US will continue to engage, organise educational outreach, empower Nigerians – Ambassador Leonard

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From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan

The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, on Monday promised that her country will continue to engage, and organise educational outreach as well as empowerment programmes for Nigerians for a better future for the citizenry through its network of 18 American Spaces in the country.

She made the promise at the opening ceremony of the reimagined American Corner, Magazine Road, Jericho, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, which featured a ribbon-cutting, in the presence of Oyo State Government officials, US Government exchange alumni, American Fulbright scholars, teachers and students.

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The American Corner features a state-of-the-art digital conferencing facility, modern furniture, internet connectivity, a large open space for events, a seminar room, and a secretariat for the Oyo State Chapter of the US Government Exchange Alumni Association.

The US Consulate has refreshed and reconfigured the centre to better serve local communities in Oyo State, working with the Initiative for Information Arts and Culture Development in Nigeria, which hosts the American Corner.

Leonard, the former US Representative to the African Union, in her opening remarks, assured that the revitalised American Corner would offer more opportunities to residents of Ibadan and beyond to discover the United States as they prepare for their futures.

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The American Corner, she stated, will continue to serve as a venue for young people to develop their ideas, as well as their leadership and entrepreneurship skills through programs and workshops designed for them, often led by United States Government exchange alumni.

‘To the emerging leaders, this Corner is designed to help you gain skills and broaden your contact with Americans.  Please take advantage of all that this space has to offer,’ Leonard added.

In the same vein, the Public Affairs Office (PAO) of the US Consulate in Nigeria has said the EducationUSA Advising Center, hosted at the American Corner, would continue to offer accurate, unbiased, and comprehensive information about educational institutions in the United States, as well as guidance to prospective students on how best to access those opportunities.

It was further stated that staff at the American Corner would host specific programmes to highlight aspects of American culture, through movie screenings, book discussion clubs, digital video conferences, speaker events on a wide range of topics as well as STEM learning activities, such as robotics and drone technology.

Visitors to the American Corner, it was said, typically include students, teachers, entrepreneurs, academics, journalists, civic organisations, government officials, and community leaders.

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