Our colleague Ciaran Hickey travelled to Nigeria on the 19th of July for a monitoring visit. Along with Napoleon Abakpa, our CD4D2 focal point in Nigeria, he visited several host institutions and met some CD4D2 participants currently engaged in assignments.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was the first CD4D2 monitoring visit to Nigeria during the current project period. IOM the Netherlands has been working with diaspora on knowledge transfer projects since 2006. Nigeria was added as a focus country for the first time at the start of CD4D2 in 2019.
The intention of the visit was to visit host institutions that have benefitted from assignments undertaken by CD4D2 diaspora experts, as well as other relevant stakeholders in the country. With the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance undertaking the formal external evaluation of the project, this visit was more of a learning exercise to see how activities have progressed so far, to understand the experiences of staff at the host institutions and to see how the CD4D2 project can further benefit the staff and institutions in the time left within the project.
CD4D2 focuses on three priority sectors in Nigeria: agriculture, ICT and health. Ciaran and Napoleon visited host institutions in all three sectors. For instance, they went on a tour of the banana fields of the National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT). Moreover, they visited the exchange visit participants at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH), whom they had already met in June during a fruitful exchange visit in the Netherlands. In the ICT sector, Ciaran and Napoleon visited Galaxy Backbone, NIGCOMSAT, and NITDA.
Overall, this visit to partner organizations in Nigeria was a great success. Ciaran found it heartening to see concrete examples of the impact the CD4D2 project has had, and he gained inspiration for the last year of the project. This visit also allowed for discussion of ideas on how diaspora can continue to benefit their country of origin after the CD4D2 project has ended.