The Executive Governor of Borno State, Nigeria, His Excellency Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, was recently honoured with the African Governor of the Year Award (Education and People Development Category) in New York.
The award is in recognition of the Governor’s extraordinary performance under pressure and his compassionate, personal-touch leadership style, which has resonated at the national level, such that his name featured prominently among the preferred choices of the people.
The event took place at the just-concluded 9th edition of the International Forum on African-Caribbean Leadership (IFAL), which was held on the margins of the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at the New York Hilton Midtown, USA, with the theme: African-Caribbean Cooperation and Today’s Geopolitics.
As a commissioner, H.E. Professor Babagana Umara Zulum shunned materialism, choosing instead to focus with missionary zeal on service delivery as he pursued the reconstruction of communities destroyed by terrorists, an assignment handed to him based on his track record as a former Polytechnic Rector.
Under his leadership as governor, more than 300 health centres have been renovated, and 64 new ones have been built. Building enormous, mega schools—well-equipped primary and secondary schools that compete with the standards of universities. Over 24 of these schools, each holding 1,500 students, have been finished, and 1,000 teachers have been hired.
At the International Forum on African-Caribbean Leadership (IFAL) in New York, H.E. Zulum was honoured alongside the President of Guyana, H.E. Dr. Mohamed Irfan Ali, the Vice President of The Gambia, H.E. Muhammad B. S. Jallow, and the Minister for Sea, Culture, and Tourism, Cabo Verde, Hon. Jose Gonçalves.
Other high-level policymakers and business and diplomatic leaders at the event in New York include H.E. Dr. Mamadou Tangara, Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Gambia; Hon. Serign Modou Njie, Minister of Defence, The Gambia; Amb. Dr. Lamin B. Dibba, The Gambian Ambassador to the United Nations; Amb. Momodou Lamine Bah, The Gambian Ambassador to the United States; Dr. Anselmo Monteiro, President, National Institute of Social Security, Angola; Prof. Yakubu Ochefu, Secretary-General, Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities; Hon. Rosalyn Myers, Member, South Carolina House of Reps, USA; Mrs. Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade, Afrexim Bank; among others.
The International Forum on African-Caribbean Leadership (IFAL) is an annual flagship event of the African Leadership Magazine that is held annually on the side of the United Nations General Assembly. Over the past 8 years, the event has become a platform that connects world leaders, especially from Africa and the Caribbean nations, policymakers, and private sector leaders, with a focus on the challenges and progress of the African people, strengthening trans-regional cooperation between Africa and the Caribbean nations, building strategic partnerships and bilateral cooperation, as well as increasing engagements in trade and investments, innovation and technology transfer, culture and tourism, and other sectors.