Alumni Event in Lagos, Nigeria

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Publication date Nov 15, 2016 04:13 PM

The Netherlands Alumni event held at Netherlands Consulate office, 14B Walter Carrington Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos on Wednesday 9th November 2016, with the theme: Closing the Knowledge gap between the Developing and Developed Nations.

The program started off on a high note at about 4.00pm with a welcome address by the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Nigeria, His Excellency John C. M. Groffen. Mr. Groffen started off with a joke on how the Dutch like to talk about the weather a lot, but he expressed gladness that the weather presently is quite right, not too hot nor humid. He welcomed the Alumni members present at the event and expressed joy at seeing so many people impacted by the capacity building in the Netherlands.


This was followed by an academic citation / talk by Professor Bernie Van Zijl, who was not in attendance because of the Nigerian visa challenge he had. He was represented by Mr. Lere Baale, the Director; Business School Netherlands Nigeria. The keynote speaker delivered a speech on Africa's way forward. He highlighted on the value of technology and knowledge for Nigerian transformation, he's speech attracted a loud applause. In his talk, Professor Bernie Van Zijlpointed voiced out that the knowledge gap is caused by the Africans and stressed on the need for Africans - Nigerians to close up the knowledge gap, through what he called knowledge democracy, where the people have to take responsibility or ownership for their learning by putting in place the right systems for it. He noted that the way forward for Africans, is through education in Business and entrepreneurship. In conclusion, the Professor said that this is the age of Techno-Knowledge and advised that people should think more of collaborative peer actions rather than individual efforts.

In representation of the alumni experience, Dr. (Mrs.) Stella Ojone Adejoh, Director General; Bureau for Public Procurement, Kogi State in Nigeria, shared on how her capacity was built through the Management of Programmes & Projects training at MDF Training & Consultancy, Ede, Netherlands. The technical skills she learnt on project management, stake holder analysis, advocacy, tender, project life cycle, communication et cetera helped her to be more effective and efficient in her development work in the state, formed a spring board for her appointment as the Director General now. 

The Netherlands Alumni Association was introduced by the Deputy Ambassador, Michel L. H. Deelen, Head Embassy Office Lagos. He expressed joy at the number of Alumni who turned up and thanked everyone for honouring the invite and wished all participants success in their life endeavours. In closing Mr. Deelen said that Dutch people are here, pointing out that the Alumni members are the Dutch right now. He presented to the Alumni the plans of the Embassy for the wider Alumni group to have at least 2 meetings yearly. Was also glad that the proposed alumni group head has been reaching out to the members via e-mail contacts. He stated that the Netherland Embassy twitter account had just been launched and also reiterated that the NAAN was recognized by the embassy and will be working with the group.

Presentations of gifts were made to the Professor (in absentia ably represented) and also to the keynote speaker. The Consulate presented a gift to Prof. Bernie Van Zijl for his interesting talk and Mr. Lere Baale for work at the Netherland Business School, Nigeria, his continuous supportive roles and coordination of the Alumni event. In the same vein, Mr. Ambassador John Griffon was presented with two gifts from the entire Alumni and MDF Alumni Association group, through the Alumni President, Olusesan Olukoya.


The meeting was formally closed to enable fellows to network since that was one of the main objectives of the meeting. The Alumnis took pictures with the Netherlands Consular Officers and with the Alumni coordinator Mr. Olusesan Olukoya. The Alumni were treated to a rich cocktail during which they networked with their fellows. It was a very rich experience and will not be forgotten in a hurry.

The event had mixture of art exhibition, learning, knowledge sharing, networking, reconnections and fun for all the alumni members and the Netherlands Consulate and came to end at about 5.30pm.


last modified Nov 15, 2016 04:13 PM