Four Carrington Fellowship Alumni nominated for the Inaugural Women Achievers’ Award of the United States Government Exchange Alumni Association By Adenike Fagbemi


In commemoration of the 2021 International Women’s Day (IWD), the United States
Government Exchanges Alumni Association (USGEAA) launched the Women
Achievers’ Award; a prestigious initiative to celebrate USGEAA Women Achievers that
have achieved great feats in their work. The objective of this lofty programme is to
highlight and promote the laudable projects being executed by leading USGEAA female

Over the years, the US government has supported the personal and career
development of numerous Nigerians, including women who are leading high-impact work and career across the country. This year’s International Women’s Day provides a veritable opportunity to celebrate such distinguished ladies and their gigantic strides in the society.

The President of the USGEAA, Dr. Jude Ememe, noted that these distinguished women represent the ideals and vision of USGEAA for social transformation. Cumulatively, their selfless endeavours have indeed bolstered the delivery of essential services and development projects, across the country, particularly in underserved communities.

The 13 awardees were carefully selected from the Carrington Youth Fellowship,
Mandela Washington Fellowship, Fulbright Fellowship, International Visitors Leadership
Program (IVLP), Hubert Humphrey Fellowship, and Study of the US Institutes (Susi).

The awardees include four power women of the Carrington Youth Fellowship Alumni
Network: Raquel Kasham Daniel, Anu Adelakun, Francisca Chiedu and Rhoda
Robinson. These four are among the 13 women across various exchange programs of
the US government in Nigeria, nominated for the Women Achievers’ Award, 2021.

Raquel is the Founder of Beyond the Classroom Foundation, which works in
marginalized communities in Nigeria focusing on education for children and sexual & reproductive health for adolescent girls through Beyond the Classroom Foundation.

Anu Adelakun, a journalist and development-focused high impact documentary producer. She works with The Cable Newspaper. With some of her works, many of which have been featured on BBC/CNN, won several awards, and more importantly, have triggered responses from governments and institutions across Nigeria.

Francisca Chiedu-Otu is the Director of Charles Development Foundation, and Citizens Connect; a CivicTech organisation that fosters accountability and transparency in public service, using civic innovation tools for citizens’ engagement. Rhoda Robinson is a founder and Executive

Director of HACEY Health Initiative, a development organization focused on
empowering and supporting an underserved population, especially women and young

Others nominated for the award include: Hussaina Aminu Aboki, Andrew-Essien
Ndifreke, Onyeador Doris-Jema Akuchinyere, Dange Hasfat Sahabi, Dr. Maymunar
Kadri, Comfort Agboka, Dr. Taofikat Abosede Adesalu, Prof. Chioma Kanu Agomo and
Professor Yinka Abosede.

On why these women deserved the award, Tinuola Aina, the General Secretary of the
USGEAA mentioned that the 13 female leaders were all nominated by the executives of their various Alumni Associations based on their profiles and impressive social

The executives of USGEAA believe that public recognition and commendation of the sacrifices of these women leaders will spur others to also become more actively involved in spear-heading impactful ventures and transformational enterprises.

Olusola Owonikoko, the President of CYFAN noted that the Carrington Fellowship
program of the United States Consulate, Lagos is now in its 10th year, and the
recognition of a few of the power women of CYFAN is a testament to the huge resources, influence and impact that the fast rising people of CYFAN are having on their communities by promoting the ideals of good governance, civil liberties, economic empowerment, inclusive education and accessible healthcare.