Abuja/Lagos – October 2023. Travis Adkins, President and CEO of the United States African Development Foundation (USADF), embarked on a groundbreaking journey to Nigeria from October 15 to 20, 2023. His visit, marked by a series of impactful engagements, highlights USADF’s unwavering commitment to fostering economic growth, empowering communities, and strengthening trade and investment ties between the United States and Africa.

In partnership with Diamond Development Initiatives (DDI), USADF’s Local Implementing Partner in Nigeria, the visit commenced with a special stopover at DDI headquarters, Abuja, where an insightful documentary showcased the transformative impact of USADF programs in Nigeria since 2001. This documentary served as a powerful reminder of the progress achieved through concerted efforts while bringing together the USADF and DDI teams and setting the stage for collaboration and idea exchange.

A major highlight of Day 1 was an Agricultural Mini Fair, where USADF’s remarkable agricultural grantees, organized as cooperatives, exhibited their products and shared inspiring success stories. This event underscored the significance of partnership and dedication in driving economic growth. The Acting U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, David Greene, and esteemed members of staff of the US embassy honoured the event with their presence, emphasizing the importance of the U.S. Government’s work in Nigeria.

The visit also featured Mr Adkins’ visit to Wuse Market in Abuja, on a tour of GVE’s groundbreaking off-grid energy project, a 1MW system, that promises to revolutionize the market by providing uninterrupted power supply to over 2,000 shop owners who currently rely on limited daily electricity and petrol-powered generators. This initiative aligns with USADF’s commitment to transforming communities and bringing renewable energy to the underserved.

In Lagos, the journey continued with Mr Adkins delivering remarks at an All-On/USADF Conference, focusing on increasing access to energy. Additionally, Mr Adkins and the USADF and DDI team visited the Field of Skills and Dreams Academy, witnessing firsthand the transformational impact of USADF’s support in vocational training and job creation.

Day 5 brought meaningful encounters with innovative entrepreneurs and a visit to enterprises like Ady’s Agro Food Mart, a grantee of the USADF Academy of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) program. Ady’s Food Mart, demonstrated significant growth and impact, including improved service delivery, enhanced production efficiency, and global expansion.

The visit also featured a meeting with Sunhive Limited, an energy company at the forefront of designing energy storage solutions using second-life lithium cells. Their contributions to sustainable energy align with USADF’s mission to empower local businesses and foster economic growth.

President/CEO Adkins’ visit underlines the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to deepening economic engagement with Africa. USADF, an independent U.S. government agency, directly invests in African grassroots enterprises and social entrepreneurs, increasing incomes, revenues, and jobs by promoting self-reliance and market-based solutions to poverty.

USADF’s country program in Nigeria encompasses core programming pillars; agriculture and food security, women and youth entrepreneurship, vocational training and job creation, renewable energy access, and support for creative industries. During the visit, President/CEO Adkins engaged with USADF grantees and witnessed the impact of USADF’s work in tackling food insecurity, enhancing smallholder farmer livelihoods, and promoting agricultural enterprise growth. Discussions included U.S. government support for expanding electricity generation in underserved communities through sustainable business models.

For media inquiries and additional information, please contact: lihanza@ddinigeria.org

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About the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF): USADF is the U.S. government’s independent African enterprise development agency. The agency invests in African grassroots and small- and medium-sized businesses, promotes local economic development, and creates pathways to prosperity for underserved communities. Utilising a community-led development approach, USADF provides seed capital and local project management assistance to early-stage African enterprises and entrepreneurs addressing Africa’s biggest challenges around food insecurity, insufficient energy access, and
unemployment, particularly among women and youth. To learn more, please visit www.usadf.gov or email Comms1@usadf.gov

About Diamond Development Initiatives (DDI): Diamond Development Initiatives (DDI) is a non-profit organization that empowers vulnerable communities through capacity-building, enterprise development, and access to essential services and funding opportunities. DDI partners with various stakeholders to facilitate sustainable development in Nigeria. To learn more, please visit
www.ddinigeria.org