The United States Consulate General in Lagos says it awarded $1.02m to civic organizations to implement projects across the 17 states in southern Nigeria between January and December this year. (2021)
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 programme experiences to address challenges faced by communities across southern Nigeria.
The U.S. Consulate Public Affairs Officer Stephen Ibelli, who made this known in a statement noted that the 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.
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.
The Consulate Public Affairs Officer 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, Mr 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.
He said 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.
Mr Ibelli announced that 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.