President Goodluck Jonathan, will today honour 10
Nigerian-Americans in a special lunch session in the
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
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
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
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.