After more than twenty years of innovative and impact-oriented programming in Nigeria, CIPE has opened the doors of its first brick-and-mortar office in Sub-Saharan Africa, located in Nigeria’s most populated city – Lagos.
“The opening of the Nigeria office is a significant benchmark for CIPE’s Africa programming on the continent,” said Abdulwahab Alkebsi, CIPE’s Regional Director for Africa and the Middle East, “It provides more on-the-ground capacity than CIPE has had before, but also solidifies our local presence, which we’ve managed for more than 20 years from Washington. This office will further our strategy of partnering locally to strengthen democratic and economic reforms.”
Commemorating this significant development, CIPE celebrated with an evening reception and dinner on September 27 at the a local restaurant in Lagos with guests from the private sector, the donor community, and civil society. His Royal Highness Oba Bisi Okubanjo, former CEO of the Nigeria–British Chamber of Commerce and a participant in CIPE’s accreditation program in 2001, gave the opening remarks, followed by Ade Ogidan, the former founding chair of the Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN). CICAN was created as a result of a CIPE-funded project on Business Journalism in 1990, and has maintained momentum and growth ever since, now having established a branch in Abuja and relationships with journalists throughout the country.
The new office will support partner initiatives and CIPE’s programmatic activities throughout Nigeria and the region and complements CIPE’s more than 20 years working in the region. The office is directed and managed by CIPE Nigeria Country Director Wumi Gbadamosi, who has been working with CIPE for more than two decades. Past partners and beneficiaries of CIPE programming, including the Enugu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mines and Agriculture, were among the many who gave remarks and shared their stories of success and growth.
CIPE’s projects in Nigeria have focused on building the capacity of business associations and chambers of commerce to represent the private sector as a voice for democratic reform and economic growth. In the Nigeria’s North Central Zone, CIPE organized and supported the development of six coalitions of business and professional associations in each of the region’s six states to advocate for policy reforms that improve their state’s business-enabling environment. In Enugu, CIPE supported the efforts of a business and professionals’ coalition to facilitate unprecedented public-private dialogue opportunities at the state level, bringing increased government attention to the issues of multiple taxation and security.
CIPE has also supported the efforts of national associations, including the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, the Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists, and the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises to promote reforms at the state and regional levels that improve the business environment for their members. Read more about CIPE’s work in Nigeria.
The new office in Lagos will support programs and partners throughout the continent, including Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. CIPE is headquartered in Washington, DC, and maintains field offices in Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Ukraine, and Russia.