The Embassy of the United States of America in Lagos, Nigeria has unveiled the “Window on America” in the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka geared towards providing Nigerian youths with opportunities available in the United States of America. It equally aims at offering dynamic programming on topics including U.S. culture and society, education, women’s empowerment, civic engagement, entrepreneurship, and STEM learning to Nigerians from all walks of life.
In his remarks at the official launching of the study centre, on Tuesday, the Public Affairs Officer, U.S Consulate, Lagos, Mr. Stephen Ibelli, said the programme is aimed at connecting the students to self-help opportunities in America.
Mr. Ibelli described the platform as a wonderful place to engage, educate and empower the University students and young people of the community in varieties of beneficial programmes.
He stated that the community-centric hub would strengthen the partnership between the University and the United States, as well as prepare the next generation of leaders in Nigeria.
According to him, “The Awka Window on America will be an incubation centre for talented young persons, who will be exposed to explore and develop their natural endowments, as well as their leadership and entrepreneurial skills through programs, workshops, and practical training designed by the consulate.
“The window will help to promote mutual understanding between the US and great youths of Nigeria to access information about the United States, its government, culture, history, and opportunity to study in the United States. It will benefit the University, as well as the community, where young people shall continue to educate their minds, develop their ideas, leadership and entrepreneurial skills through various programs designed especially for them.”
On opportunities for Nigerians in the United States especially students, the United States’ Consulate Public Affairs Officer said that “the Country offers a lot of opportunities for Nigerians, who wish to live or pursue their education abroad, with information available on the US Embassy website.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Charles Okechukwu Esimone, FAS in his remarks, said the gesture would be an added leverage in his quest to accomplish his vision to make the university the first 200 in the world.
“We see this as a unique opportunity to express our talents and gifts and to reach out to the wider society through the window the US is providing. The materialization of the “Awka Window On America is an eloquent testament of the mutual uncommon commitment from both the University and the Consulate-General, and by extension the United States Mission in Nigeria to forge an enduring collaboration between both parties.”
He further lauded the U.S. government for the partnership that culminated in the opening of the centre in the University, expressing optimism that youth in the Awka metropolis will benefit immensely from the resources available at the Awka Window on America.
Earlier, the centre’s Director, Professor Ike Odimegwu maintained that the platform would offer academic, literary, and cultural opportunities for the people, as well as promote mutual exchange and growth of knowledge.
It is important to note that the Window on America is a type of American Space located in over 150 countries worldwide. Windows on America host a variety of events designed to bring Americans and Nigerians closer together. Regular talks by U.S. Speakers, Embassy staff, Fulbright scholars, and other Americans will allow U.S. and Nigerian citizens to interact and exchange ideas.
The Window on America will also provide a venue for the Embassy and Consulate outreach activities, offering a meeting place for U.S. Government alumni, and a host for visiting speakers, film series, and other events that promote a better understanding of the U.S.