Doing Great Work - On the Ground in Nigeria

Posted by Thelma Horton on Wednesday, September 7, 2011 Under: Nigeria - Development

I am pretty sure that whether you know me personally or not, it is rather evident that I am passionate about Africa and Africans. My life work includes contributing to the growth and development of Africa; the empowerment of women and children; and the preservation and promotion of the cultural history of Africans and Americans of Black African descent. For the last 6 years or so, my focus has been mainly in Nigeria. In June I was privileged to make my first journey to Nigeria which was an amazing experience that personally and professionally inspired me to continue this journey. I am committed to returning to returning to Nigeria for an extended period of time to continue this great work.

The main purpose of my trip was to facilitate the Academic Brief of the Federal University, Otuoke Bayelsa State. Led by Vice-Chancellor Bolaji Aluko, this diverse group of scholars crafted the foundational document for the University which, by the way, is the first Federal University placed in the heartland of the Niger Delta. Because Otuoke community is very under developed as it relates to basic infrastructure, etc., the building of the University presents a great opportunity for community development, capacity building and closing the educational gap. The current president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, is from this area, and he is the first president from the Niger Delta region. I am going out on a limb and say the Ijaw people are probably feeling a lot like black Americans when Obama was elected. Consequently, the Ijaw Foundation, which is a globally diaspora based organization, immediately stepped forward to champion the success of the University by forming an Educational Trust Fund.

While in Nigeria, I also had the privilege to participate in a business meeting with the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Science & Technology, Dr. (Mrs.) Dere Awosika; the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research & Development (NIPRD) led by Professor K.S. Gamaniel; and the National Biotechnology Development Agency led by Professor B. O. Solomon in which I represented the interest of GDP Ayurveda University (GDPAU), led by Dr. Ramesh Pandey of New Brunswick, New Jersey. As this was a private business meeting, I will not disclose any details about the other participants or the nature of the meeting. I will just say, I am truly honored to be a part of the development of technology that has the potential to change the quality of life for millions of people.

I believe I am planting seed in fertile ground. Wilferd Peterson said, “Big thinking precedes great achievement,” and there was a lot of BIG THINKING in Nigeria.
No matter what folk say about Africa and even Nigeria, I truly believe we are in the midst of the “African Renaissance” and that Nigeria is destined to lead the way. I believe I was created to play an active role in this transformation. Exciting isn’t it?!

From Friday, August 19 through Sunday, August 21, the launching of the Ijaw Annual Conference and the Educational Trust Fund will take place in Newark, NJ at the Sheraton Hotel.
In recognition of this historic victory for the Ijaw Community, the Niger Delta and our nation, Nigeria, we will pause to recognize our Sovereign God and thank Him for His divine will while seeking the fullness of His blessing. Standing on the foundation of our heritage as those entrusted to be steward of the motherland, the cradle of creation; we will call upon God for aid, protection, inspiration and supplication. In addition to participating in the Invocation and Prayer for our President, His Excellency Goodluck Jonathan, the fundraising luncheon and the award gala, the attendees can look forward to a welcoming reception and networking on Friday. The Saturday programming begins with an opportunity to participate in dynamic dialogue on good governance and ends in celebration with a cultural dance. The organization has also provided an opportunity for some business services such as Nigerian passport issuance and renewal.

There is power in agreement, so whether you join us or not, please send positive energy our way.

In : Nigeria - Development 

Tags: "federal university  otuoke"  "nigeria"  "ijaw foundation"  nigeria  development  "capacity building"  leadership development  international development  africa  entreprenuer 

About Me

High-energy, results-oriented visionary and global strategist whose real strength is her ability to open doors & connect people strategically to new opportunities.

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