By Ibukun Emiola
United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, says the reopened American Corner in Ibadan will connect youth with opportunities on digital exchanges in USA.
Leonard stated this on Monday at the official opening of the remodelled American Corner, Ibadan.
She added that the U.S. Consulate had expanded and reconfigured the centre to better serve local communities in Oyo State through provision of space for people to connect with US and learn about educational opportunities, especially for young people.
“It will also enhance their leadership and entrepreneurship skills. It looks so wonderful and it’s a pleasure to reopen the centre today,” Leonard said.
According to her, American corner is where Nigerian youths can be better positioned to harness opportunities in US.
“The centre has windows on digital exchanges which people can do. We also have information on education advising.
“Throughout Nigeria, we work on helping students to understand the opportunities that are available to them in the education sector and we help quite a number of them to get scholarships.
“We have so many youth empowerment programmes, such as the Young Mandela Washington Fellow for young African leaders and Africa’s Women Empowerment and Entrepreneurship programmes.
“This is where we help young people to discover themselves, especially on what they want to do, how they can hone their leadership skills and further their education and their entrepreneurial skills,” the ambassador said.
Also, the President of ICAD in Nigeria, Dr Kolade Mosuro, expressed gratitude to the US Mission in Nigeria for revamping the centre.
“We are looking forward to having young men and women coming to use the space to further develop themselves and, in turn, develop our nation.
“The space is open for serious intellectual work and for men and women to discover themselves.
“We thank the American embassy for all the support they have given us for the past 19 years,” he said.
Mosuro said that the services offered by the centre cut across, as it took care of the youth and the senior citizens.
“To run a nation, you need all hands to be on deck and so, the facilities here are good for both the youth and the senior citizens.
“We have a new space to inspire; a place where people can orbit into the higher space and achieve greater heights.
“With a place like this, you can be sure that many people will come out as better citizens,” Mosuro said.
Also speaking, Senior Special Assistant to Oyo State Governor on Youths and Sports, Mr Kazeem Bolarinwa, expressed appreciation for the contributions of the American corner over the years.
He, however, called for more initiatives to raise the quality of youths, especially in terms of educational opportunities.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the American corner in Ibadan was refurbished and furnished with state-of-the-art digital facilities, such as free internet access for users and space for seminars, among others. (NAN)