Lagos — The U.S. government is committed to creating educational and cultural exchange opportunities that promote dialogue and mutual understanding between the people of Nigeria and the United States.
To mark the 75th anniversary of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. Mission organized a series of events to commemorate the anniversary. The events hosted at the Abeokuta American Space included a youth dialogue on employment, education and leadership. In addition, doctoral candidates from universities in Ogun State participated in an academic writing workshop and a career mentoring session. Other activities focused on environmental conservation, cultural diplomacy, and alumni engagement.
To cap the week of events, U.S. Consul General Claire Pierangelo hosted a networking event for U.S. and Nigerian Fulbright scholars to mark the Fulbright Program’s contribution to Nigeria and preview the bright future of the U.S. government’s flagship educational and cultural exchange program
Delivering remarks at the networking event, Consul General Pierangelo said the Fulbright program has offered participants priceless opportunities to build connections between the United States and Nigeria, and the program alumni have used what they learned to help address challenges in local communities across Nigeria.
She noted that through the Fulbright program, participants have expanded and strengthened the diversity of their educational institutions and have become members of an international community of scholars that collaborate on projects and research.
“U.S. government exchange programs benefit both our nations and peoples, boosting intellectual and cross-cultural capital. They also become catalysts for professional networks that help address global challenges,” Pierangelo said.
Commending the Fulbright Alumni Association in Nigeria for its outstanding performance in organizing activities that have strengthened the U.S.-Nigeria bilateral relationship, she encouraged members of the association to continue to give back to their communities through robust alumni activities.
“I encourage you to advocate for and develop good policies and push for their implementation across Nigerian institutions in the area of education, youth empowerment, prevention of sexual harassment and substance abuse,” Pierangelo said.
President of the Fulbright Alumni Association in Nigeria, Dr. Adele Garkida, applauded the U.S. Mission for its support and commitment to providing educational and cultural exchange opportunities for university faculty. “We will continue to focus on mentoring prospective scholars and increase the number of awardees that will give back to society,” Dr. Garkida added.
Established by the U.S. Congress in 1946 under legislation introduced by then-Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government to give participants the opportunity to conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared global challenges.
Since 1960, there have been over 1,200 Fulbright scholars throughout Nigeria, many of whom currently occupy leadership positions in government as well as public, private and international institutions.