President Barack Obama recently welcomed 24 Eisenhower Fellows (EF); including Jobberman CEO, Ayodeji Adewunmi into the Oval Office of the White House in the United States during a meeting.
The Eisenhower Fellows who visited the US president comprised of 24 ascendant mid-career leaders.
The Eisenhower Fellowships’ 2016 Africa Program helped launch their journey across the U.S. to engage in a transformational exchange of knowledge and ideas with the leading minds in their fields.
Also in attendance was Alma Powell, wife of General Colin L. Powell, USA; the current chairman of EF.
The EF President, George de Lama said, “We are honoured that President Obama graciously welcomed our exceptional Fellows from Africa in the American people’s home.”
“His support and encouragement for their innovative work in Africa and for their role in strengthening ties with the United States marked the resumption of a presidential tradition that underscores the nonpartisan nature of Eisenhower Fellowships.”
During the event, De Lama presented President Obama with a symbol of Eisenhower Fellowships; one that is traditionally shared with Eisenhower Fellows as an initiation into the EF family.
Obama received the key to the EF house in Philadelphia; a key, which represents the permanent open door for a global network of influential leaders who work to advance international understanding and the values of peace, prosperity and justice.
Since the organization’s founding in 1953, the tradition of U.S. presidents meeting with Eisenhower Fellows began with the organisation’s namesake, President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
President John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan also hosted Eisenhower Fellows to the White House while they were in office.
Interestingly, Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush both served as Chairman of EF’s Board of Trustees after leaving office.
The 2016 Africa Program features leaders from Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, chosen through a highly selective process with more than 800 applicants. The Fellows, who will travel extensively throughout the U.S. for seven weeks, are from government, business and civil society, working in fields ranging from agriculture, education, human rights and women’s leadership to banking, climate change, healthcare, housing and social entrepreneurship. This is the first regional program dedicated exclusively to sub-Saharan Africa in EF’s 63-year history.
It should be recalled that in May 2016, Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg referenced Jobberman founders Opeyemi Awoyemi, Olalekan Olude and Ayodeji Adewunmi as an example of innovation in Nigeria.
“Zuckerberg just made us the poster-children for Nigeria’s burgeoning internet technology space,” Awoyemi had said.
When Zuckerberg mentioned Jobberman, he was making an announcement about a new partnership with Airtel Africa called Internet.org Free Basics in Nigeria, which will allow Nigerians access to news, health information and other services without having to pay for data on their mobile devices.