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The Africa Institute For Leadership, Research and Development is a manifestation of the dialectical postulations of a Nigerian born philosopher, Emmanuel Onyechere" Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe, on human existence and development. It is an initiative of the Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe Foundation in collaboration with the F. W. de Klerk Foundation. The Institute is aimed at the widest dissemination and practical application of the Anyiam-Osigwe value system in the conviction that this would serve as a valuable and significant contribution to the renewed and collective effort in the making of a new and progressive Africa.
THE CONCEPT OF HOLISM:
According to Anyiam-Osigwe, our goal should be nothing less than a complete understanding of the universe we live in, its purpose, its workings, and Man's place in the scheme of things. Man, he insists, must unlock his innate potentialities to unravel the mysteries of existence not only to conquer ignorance and poverty but also to elevate our concept and consciousness of the phenomenon of existence beyond the apparent limitations of the act of living and dying as mortal beings. To this end, he constructs a tripod upon which he rests his theoretical framework on meaningful existence. This, he positions as the Three Constituents of Existence Hypothesis.
Deriving from this, he upholds the enduring co-relationship between the Spiritual, Economic, and Socio-political aspects of existence. Man, according to Anyiam-Osigwe, is an integral function of the Spiritual, the Economic, and the Socio-political.
He, thus, counsels that man, in the course of his earthly sojourn, should strive towards self- mastery by moderating his various propensities. This will enable him to maintain an appropriate balance, which ensures that he is not utterly deficient in any of the key constituents of existence.
Consequently, he advocated a strategy for human existence, and development that addresses the spiritual, economic, and socio-political well being of the individual
The Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe Foundation is established as a commitment to studying and enhancing a broad scale application of the principles and values espoused by Anyiam- Osigwe.
CREATING THE AFRICA INSTITUTE FOR LEADERSHIP, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT:
In June 2001, the Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe Foundation interviewed and contracted the South African based consulting firm, Pamodzi Services to conduct a research programme. The research focused on the establishment of an Africa based institute to give effect to the Foundation's resolve to propagate and give further development to the teachings of Emmanuel Onyechere Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe.
In July 200 I, a three-week research programme was conducted in Nigeria by Pamodzi Services working in concert with a team inaugurated by the Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe Foundation under the management of the Foundation's coordinator, Mr. Michael Anyiam Osigwe.
The research team conducted interviews and held deliberative/ consultative sessions across the six gio- political zones of Nigeria. Participants reflected a cross section of the citizen try and included the Board of Trustees of the Anyiam-Osigwe Foundation; top level politicians; government functionaries at the local, state and federal levels; the media; traditional rulers; community leaders; religious leaders; teachers and academics’ corporate executives and captains of industry in different sectors of the economy; NGOs; rural-based cooperative societies; towns unions; women organizations and their leaders whose opinion, particularly in the rural areas, received special attention.
Upon the conclusion of the research programme, feedback was given to the Osigwe Anyiam- Osigwe Foundation. Further bibliographical research and interviews were mainly with members of the Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe family about their personal interaction with their father Emmanuel Onyerechere Osigwe Anyiam -Osigwe.
LAUNCHING OF THE AFRICA INSTITUTE FOR LEADERSHIP, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT:
At the third session of the Emmanuel Onyechere osigwe Anyiam Osigwe Memorial Lecture Series which held in November 2001, the Africa Institute For Leadership, Research, and Development was launched by the Former President of South Africa, Mr. F.W.de Klerk. Also in attendance were a large number of national and international dignitaries, including His Honor, Al Gore, and former Vice President of the United States of America, who was the keynote speaker.
THE FOCUS AND OBJECTIVE OF THE INSTITUTE:
The Africa Institute for leadership, Research and Development was founded to create an opportunity for all interested individuals to be exposed to the vision and teaching of Osigwe Anyiam -Osigwe. In this regard, the Institute will work with diverse groups of people across countries and continents in order to conduct research, develop curriculum, and implement training programmes that will improve the quality of life for the people of Africa and encourage principle centered leadership and good citizenship in the continent.
Towards the attainment of this objective, the Institute s being structured and developed as a professional and credible training institute to:
· Conduct research programmes
· Issue publications and
· Conduct conferences, workshops/seminars
Drawing on more than $350,000 of seed money from the Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe Foundation, the Africa Institute Leadership, Research and Development has already registered important accomplishment. It has:
1) Sponsor numerous workshops and seminars on topics related to leadership, development, and governance.
2) Initiated a Memorial Lecture Series named in honor of Chief Emmanuel Onyechere Osigwe Anyiam Osigwe. Former British Prime Minister John Major delivered the Lecture in February20.2003. 3) Established partnership with a number of individuals and institutions that are interested arising from racial and ethnic diversity. Such differences start and sustain wars, lead to political and social tensions, and disrupt institutions and businesses. This is true in Africa and other regions of the world. The Africa Institute is also working with institutions in the United States to expand the viability of this model across countries and continents
4) Established the Principled Leadership Guild, which is designed to put into practice Anyiam-Osigwe's teachings on spirituality as "value-guided-conduct" and co-ordinate practical leadership activities and development at different levels of society in conformity with the Three Constituents of Existence Hypothesis.
5) Established the Private Sector Network for Africa. As an organ dedicated to enhancing the economic well being of Africans. This organ is designed to galvanize into an effective business network for Africa. The Private Sector Network for Africa (PSNW A) is supportive of moral integrity in business, NEP AD, the Millennium Partnership for the African Recovery Programme (MAP), the Omega Plan, the New Africa Initiative and all other activities dedicated to building a strong African Union with a vibrant and successful economy.
6) Developed a Holistic Lifestyle Curriculum for children of primary and secondary school age. The Holistic Lifestyle Curriculum is aimed at introducing all school children to a sound moral platform. The curriculum is based on the teachings of Anyiam-Osigwe. Its primary purpose is to introduce school children to the concept of holistic living, that is to the idea that meaningful existence is the composite result of the integrated development of the spiritual (personal), social, economic, and political dimensions of human existence. To this purpose, the Holistic Lifestyle Curriculum (HLC) focuses on the interdependence of these four dimensions of human life and the impact each has on the other, in terms of personal and social empowerment and/or enlightenment.
7) Events of the institute have been attended by Presidents and former Presidents of African countries, former Vice President Al Gore, members of the diplomatic core, distinguished academics, business leaders, leaders of NGOs, community leaders, students, and the general public. Two of Africa's most visible leaders, Presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, have taken an active interest in the Africa Institute and have publicly praised both the Institute and events sponsored by it. The Africa Institute is supportive of the objectives of NEP AD and this fact has been recognized and endorsed by Africa leaders.
8) Building on its success, the activities of Institute are presently focused on the following areas:
1) CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT: Curriculum is being written and developed in the fields of economic development, health, business in Africa, democracy, and principle-centered leadership. This material will be disseminated at international seminars and conferences sponsored by the Africa Institute and it will be made available to others upon request. The curriculum is relevant to people in Africa as well as to leaders in the United States and Europe who are involved (or interested in becoming involved) in the African continent.
2) INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT: Collaborating with the new world-class FedEx Technology Institute at the University of Memphis and the School of Information Technology at the University of Pretoria, the Africa Institute is developing a program that will improve the delivery of information technology to Africa, train Africans in this field, and generally narrow the digital divide.
3) PROGRAM IN RACIAL AND ETHNIC CONFLICT RESOLUTION: Working with a South African consulting firm, Pamodzi Services, the Africa Institute is developing a program designed to help people resolve differences .
4) EXCHANGE OF PEOPLE, MATERIALS AND INFORMATION: The Africa institute is interested in various types of exchanges in today’s increasingly global world. Exchange of faculty, students, business leaders, and other people in Africa institutions/organizations and America institutions is important. Collaboration among diverse groups of people in different countries will also produce papers, projects, articles, and curricula that will also be exchanged and shared in both print and electronic formats. These exchanges will strengthen the peoples and countries involved, and they will also contribute to the climate of a “global community” which draws in the talents and resources of diverse peoples and regions.
5) CONFERENCES, SEMINARS / WORKSHOPS: The institute, periodically, facilitates seminars on democracy and governance, leadership training, and moral rearmament. This is with a view to motivating and empowering role players, and the citizenry at all levels of the community to become part of principles based way life and service to humanity. To that effect, workshops, seminars and retreats are conducted according to a course programme and calendar that is published once a year for the following year.
The objectives and related programmes/activites of both the Osigwe Anyiam Osigwe Foundation and the Africa Institute For leadership, research and Development must and will always be tested against the Balanced and Holistic Approach to Human Existence and Development according to the teachings of Osigwe Anyiam Osigwe. These aspects must include the tree pillars of a balanced life, i.e. Spiritual development, Economic Enhancement and Socio-Political Responsibility.