Home / NEWS & INTERNATIONAL / Nigerians gather in Dortmund for NIDO Europe Project Summit
Ambassador Aminu Bashir Wali (former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nigeria),2nd from right, Kenneth Gbandi (NIDO Europe chairman), right, Abdu Usman Abubakar (former Nigerian Ambassador to Germany), left, and Kenneth Alaekwe (President, NIDO Germany) during an event in Berlin / Photo: Emmanuel Agbelessessy

Nigerians gather in Dortmund for NIDO Europe Project Summit

Members of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Europe (NIDOE) gather in the western German city of Dortmund on 26-27 May to deliberate on how to contribute to solving the socio-economic problems bedevilling their home country.

The NIDOE Project Summit 2017 will discuss the role of the Diaspora in the development of Africa. The focus is, of course, Nigeria, with participants expected to examine projects that Nigerians abroad can undertake to give a helping hand to their compatriots at home.

According to the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of NIDOE, Kenneth Gbandi, participants are expected to actively contribute to the development of a “body of Diaspora viewpoint” on how the situation in Nigeria can be changed for the better.

A NIDOE-initiated Nigerian Youth Empowerment Project will be launched at the Summit. The scheme aims to provide youths in Africa’s most populous country with skills that can help them stand on their own. Areas of skills acquisition being considered are solar technology, agriculture and handwork.

Dr RosaLyn Dressman, chairperson of the AfricanTide Union, will give a speech on the role of the Diaspora in shaping the development co-operation polices of their countries of residence  / Photo: AfricanTide Union

“We’re faced with a situation whereby land is left unfarmed while millions of youths roam the streets and we import food,” Gbandi, a media consultant and Hamburg communal politician, said. He pointed out the ongoing trend in Greece, whereby young people are increasingly taking up farming because of the economic crisis faced by their country. “In the face of unemployment, many urban-dwelling, young educated Greeks are returning to their family farms to engage themselves,” Gbandi said. “The reality is that production is crucial to laying a strong foundation for a self-sustaining economic development model. This is why our focus in the youth empowerment project is to avail our youths of skills that will enable them to become gainfully engaged or self-employed.”

A seminar on Africapitalism, which will examine the place of Africa in the global capitalist system, is a highlight of the 2-day event, organized in co-operation with AfricanTide Union, a non-governmental organization dealing with development issues, as part of this year’s Africa Day activities.  

Why Africans are still largely poor when their lands and waters are full of resources is a question that will come under close scrutiny at the conference. Many African countries are rich in mineral deposits – crude oil, natural gas, copper, gold, diamond, platinum, coltan etc, yet their citizens profit little from these precious resources. Africa accounts for more than 60 per cent of the unused arable land left in the world, yet the continent is a major importer of food.

To throw light on the underlying factors responsible for these paradoxes and the way out is Dr Jones Edobor, a Swiss-based Nigerian economist and development expert. The CEO of Global Consulting, which facilitates management know-how-transfer and financial investments in developing countries, will deliver a paper entitled Africapitalism: A pathway to a Socio-Economic Development of Africa with special reference to Nigeria.

Other resource persons slated to speak at the Summit include Pastor Ibrahim Abarshi, who will deliver a paper on Managing Illegal Immigration from Nigeria to Europe: Options and Opportunity. His presentation will focus on the role Nigerians in Europe and other critical stakeholders beyond state actors can play in addressing and stemming illegal immigration and human trafficking.

Collins Nweke, former NIDOE Chair and Councillor, Ostend City Council, Belgium, is one of the keynote speakers at the Summit / Photo: Collin Nweke

Collins Nweke, former chairman of NIDOE, communal politician in Belgium and development expert, will also speak at the event.

Kayode Obembe, CEO of Kayode Obembe & Company, a Lagos-based property development firm, will also make a presentation at the event. The company believes that the time has never been better for Diaspora Nigerians to buy landed property at home.

Due to the economic crisis in the country, there’s been a slump in the value of property just as the naira has also lost so much value. These two factors favour Nigerians abroad whose savings in hard currencies now fetch record naira value.

Gbandi encourages Nigerians to turn up in Dortmund in large numbers so that “we can put heads together to make a worthwhile contribution to the development of our country”.

NIDO Germany’s new president, Kenneth Alaekwe, will deliver the opening address while Dr RosaLyn Dressman, chairperson of the AfricanTide Union, will give a speech on the role of the Diaspora in helping shape the development co-operation polices of their countries of residence.

Femi Awoniyi

NIDOE Project Summit 2017

Day 1: Friday, 26 May 2017

Time: 10 am – 5 pm

Venue: Lensing-Carrée Conference Center: Medienhaus Lensing, Silberstraße 21, 44137 Dortmund

Day 2: Saturday, 27 May 2017

Time: 10 am – 5 pm

Venue: Lensing-Carrée Conference Center: Medienhaus Lensing, Silberstraße 21, 44137 Dortmund

Contact: Hon. Kenneth Gbandi, Tel.: +491709878495

More information on the Summit at: http://www.nidoeurope.org/

 

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