Considered a rising star in the Nigerian political firmament, Gov. Aregbesola is an engineer and political activist who between 1999 and 2007 superintended the bold beginnings of the infrastructural transformation of Lagos, one of the world’s largest megacities. Widely acknowledged as an exceptional grassroots campaigner and mobilizer, he has served as governor since 2010.
As governor of Osun, his bold vision for the state is encapsulated in a Six Point Integral Action Plan to banish poverty, hunger and unemployment; to restore healthy living; to promote functional education and to enhance communal peace and progress. His plan seeks to ensure that the fruits of economic development positively impact as many lives as possible.
Aregbesola’s interest in politics dates back to his undergraduate days, when he served as the Speaker of the Students’ Union Parliament at The Polytechnic, Ibadan, his alma mater. His interest, which is anchored in values, again came to the forefront during Nigeria’s bloody struggles against military rule in the 1990s when he emerged as a leading light of the pro-democracy movement. It continues to manifest today in his advocacy for fiscal federalism and regional integration as means of attaining sustainable economic development and peaceful coexistence in the fractious Nigerian federation.
Believing that he has sewn seeds of collaboration within the Allegheny County region, Aregbesola’s message to entrepreneurs and organizational leaders is to develop strong links to Africa. “One must explore by conducting test cases and inquiring about opportunities within the Country.” He stressed that constant communication with CEED is a way to keep abreast of their activities.
CEED is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides free micro-enterprise and small business start-up support to area businesses, both in the City of Pittsburgh and the 10 surrounding counties. They work to create opportunities for community growth and economic sustainability throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania using a small business assistance program called SKILLS TO WEALTH.
The various meetings and events throughout the governors visit were sponsored by CEED, the Allegheny County MWDBE Department, the Kinsley Association, Union of African Communities in Southwestern Pennsylvania and the Osun State Government.
Pleased with the outcome of the governors visit, Rev. Ray Parker founder of CEED said he looks forward to the relationships and possibilities that lay ahead. “We will continue to serve as the lead agency and liaison to spearhead activities between Osun State and this region.”