Monday, September 23, 2013

President Jonathan honours 10 Nigerians in US

President Goodluck Jonathan, will today honour 10 Nigerian-Americans in a special lunch session in the United States.
The president, who is in the country on an official trip, will also address the United Nations General Assembly and later confer with President Barack Obama.

Those to be honoured by the President in a New York hotel are winners of the “Top 10 Nigerian-Americans Award” instituted by the Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans (CANAN).
According to Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States, Prof Ade Adefuye, the CANAN top 10 winners and other eminent Nigerians and professionals would be present at the special luncheon and the winners would be introduced to President Jonathan.
A statement from CANAN Secretariat explained that the association was determined to shine the light on high-flying Nigerians in America as a counter-point to negative reports and unnecessary focus on few “rotten eggs” in the community.
President of the Christian group, Dr. James Fadele, said: “Nigerian-Americans should no longer wait for other people to define them, nor wait until the next negative illustration on their behalf. We have the ability to showcase who we are, in our own voices, through our own stories and by using our own words.”
Professor Babatunde Osotimehin, the Executive Director of the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) and former Nigerian Health Minister would be delivering the keynote remarks at the Gala and Awards Dinner.
Winners of the awards are picked from a pool of nominees drawn from the Nigerian community in the US and scrutinised by a panel of eight prominent US-based Nigerians.
In the honours list are Judge Bunmi Awoniyi (Law category), Augustine Esogbue (Engineering and Technology), Mr. Emmanuel Ohuabunwa (Youth), Ola Akinboboye (Medicine), Professor Toyin Falola (Academics), Chief Usua Amanam (Business), Ambassador Ibrahim Gambari (International Public Service), among others.
Judge Awoniyi, the first Nigerian to become a Superior Court Judge in California and possibly the highest-ranking Nigerian-American holding the judgeship of a state high court anywhere in the United States, lives in California.
Esogbue, the first African to become a member of NASA’s Safety Advisory Board, is based in Atlanta, while Ohuabunwa, a Nigerian student who became the first black man to emerge as the best graduating student in John Hopkins with a 3.98 GPA, is currently an MD candidate in Yalem.
Akinboboye, a New York-based award-winning nuclear cardiologist is being honoured as leader of black cardiologists in the US.
Falola, a Professor of History at the University of Texas, is the most-decorated Nigerian scholar in the US; while the California-based Amanam probably made the list because he built the first private refinery in Nigeria.
New York-based Nigerian diplomat, Gambari, served the United Nations in some of the toughest diplomatic spots in the world, including Darfur, where he led the largest UN and international peacekeeping mission ever.
Courtesy of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), the 2013 edition of the two-day conference, which has become synonymous with global fight against poverty, kicks off tomorrow in New York, with Founders of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Messrs Bill Gates and Tony Elumelu, scheduled to discuss effective philanthropy as panacea for markets-induced gaps.
The duo will be discussing how effective philanthropy can accelerate progress in the fight against global poverty.
Organisers of the event, had, in a statement issued last week, said that the solution to the world’s most pressing challenges could only be found in ambitious risk-taking, effective partnerships, and the most efficient use of resources.
“While market solutions can be used to create economic opportunities, philanthropy is still essential to solve issues that cannot be addressed by markets alone,” the statement posited.
Discussions, according to the Clinton Global Initiative, will focus on how to promote collaboration among multiple stakeholders, including philanthropists, governments, private sector, investors, social entrepreneurs, and NGOs to address intractable global issues.
The 2013 Clinton Global Initiative is expected to design and establish strategies for innovative financing, such as impact investing, and philanthropic funds to complement one another, allowing them to scale up exemplary projects.
Hosted by President Bill Clinton, the annual meeting will bring CGI members together under this year’s theme of “Mobilising for Impact,” which focuses on involving the right people and resources needed to drive effective action on global challenges.

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