Southern APC governors’ leader, Rotimi Akeredolu

By Morenike Taire

The executive governor of Ondo state, Arakurin Rotimi Akeredolu, President, Africa Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, CEO, Hiers Holdings, Tony Elumelu and Jermaine SanwoOlu, SSA on Diaspora Affairs to the Lagos State governor are amongst those honored with the 1st edition of the African Diaspora Awards held in Spain last weekend.

In the Government and NGO categories, winners were CASA Africa and Nigeria Connects.

According to the Nigerian Innovation Institute, organizers of the award, it
is to showcase and recognize the Black and African Diaspora
as promoted by the United Nations General Assembly via the Proclamation of
2015-2024, as the International Decade for People of African Descent.

While making the announcement, Prince Akinwale Ojomo, Chief Engagement Officer
of the Diaspora Innovation Institute who is a member of the World Economic Forum
as a Young Global Leader YGL said the recognition of the African
Diaspora is a continuum while applauding the efforts of the United Nations. He was emphatic that this would be an annual event across countries
and continents.
Ojomo also said the hosting of the event at CASA Africa in Las Palmas, Spain,
is to expand Africa- Spanish relations in terms of educational, cultural, and economic cooperation.

Elated, Adetunji Adesesan, CEO, of Nigeria Connects, an educational supply initiative told Vanguard, “I felt very good. It is good to see that people are seeing the good in what we do, even though we are not doing it to receive accolades. We are doing it because God has given us the grace to do it. He has placed us in a position that gives us the opportunity to meet needs in the lives of people in terms of literacy”.
According to Adesesan, the award was based on the projects the NGO had done in Nigeria and Liberia.
Our library/ learning center projects in correctional facilities known as HOPE( Help Our Prison Education) and
Nigeria Reads project through which they provide books/ computers to institutions.

Pastor tunji founder of Nigeria connects
Tunji Adesesan – CEO of Nigeria Connects

” Through these projects, we have given over 50,000 books to schools in Nigeria and over 1,000 computers”, he revealed.
“In addition, we also have the Diaspora Action for Medical Education through which we are helping to provide nursing/ medical books to nursing/medical schools as well as e- medical library and computers”.

The awards ceremony was part of a 3-day event including the African Migration Lecture titled, Economic Migration as Opportunity for Global Development: A
case Study of African Diaspora in North America and Europe;
by the Global Director of the Diaspora Innovation Institute in New York, Professor
Byron Price, Professor of Public Policy at the City University
of New York, USA. It was followed by
a panel discussion titled ‘’African Village in Spain’’.

Awardees of the African Diaspora Champion Award are from all
walks of life- individuals from private, public, NGO, and Corporate sectors.

Diaspora Innovation Institute is a Migration and Diaspora focused think tank Established in 2012 to
collaborate with African-centric issues around the world,
with the goal of creating a platform for migration research,
diaspora engagement, conferences, exchanges, training, recognition and special projects.
Currently, DII has partnerships with Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, Adeyemi
College of Education, Federal University of Technology, Akure and Public Service
Training Institute, Ondo State, Nigeria.