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OCTOBER 2014 Newsletter

The Niger Delta Development Forum (NDDF) is an information sharing and collaboration opportunity for public, private and civil society organizations pursuing approaches for equitable economic growth in the Niger Delta. The Forums, in Washington DC and Nigeria, focus on the complex security and economic challenges facing the people of the Niger Delta and the identification of the best opportunities to work together for the development of the region. The Forums are hosted and sponsored by PIND Foundation and its sister-organization, the Niger Delta Partnership Initiative (NDPI), based in Washington, DC. 

Last month, the inaugural U.S-based NDDF with the theme of "Collaboration for Growth and Stability in the Niger Delta", was held in Washington, DC on October 23 and attracted more than 125 government, private sector and NGO representatives. Key topics explored were:
  • Partnering to Grow Business in the Niger Delta
  • Exploring Collaboration for Development Research and Analysis
  • Access to Electricity in the Niger Delta
  • Collective Action for Peace and Security
The partner-centric event included panelists from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the State Department, The Fund for Peace, Shell, SENTEL, DAI, and USAID. Keynote speakers were Bisa Williams, deputy assistant secretary for West Africa, U.S. Department of State; Ambassafor Ade Adefuye, Nigerian Ambassador to the U.S. and Martin Fregene, senior technical advisor to the Nigerian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The official website for NDDF was also launched at the event in DC and it will serve as the main gathering point for information and resources regarding NDDF. To view the full recap of the U.S-based NDDF, including speakers, photos, Storify, and multimedia, please click here.
Picture details (L-R): Bisa Williams, deputy assistant secretary for West Africa, U.S. Department of State; Micah Medie, Analysis and Advocacy Program Officer, PIND Foundation; Eniola Mafe, Program Manager, NDPI and Ese Emerhi, NDLink Program Manager; DC Panel participants Robert Perry, VP, Corporate Council on Africa; Clay Neff, Chairman and Managing Director, Chevron Nigeria Ltd, and  Uwa Igiehon, CEO, Greenpark Petrochemical. 

The second NDDF of 2014, with a theme of  "Unlocking Investment Opportunities in Agriculture in the Niger Delta for Regional Competitiveness",  will take place in Calabar, Nigeria from November 25 - 26, 2014 and will focus on investment opportunities in local agricultural value chain commodities of the Niger Delta. It aligns with the Federal Government of Nigeria's Agricultural Transformation Agenda and the Vision 20:20:20. The Forum also coincides with the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government declaration of 2014 as the "Year of Agriculture and Food Security."

The un-competiveness status of agriculture of the Niger Delta is compounded by an unproductive agricultural model, poor market access and limited social safety nets in the rural areas. Taking full advantage of opportunities in agriculture will require investment-driven strategic partnerships with the private sector as well as investment drives to unlock potential of our States in agriculture. Stakeholders in Niger Delta states, including policy makers and market actors, need to overcome some major challenges associated with infrastructure, barriers to doing business, conflicts and security risks, low skill levels and access to appropriate technology.

(Deadline to register is Thursday, November 20, 2014)
NDLink serves as the official online communications platform for the NDDF, leveraging the power of the Internet to unite stakeholders in the region through dialogue, information sharing, coordination, and partnership. To follow the conversation online on Twitter, use the hashtag #NDDF2014.

Date: Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Time: 3:00 PM WAT

We've lined up a dynamic group of panelists to help us grapple around some of the themes and questions around agriculture ahead of NDDF Calabar, including the following: 
  • Can public & private groups partner to grow #Agriculture in Niger Delta?
  • How do we attract more investments in #Agribusiness in the Niger Delta?
  • How can we sustain #Agricultural transformation agenda in the Niger Delta and in #Nigeria? 
  • Agribusiness can create jobs for youths. How can we raise more young agri-preneurs from #Nigeria? 
Our twitter panelists are:

Blossom Nnodim (@blossomnnodim): is a writer, compère, entrepreneur and public servant. She is best known across social media for her education start-up #AdoptATweep. Blossom Nnodim was awarded the prestigious International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP) of the U.S Department of State as one of the Young African Leaders selected to monitor the U.S Elections in November 2012. She has since been involved in electoral governance and agriculture, especially using the social media campaign,  #DoAgric, launched by the Federal Government of Nigeria. Blossom has become a sought after public speaker with her message of "Social Media for Social Good". 

Sunday Ogidigbo (@SOgidigbo): is a farmer, politician, pastor, and founder of the  HolyHill Agricultural Extension services (#HAgriX). He is known in the Media as an advocate of agriculture and agricultural policies. He has authored many articles on the #DoAgric social media initiative since its launch in 2012. He believes that the pulpit is a platform to speak truth to power and demand that Government should commit more funds into Agriculture.  

Kolo Kenneth Kadiri (@KoloKennethK): is a writer, speaker, and freelance social media analyst. Kolo is a World Bank accredited microfinance trainer with interests in "green". He spent 18 months leading AIESEC's - the world's largest youth-run non-profit - office in Liberia to organize youth capacity development programs and promote international summer internships to University students and recent graduates. He is an advocate of "social media for social good". He started the debate Green economy vs Green democracy on Twitter. He is also the author of the book Crop Yield Potential of Niger State.
Please join us on Wednesday, November 20th at 3:00 PM WAT for what is sure to be another interesting twitter chat. Use the hashtag #NDDF2014 to keep track of the conversation.
The Sustainable West Africa Palm-Oil Programme (SWAPP) is a regional programme aimed at increasing the productivity and profitability of the Small to Medium Scale Enterprises (SME) in the palm oil sector. SWAPP is a four year programme being implemented by Solidaridad West Africa supported by funding from the Dutch government. 
The inception of SWAPP was in May 2012 and it is currently being implemented in Ghana, Nigeria and Ivory Coast. It will be extended to Cameroon, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. The programme's main focus is to support the existing oil palm sector in the region which will contribute to economic and social development while ensuring environmental sustainability.

The program works with farmers, millers, palm oil traders, investors, policy makers and other oil value chain players to develop, test and scale up best practices on oil palm agronomy, palm fruit processing and value addition. SWAPP is about:
  • Improving agronomic and management practices of farms
  • Improving equipment and efficient operations of mills
  • Reducing barries to investment and fostering innovation
  • Bridging knowledge gaps and promoting collaboration
  • Promoting sustainable oil palm development
  • Mitigating environmental and social impacts of palm oil production
To find out more about SWAPP, visit their website here. And to find out more about the Solidaridad Network and how to partner with them, click here.


O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation is a privately funded registered charity that is committed to providing quality humanitarian services to people in rural communities. Remarkable achievement have so far been recorded in local communities of Rivers State, the Niger Delta and beyond.

The Foundation started operations with the Care For Life Programme in 2001, focused on assisting the elderly in rural areas. Over time, the Foundation evolved to incorporate 4 other major programmes to address the needs and issues that affect the rural areas in the Niger Delta region. These four programmes are:
  • Medical Mission
  • Education and Scholarship
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Safe Water Project
To read more about the Foundation, please click here. We are very excited to list them as one of our partners and look forward to a growing professional relationship with them.


We have started a new series on NDLink where we spotlight a member every month. We want to share the inspiring stories of members and their work, and how they have been able to use NDLink to further their professional careers. Our Member Spotlight feature enables us to share important information about the goals, challenges, and successes of NDLink members across the region. This month we have featured Honorable Remy Chukwunyere, Executive Director of the African Youth Development Foundation (ARFYDEF) and Executive Director of the Imo State Directorate for Employment.

Honorable Chukwunyere has been an active member of NDLink and is an avid supporter of the work NDLink is doing in the region. "NDLink is the best thing that ever happened to the Niger Delta region in terms of community and people-led development. The idea of bringing all the development actors and information and resources relating to the development of the region together in an online platform is second to none. In the nearest future... if not happening already... NDLink will become an online clearing house for all development and civil society issues in the region. I am glad to be a member of NDLink, having been an active development consultant and facilitator since 1999 when I founded ARFYDEF."

To view his full profile and to read up on what he has been up to, click here
NOTE: Many top job postings open and close during a 30-day period and therefore may not always be captured in our monthly newsletters. We encourage you to check NDLink on Mondays and Wednesdays when we post jobs for our members. 
How to tap Nigeria's vast potential, Princeton Layman

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and has just become the largest economy on the continent. It should be standing at the brink of greatness, not only for its own citizens but also for the region and the world.

Read more here.
Peace, Conflicts, and Livelihoods: My take-away from YouthLink Forum 2014, Rosemary Alor

The two day youth forum organized by PIND with the aim to deliberate, educate and link youths to employability and entrepreneurial skills is the best any organization can ever offer without charges to the youths of the Niger Delta. 

Read more here

Member Spotlight - Eta Uso Jr.

My name is Eta Uso Jr. A Nigerian trained Electrical/Electronics Engineer. Professionally, I have always been very committed towards scientific and technological advancements, also the application of technology for development. 

Read more here