As hundreds of African leaders gather in Washington, D.C., for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the issues facing the African continent’s overall development will be holistically discussed. At LEAD Nigeria, we are indeed excited about this summit and what it means for Africa-U.S. relations, especially because Nigeria has had perhaps the most-devastating year in the nation’s history.
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From the kidnapping of more than 200 girls to the constant maiming and killing of innocent Nigerians through bomb blasts and suicide bombing attacks by Boko Haram in addition to the recent political landscape, Nigeria now attracts incessant negative international attention around the globe, even though it recently became the largest economy in Africa.
That is why the work of Ifeanyi Obinali is especially important.
Obinali founded LEAD Nigeria in 2008 to engage young people for both social and behavioral change. A native of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, Obinali leads projects and programs aimed at inspiring young people to be active agents of societal good as far back as the early 2000s.
After a four-year UNICEF program traveling across the globe, he started LEAD Nigeria in order to provide structured conversation and policy debates about key issues in Nigeria. Lead Nigeria’s annual summit aims to share information and dispel common myths, engage experts with concerned citizens, and improve collaboration and resource-sharing among Nigerians in the diaspora and on the continent.
LEAD Nigeria is an acronym for Leadership, Empowerment, and Attitude Development, and these four words are at the core of the organization’s mission, vision, and objectives. LEAD Nigeria has a strategic focus of changing the dialogue about Nigeria with particular emphasis on solutions.
Founder Obinali believes Nigeria has the talent and resources it needs to compete globally, “The situation facing young people in Nigeria back then and now is a total lack of information, because if you are not informed, you are deformed, only when are informed, you will be reformed to understand your individual potential and what to demand of leadership.”
Over the years, LEAD Nigeria’s Nigerian Leadership Summit has also established itself as an important forum for Diaspora Nigerian professionals, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and policy makers to connect and exchange ideas about business and investment opportunities in Nigeria.
The annual Nigerian Leadership Summit strives to provide meaningful coverage and debate of issues facing our nation and the roles Nigerians in the diaspora can actively play in addressing the issues threatening the survival and development our nation’s democracy.
Past speakers of the summit include Ambassador Bukun Olu-Onemola (Deputy Permanent Representative, Nigerian mission to the UN), Dr. Victor Ukpolo (Chancellor, Southern University of New Orleans), Mr. Segun Adeyina (Founder, Nigerian Reunion Corporation), Ambassador Geoffrey Tenelaibe (Consul-General, Nigerian Embassy Atlanta), Dr. Nkechi Agwu (Former President of the American Association of University women, N.Y.C. branch), Dr. Azeez Adeduntun (Vascular surgeon Atlanta), and a host of others.
The panel on education in Nigeria will be lead by yours truly, Nekpen Osuan.
To register for the 2014 LEAD Nigeria Summit, visit www.leadnigeria.org.
For more information on LEAD Nigeria and their growing initiatives, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, visit them online at www.leadnigeria.org, follow them on Twitter @LEADNigeria, or like LEADNigeria on Facebook.