Welcome Address by Dr Lydia Umar, Board Chair, Diamond Development Initiatives (DDI), on the occasion of DDI’s 20th Anniversary Event on Tuesday, November 1, 2022, at the Executive Hall, Abuja International Conference Centre.

It is with great pleasure that I most cordially welcome you to the 20th anniversary event of Diamond Development Initiatives (DDI). I’d like to extend a warm welcome to everyone here today and thank you immensely for taking the time to come out and celebrate with us today – a weekday and a workday. Thank you.

Indeed, two decades is a milestone. It is an occasion to celebrate and an opportunity to look back while charting a path forward. This is also an occasion to acknowledge the proud team members including my fellow board members as well as the team at DDI for their commitment and continued efforts throughout these years.

I am particularly happy today not only because Diamond Development Initiatives is 20 – which is an important milestone, but also because I have been a part of DDI from the beginning – and it gives me great joy to witness the growth of a modest idea that began two decades ago. And I say this with all sense of humility. And I’m not alone – there are many people seated here today who have witnessed the gestation period, birth, nurturing, and growth of the DDI seed that was planted two decades ago.

However, for the benefit of those who are crossing paths with DDI for the first time today, let me attempt to introduce you to DDI in a nutshell, as a broader view of what will be provided in subsequent speeches and a 20th anniversary documentary.

As a not-for-profit organization, Diamond Development Initiatives was established in 2002 with a mission to build a society that provides equitable opportunity for self-actualization through economic empowerment and sustainable livelihood initiatives.

As a development service provider, we complement development agencies, donors, and other funding organizations by providing technical support in designing, planning and implementing various development initiatives across several sectors – targeting unserved and underserved populations at the grassroots. We operate with a program philosophy that is rooted in the time-tested ideals of a participatory, bottom-top approach, where all participating parties are actively involved throughout the development process. Well, as I said earlier, a broader lens will be provided in the course of this event. We work in several sectors including Agriculture and Livelihoods, Off-Grid/Renewable Energy, Entrepreneurship Development, Youth Employability Enhancement, and Grants Management.

Let me quickly provide a snapshot of what is lined up for the next 120 minutes. First, this event is streamed live as some of our friends, partners and colleagues have joined us virtually.

We are honored to have here with us, Her Excellency the Honorable Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard, the U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I’m happy to announce to you that Ambassador Leonard will be giving us a keynote address.

DDI’s Executive Director – Mr Adamu Garba – will in his address x-ray the DDI journey through several lenses including the Past (highlighting what sparked the idea of DDI two decades ago and the kind of organization that was envisioned), the Stars, the Numbers, the Presents, the Partners, and the Future.

However, if you miss the words of the Executive Director, I’m sure you won’t miss the audio-visuals of the DDI 20th anniversary 20-minute documentary featuring the origin, the impact so far, the partners-in-development, and what the plans for the future are for DDI.

While we will feature congratulatory messages from some of our partners and friends who are physically present here today, we have also harvested several recorded goodwill/congratulatory messages from several other friends and partners who could not make it down here today. One of such is that of Travis Atkins, the President/CEO of the United States African Development Foundation (USADF).

And of course, this will be an opportunity to network for possible partnerships and collaborations especially as we have key players in the development space as well as on the government and policy side.

So, in a nutshell, what are we celebrating today?

  • We are celebrating 20 years of providing development services to unserved and underserved communities in Nigeria.
  • We are celebrating 20 years of impact. We are celebrating 20 years of building partnerships to amplify grassroots voices across Nigeria.
  • We are celebrating 20 years of complementing the roles of development agencies, donors, and other funding organizations through the delivery of quality projects that meet prescribed requirements and high-level accountability.
  • We are celebrating the lives that we have touched and the enterprises that we have supported.

I want to specially express my sincere gratitude to our partners and funders who have been relentless in support of our development initiatives. This would not have been possible without you. DDI has been fortunate to have had the opportunity to partner with various reputable organizations and individuals. Our paths have crossed with many who time and time again lend their efforts and experience to our programs and directly contribute to our brand. I extend my thanks to all of you for your contribution to our journey.

And to my team members – my colleagues on the board; we have done well. And to the DDI members of staff – you have been doing a great work. Well done.

However, this is the time to double down on whatever we have done over the past few years – so that we can sustain what we have built and build on the foundations we have laid. This is just the beginning – the world is waiting for us for results.

I want to conclude this address once again by expressing my sincere gratitude to everyone who found time to honour our invitation – despite all that’s packed in your calendars. You are all appreciated.

Once again, you are welcome to DDI’s 20th anniversary – celebrating 20 years of delivering development services to the unserved and underserved populations across Nigeria and beyond.

I welcome you and I hope you enjoy the celebrations!

Do you have questions? Call or visit us.

+(234) 803 276 4536,
Suite D6, 3rd Floor, Rukayyat Plaza Plot 93, Obafemi Awolowo Way Jabi District, Abuja. Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria.


Get latest news & update


* indicates required
© 2023 – DDI Nigeria (Diamond Development Initiatives)
website designed by Create Studioz