Imo state government in collaboration with Forward Africa (with support from Ford Foundation) and other multi-national corporations carried out “ Imo Diaspora summit 2020” with the Summit theme: MOBILIZING DISAPORA PARTICIPATION IN THE REBUILD IMO AGENDA . Event was held on Friday, January 3rd, 2020 @ Imo Concorde Hotels, Owerri.
Participants were Imo indigenes from all parts of the world coming together to discuss with the state government on how to rebuild Imo. It is the first of its kind in Nigeria and the pioneer Imo Diaspora summit to be held in the state.
In his Opening address, Prof. Chudi Uwazuruike said that “The key objective was to generate close dialogue on areas of need in the Imo state rebuild agenda and the response of Imo diasporans in terms of grasping the intendment of policy thrust of the rebuild Imo budget 1, and hopefully commit to answer the governor’s call to come join in the rebuild Imo quest”. Everyone is aware of the diaspora concerns on issues of security, electricity, water, road infrastructure and other quality of life matters like waste and unemployment.
From the Governor’s Office on Diaspora Matters, some selected tasks to be achieved between, 2019-2020, include:
- Leveraging the potential of Imolites in Diaspora with remittances of about $2bn annually, mostly for family, education, health care needs and housing.
- Galvanizing diaspora Imolites to organize themselves for progress regardless of party affiliation.
- Recognizing and encouraging the enormous work diasporans have done with medical missions, equipment donations, etc.
- Being on hand to assist distressed diaspora residents such as those returnees from South Africa.
- Creating an Advisory Committee of Regional Coordinators Worldwide by region and task areas
- Ensuring that Imo Community Associations have a more productive relationship with their zonal local government and autonomous communities.
- Encouraging millenials of the under-40 generation, those born overseas but identify as Imolites, to link up with their peers at home and hopeful creative synergies for the future.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE EVENT
Presentations by different panels made up of top civil servants, experts, commissioners of selected ministries as members of the panels.
- Panel one : Health care and Imo Diaspora
- Panel two: Education and Imo Future
- Panel three: Agriculture, housing and Development
- Panel four: Infrastructure and Diaspora Investors
Good will messages, Keynote address, Governor’s Address
The program featured:
- His Excellency, Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha – Executive Governor of the State
- Rt. Hon.Dr. Chiji Collins – Speaker Imo House of Assembly
- His Excellency, Chief. Ikedi Ohakim – Former. Governor of Imo state
- Hon. Barr. Uche Onyeagocha – SGI
- Prof. Ernest Uwazie – Lecturer, California State University
- Prof. Chudi Uwazuruike – SSA to the governor on Diaspora affairs
- Amb. Mrs. Kema Chikwe – Former Aviation Minister and Nigerian Ambassador
- Hon. Abike Dabiri Erewa – SA to the President on Diaspora matters and Chairperson, National Disapora commission.
- Prof. Viola Onwuliri – Commissioner for Education
- Mr. Chukwuma Innocent – Ford Foundation