrastructure investment are identified and agreed upon.


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