ATLANTA, USA – The grand event of the ASA-USA National Convention, held at the Marriott, Atlanta, on Saturday, October 14, 2023, witnessed an inspiring and rousing keynote address delivered by a respected Nigerian business leader, Valentine Ozigbo.
Ozigbo, a multiple-award-winning global CEO and 2021 Anambra Gubernatorial Candidate, emerged as a beacon of hope for the future of Anambra after delivering his speech on the topic, also the theme of the conference, ‘Unity, Progress, & Transparency: Making a Difference Through Medical & Education Mission’.
In his address, Ozigbo painted a vivid picture of Anambra’s potential. Drawing from global success stories and contrasting them with the challenges faced by Black communities, he presented a compelling case for unity, resilience, and visionary leadership.
“In unity, we find strength; in diversity, we discover our richness and in our collective purpose, we unearth progress,” Ozigbo told the Anambra Diapora in the United States of America.
“The Anambra Diaspora doesn’t just represent our state’s voice abroad; it epitomises the embodiment of our state’s potential.”
Mr Ozigbo, went on to challenge the Anambra Diaspora to re-examine its interventions at home. Calling for an expanded vision for the south-eastern state.
“While our interventions have been commendable, we must question, have they been transformative? Addressing surface-level problems might provide temporary relief, but addressing root causes can transform destinies,” Ozigbo continued, calling for a higher standard in leadership selection.
“Rich countries are not wealthy because of their tangible assets alone but because of their intangible wealth – the institutions, the rule of law, the educational systems.”
“To change the trajectory of our economy and the future of our state, we need more than just good intentions; we need visionary political leadership.
“When it comes to selecting leaders, it’s not just about promises made, but about character displayed, processes adopted, and the platforms represented.
Ozigbo, the founder of the eponymously named Valentine Chineto Ozigbo Foundation, also provided a blueprint for transforming education in Anambra State. Referencing his 2021 Ka Anambra Chawapu Manifesto, he called for a transformational approach to education.
“Education isn’t just about information; it’s about transformation. And in this transformation, technology and modern tools play an indispensable role,” Ozigbo declared.
“For Anambra to rise, we must not just equip our schools with tools but empower our students with the right mindset.
“It’s not enough to hope for a better Anambra; we must work, innovate, and collaborate to create it.
“We stand at a juncture of incredible potential and opportunity. Let’s aspire for more, achieve more, and above all, let’s do it together,” he added.
The response from convention attendees was overwhelmingly positive. Onyi Erinne, ASA-USA Board Chairman, had high praise for Ozigbo’s speech saying that speech was “very educating and inspiring for us the newly elected board of directors executives for Anambra State Association, USA”.
Remarking on Ozigbo’s speech, Prof Osita E. Aka, the immediate past Caretaker Chair, ASA-USA said,, “We were glad to have Mr Valentine Ozigbo at our Anambra State Association, USA (ASA-USA) Convention in Atlanta from October 13 to 15, 2033, as the Keynote Speaker.
“Ozigbo’s speech was marvellous, fantastic, and well-received by everyone at the hall.
“As the Chairman of ASA-USA, I will request once more for Hon. Ozigbo to come back and speak to us. We really enjoyed his presence.”
Dr Vincent Izuegbu, the Convention Chair, welcomed the speech, and said it contained the right message for the association. “It came at a crucial time in the life of our association. Ozigbo’s submission on the four P’s (Personality, Platform, Process, & Promise) of leadership spoke to heart of what is needed in charting a new course for the organisation.”
A defining moment of this convention was the historic peaceful transition of power, marking a significant milestone for the organisation. Chief Prof. Ebenezer Aka, who led the caretaker committee, gracefully handed over the reins to the newly elected executive committee under the leadership of Onyi Erinne, the ASA-USA Board Chairman.
This transition stood out, particularly given the backdrop of years of power struggles within the organisation. The smooth handover is a testament to the renewed spirit of unity and collaboration emphasised during the convention.
The convention’s main organisers, including Dr. Vincent Izuegbu, the Convention Chair, Isaac Emefo, ASA-Atlanta President, and Dr. Emmanuel Oduah, ASA-Atlanta Convention Committee Chair, expressed satisfaction with the direction the event took.
Apart from Ozigbo, the convention featured other notable speakers, such as Dr. Daniel William, who spoke on the subject of “Black on Black Crimes.”
Additionally, a discussion on the “State of Affairs – Ohaneze Ndigbo World Wide” was presented by Ichie Damian Afam Okeke, the Vice President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo.
A political forum, intended to delve into the role of the diaspora in building a new Anambra, was scheduled with Valentine Ozigbo and Senator Ifeanyi Ubah. However, Senator Ubah did not make an appearance at the event.
Major sponsors for the convention included Flutterwave and LakePoint Resort & Gardens LTD.
In all, the ASA-USA Convention in Atlanta was not just an event—it was a turning point that aimed to drive actionable change for Anambra’s brighter future.