Thursday, October 11, 2018

Servant leadership Explained

“Leadership is behavioral, not positional: the capacity to integrate, innovate and mobilize others to bring a common aspiration to life is what leadership is all about, not holding positions of formal authority.” – Nelson Mandela

The above thought reverberated during a two day leadership workshop titled “Rethinking public service in Nigeria through servant leadership” at the National Agency for the Prohibition of the Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP). It was an opportunity for NAPTIP officer and 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow, Lawrenta Igoh, to share insights about leadership acquired while on her fellowship and also in compliance with her agency’s capacity development drive. Lawrenta was on the fellowship’s Public Management tract, where she spent six weeks at Bridgewater State University-Massachusetts, with some leadership sessions at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Kennedy Centre for African Studies.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Voyage to Hollywood

by Kenneth Gyang

The Embassy of the United States of America to Nigeria recommended me to be a 2018 American Film Showcase (AFS) fellow at the University of Southern California.

Nerds and those in film circles know how much of a big deal USC is. The school famously turned down Steven Spielberg on one hand and produced George Lucas on the other hand- two filmmakers whose films have grossed billions of dollars and set up movements in the film industry. For Nigerians, the director behind the beloved Black Panther graduated from there.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

International Women’s Day: Press For Progress For Nigerian Women

Today is International Women’s Day, a day set aside worldwide to celebrate the social, political, economic and cultural achievements of women.  The United Nations celebrated the day for the first time in 1975 and although women have made great advancements a lot still remains to be done which makes this year’s theme “Press for Progress” apt.  The US Mission in Nigeria is also making its contribution to the advancement of women and girls in Nigeria through several programs that it runs, some specifically targeted at women.

One of such programs is the Techwomen exchange program which the Embassy supports.  The TechWomen is a U.S. initiative empowering and connecting the next generation of women leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.  Some Nigerian women who participated in the 2017 Techwomen exchange program include Carolyn Seaman and Damilola Anwo-Ade.  Carolyn Seaman is using technology to empower girls through her Girls Voices Initiative, while Damilola Anwo-Ade is mentoring the next generation of coders, including young women, through her initiative CodeIT.

The Embassy each year also organizes programs to stop gender based violence during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.  Last year, several events were organized including a roundtable discussion on the theme “Eliminating Violence against Women with Disabilities.”  This program was linked virtually through Google Hangout with the five American Corners across Nigeria:  Kano, Bauchi, Calabar, Sokoto, and Maiduguri.  A panel discussion also took place on “United in Justice:  Stopping Gender-Based Violence with Institutional Support.”  Panelists included representatives of the National Police, NGO community, religious institutions, and the National Human Rights Commission.

Women are equally represented in all U.S. Government exchange programs such as the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), Fulbright Program, Hubert Humphrey Fellowship and the Mandela Washington Fellowship.  Of the 100 Mandela Fellows last year 50% were women drawn from different parts of Nigeria.

Editor's note: This entry also appears in the U.S. Mission Nigeria's publication on Medium