BY MARY KUYE
On Friday, the U.S. Consulate General in partnership with the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library officially opened the Abeokuta Window on America, its newest American Space and the 13th in southern Nigeria.
U.S. Consulate Public Affairs Officer Stephen Ibelli expressed his appreciation to former President Olusegun Obasanjo for facilitating the establishment of the centre at the presidential library.
Ibelli expressed the Consulate’s optimism that the Abeokuta Window on America will build bridges between Nigerians and the American people, increasing mutual understanding, collaboration, and partnership.
“The opening of the Window on America here in Abeokuta symbolizes the U.S. Mission’s desire to bring the United States closer to Nigerian audiences,” Ibelli said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by alumni of U.S. government exchange programs, local educational administrators, and community representatives.
He explained that the Window on America will offer dynamic programming on topics including studying in the United States, U.S. culture and society, women’s empowerment, civic engagement, entrepreneurship, and STEM learning to Nigerians from all walks of life.
Ibelli encouraged students, teachers, entrepreneurs, academics, journalists, civic organizations, government officials, and community leaders to take advantage of the resources available at the centre.
“Residents of Abeokuta and neighbouring communities will find a wealth of opportunities that could only be found at this space. We invite them to take advantage of this centre as their place for engagement, education and empowerment,” he added.
Deputy Chief Coordinator, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Ayodele Aderinwale, noted that the Abeokuta Window of America hosted at the Youth Development Center of the presidential library would provide an opportunity for Nigerians to engage in meaningful and informative dialogues aimed at developing solutions to challenges in their local communities.
“This partnership represents a strategic collaboration aimed at bolstering cultural integration. Young people will benefit immensely from the free resources available at the Abeokuta Window on America,” Aderinwale added.
A Window on America is a type of American Space located in over 150 countries worldwide. They are established through partnerships between the U.S. Mission and major host nation institutions.
By hosting cultural programs, offering information on study opportunities in the U.S., building stronger relations with alumni of U.S. universities and exchange programs, American Spaces are committed to fostering closer people-to-people ties and empowering Nigerians to connect with their counterparts in the United States.
Presently, there are 20 American Spaces located in major cities across Nigeria. A full list and address of American Spaces in Nigeria can be found here.