Development and Leadership Institute Partners US University on Youths and Women Empowerment
Youths and Women empowerment efforts in the Niger Delta region has received a new fillip as Development and Leadership Institute (DLI), a non-governmental organization (NGO), recently sealed a major partnership agreement with University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, (UAPB) United States.
The partnership agreement involves collaborative support to various programmes and interventions by DLI in the Niger Delta region. Speaking during the ceremony in Port Harcourt, Olaoshebikan Clement Executive Director, DLI, disclosed that the partnership represents a major breakthrough for the organization that will have a resounding positive impact on its work in the region.“It will enhance the quality of our organization’s programmes in the areas of agriculture, Poverty alleviation, livelihood protection and environmental conservation”. We will receive technical assistance, tools and technology to multiply the impact of our rural development programs, especially support to vulnerable women and youths”.
He further disclosed that the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is operating and pioneering research into enhancing the productivity and performance of the lower Mississippi Delta, which compares with the Niger Delta and offers tremendous opportunity for transfer of knowledge and technology.” We hope to see impact on vegetable farming, fish farming, youth entrepreneurship, small householder farmers, snail farming and general biodiversity in the Niger Delta”, he said.
Clement who also spoke on choice of the American University to partner with his organisation, opined that it is based on DLI’s track record and achievements. “We have collaborated with University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff on an ongoing project, which involves the Rivers State Government, Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Wetlands International Africa and Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency.
“Our organization served as the in-country Secretariat of the project aimed at strengthening teaching and extension capacity at both UAPB and Nigeria” adding that Development and Leadership Institute, is currently a member of the State Working Group and the Project Oversight Committee.
He said DLI is a success story of commitment and the American university’s partnership “reflects the faith and belief in the organization’s local programming and ability to faithfully translate the development dividends to our local beneficiaries.”
He noted that “our contribution to the upliftment of youths and vulnerable people in Rivers State is being celebrated through this formalization and institutionalization of the partnership agreement for a mutually beneficial relationship between our two bodies.”
Clement during the occasion also called on donor bodies to partner with his organization to help develop the region through similar programmes. “There is still a lot of work to be done in the Niger Delta. We all are witnesses to the restiveness of the youths and the high uncertainty with regards to tendency to violence which exacerbates economic deceleration in the region. There is incredible scope to engage the young people in high technology farming system that will transform their productivity and income.”
These efforts “will translate these youths from being seen as beneficiaries of programmes to critical stakeholders in the economic prosperity of the region as a whole and key driver of the progress observed he observed