June 14, 2009

Diaspora Igbo economic summit to promote education

THE First Diaspora Igbo Economic Summit in Atlanta, USA, has resolved to set up a special fund education. In a communiqué at the end of the two-day event that ended May 30, it was resolved “to organise the Igbo Diaspora to provide the necessary support for quality vocational education across Igboland that will afford the Igbo unemployed the opportunity to learn valuable skills for the modern economy”.

According to the communiqué, “to achieve this, the summit reiterated the need to create a Diaspora Fund built on contributions of say $300 by all working Igbo men and women in the Diaspora. The implementation of this plan should be started immediately”.

In order to strengthen the Igboland economically, “education should be promoted aggressively. The great achievement of Ndigbo in the pre-civil war era was attributed to high quality education, the well-known Igbo hard work, competitiveness and ingenuity,” said the communiqué which Nze Joe Eto, chairman of summit organising committee and Dr. Anthony Ejiofor, Executive Director, signed.

Other positions of the summit included a call “on all Igbos to come together unapologetically with the type of traditional self-help programmes that spurred their amazing record of development in pre-civil war Nigeria.

Ndigbo in the USA and North American attended the summit which also recognised Ohaneze Ndigbo, as the apex Igbo organisation must champion the cause of Igbo unity and should forge for the race one common agenda for operating in the Nigerian polity and pledged to work with the organisation and its eminent president to tackle all the problems in Igboland. The Summit pledged to work with Ohaneze to source international funds to solve the erosion problems in Igboland.

The establishment of a heavy equipment spare part manufacturing factory in Igboland was another item on the communiqué. The Summit resolved to work with other Igbo groups to implement programmes identified in the South Eastern Nigerian Economic Commission master plan.

Among the attendees were the founder of the World Igbo Congress, Dr. JOS Okeke, the Consul General HE Honourable Chudi Okafor, Ambassador Raph Uwechue, President General Ohaneze Ndigbo, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Managing Director World Bank, Professor Pat Utomi of the Lagos Business School, HRH Dr. Chukwuka Okonjo, Obi of Ogwashi Uku, HRH Dr. Kamene Okonjo, Professor Fabian Osuji, former Minister of Education, Professor Anya O Anya, former chairman, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Professor Ebere Onwudiwe, political economist, and Dr. Chii Akporji of the World Bank.