L- R: U.S. Exchange Alumna and Program Partner for Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), Inya Lawal; U.S. Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard; and Nollywood Actress and AWE mentor Joke Silva during the 2021 AWE graduation ceremony in Ile Ife, Osun State.

The United States is a steadfast partner of Nigeria, working together to improve health, security, economic growth, human rights, democracy, and education throughout the country.

From January 2021, the United States Consulate General in Lagos awarded $1.02m to civic organizations to implement projects across the 17 states in southern Nigeria.

The funded projects addressed the themes of bolstering outreach to underserved communities, promoting respect for human rights and transparency in government, empowerment of women and youth, and teacher training and STEM education. Other themes included entrepreneurship, media literacy, combatting misinformation as well as fostering a robust alumni network.

The Consulate supported United States exchange alumni efforts to utilize the skills, knowledge, and networks gained through their exchange program experiences to address challenges faced by communities across southern Nigeria. Our exchange alumni organized clean-up campaigns, taught others job skills, marched to show support for combatting gender-based violence, promoted technology in the classroom, and raised awareness of illegal wildlife trafficking.

Inauguration of high school STEM Clubs in Enugu by STEMi Makers Africa through the support of the U.S. Consulate.
Inauguration of high school STEM Clubs in Enugu by STEMi Makers Africa through the support of the U.S. Consulate.

The alumni led projects were selected for their strong sustainability plans, and many will continue past the grant period through volunteer work and other funding sources.

U.S. Consulate Public Affairs Officer Stephen Ibelli praised the U.S. alumni commitment in working to improve the lives of community members through sustainable projects.

According to him, the Consulate’s alumni focused grant projects is part of the U.S. government’s efforts to support Nigeria’s economic development, improve livelihoods, and strengthen communities.

“We are proud to work with such an immensely energetic and creative community of alumni led organizations and individuals committed to strengthening communities and empowering fellow Nigerians,” Ibelli added.

Reflecting on the outgoing year, Ibelli noted that seven new American Spaces were opened in southern Nigeria, including a flagship American Corner in Ikeja, as part of the U.S. Consulate efforts aimed at bolstering its public engagement efforts. Addresses of American Spaces in Nigeria can be found here.

The Consulate also trained 250 women through the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) providing them with skills to grow their businesses and contribute to the growth of small and medium enterprises in Nigeria. Some of our AWE graduates received funding from the U.S. Africa Development Foundation and local funding sources to scale their businesses.

Members of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) during a clean up campaign event organized to commemorate World Environment Day in Lagos.
Members of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) during a clean up campaign event organized to commemorate World Environment Day in Lagos.

The Consulate also supported the shipment of 250 dairy cows to Ekiti State to boost milk production, and introduced biotech cowpea to increase farmers’ yields and improve food security in Nigeria.

In 2022, the United States will break ground on its New Consulate Compound at Eko Atlantic City, symbolizing the U.S.’s sustained investment in Nigeria and its focus on the Nigerian people.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here