A Review Of W.I.C’s Response On a Strategic Document – Prof Awa Uma



Prof Awa Uma




In January 2007, I unveiled a strategic document that was posted in Igbo Events with a courtesy copy emailed to the WIC Chairman, Chibuzo Onwuchekwa. The document titled “Meeting the Strategic Needs and Structure of World Igbo Congress (WIC) as an Apex Igbo Organization” was developed to: bring awareness to strategy as an effective organizational tool, point out nominal strategic structural flaws (organizational, power, and membership) that had apparently trailed WIC from inception, and offer strategic ideas, fronts, input and model designed to aid in restructuring WIC.

Why this planned review?

Apart from initial response from the WIC Chairman in which he stated that many of the contents of the strategic document can be incorporated in the existing WIC structure, there has not been any other response from WIC. The Chairman’s remarks were accompanied by a request for a hard copy with a promise to table the strategic document to the WIC Board of Directors (BOD).

In view of the above, a planned review of the extent WIC had responded based on information from WIC activities throughout the year 2007 is in order. This planned review should, therefore, not be construed as an evaluation of WIC. It is rather a partial and focused review that will only assess the 2007 convention information or activities and my observations as a non-member or participant observer at the convention events in which I responded to WIC’s call for papers and made a presentation titled Prospects for Power Generation in Igbo land. My experiences before, during, and after the convention will be discussed as part of the review.

Besides the issues of WIC’s response to the strategic document and the need to report my individual experiences with WIC, there are many other cogent reasons to embark on a review of this nature.

Many Igbo Diaspora organizations are yet to embrace and apply organizational development and operational strategies. The Igbo nation is not only increasingly calling for Diaspora involvement and expertise but is also increasingly relying on an apex organization that does not structurally and truly represent the entire Igbo Diaspora population. The Council of Igbo States Association (CISA), which is also strategically flawed and has no membership stand per se, puts the population of Ndi Igbo residing in the United States at over four million.

The WIC as the apex Igbo organization is operating with far less than 0.01 % of this population and gaining just about one or less affiliate per year. The present WIC membership structure either by default or design favors some insider (WIC officers) funding and benefits and starkly neglects the human and financial resources of the broad population of Ndi Igbo in North America and elsewhere. The Diaspora Igbo do not have effective broad-based representation at home and abroad especially for demographic population issues that would require mass strategic input. Most of us in the Diaspora who are ready to respond to the calls from Igbo nation will wake up one day in Nigeria to learn that we are no longer eligible to hold political offices in our land. This is an issue that will affect the average Igbo with dual citizenship and that will take a restructured WIC that is sensitive to population matters to address. WIC does not have any strategic plan for technology, health, and energy systems transfer to Ala Igbo even though these systems are presently the most strategic variables in Igbo nation development.

To this end, the review will invoke Plato’s parable “Of Shadows and Realities” to establish the implications of neglecting the history, principles, and philosophies of the political, educational, economic, cultural, and technological variables in our strategic operations.

The Review Overview

The review will attempt to articulate three major Igbo Diaspora filial responsibilities as commitment to career, family, and Ala Igbo. While our careers presently serve the interest of our host countries and benefit our families, Ala Igbo is left out in the benefit equation. Therefore, we collectively lack the third commitment, which is necessary and required to move Igbo nation forward.

Accordingly, the review will highlight the third commitment. In view of the third commitment, the review will put the first Igbo Diaspora resource as commitment to the transfer of ideas, knowledge, and skills acquired outside Igbo land. Of the alleged 4 million Igbo population in North America, more than 98% are educated and many have appropriate knowledge, special experiences, and skills to respond to our present needs and problems in Igbo land.

The second resource will be addressed as collective financial commitment. If one million or 25% of the alleged Ndi Igbo population make basic five-year commitments to contribute $25.00 a year, it will amount to $125 million dollars per annum with endless cycles and years of commitments. The formation of village age grades is an example of an inclusive and diversified strategy successfully developed by our forefathers to ensure that everyone eventually becomes part of the village system and erases any issue of who should gain membership or make contributions.

The third resource is external help that needs to be curbed. In other words, we need a strategy to reduce over-dependence on foreign help. With the first and second resources, we will go extra miles in curbing external assistance. Part of what needs to be addressed is the paradox that we went to the same universities, graduated in same programs, and are employed in the same jobs with Americans and yet depend on them as our foreign technological experts. The review will show that once insider benefits are shunned and a platform established for the third commitment, WIC would have no need to accomplish any project in Ala Igbo with government or public funds or with heavy reliance on foreign expertise.

Following the above, the reason that the current structure appeals to WIC will be thoroughly evaluated including what WIC is doing to connect the strategic dots with opportunities presented by state, local governments, and community associations in the Diaspora. A major drawback of the lackluster strategic attitude of the present WIC officers is the impending proliferation of Igbo organizations from interest groups.

This report will go further to complement the WIC strategic document unveiled last year and address the four-level strategic framework recommended for WIC. The U. S. constitution, the well-known military strategies, and various games or sports mostly used in strategic training in US management schools will be matched with their Igbo counterparts. Part of the essence is to show that strategic is dynamic as can be seen with Saludo Naira Redominations Agenda and Bush’s Iraq Strategic Surge.

In summary, this planned review will look at WIC’s response to the contents of the proposed strategic document to answer the basic questions: (a) to what extent did WIC respond to the strategic document in its 2007 program year and (b) to what extent did WIC apply strategy as a tool in meeting some aspects of its 2007 Detroit convention including the theme of Thermal Power Generation in Igbo Land? Hopefully, the final report will assist the present WIC officers to reflect and reassess their visions and missions before the next upcoming elections and future WIC officers to develop better visions and strategies based on experience and intuitions.

Review Information Packaging and Dissemination

Finally, the review will result in a report in which the previous strategic document and the follow-up planned review will be combined and professionally packaged for the benefit of larger Ndi Igbo community at home and abroad. Copies of the review will be sent to all WIC affiliates, Igbo state governors, and policy making institutions in Ala Igbo.

(c) Copyright 2008, Awa Uma

Prof Awa Uma

Prof. Awa Uma is a technocrat who studied Technology education as well as Industrial technology, engineering, and management. He has taught at 3 universities and worked at 3 fortune 500 manufacturing industries. In the late 1980s, he was one of four doctoral students recruited nationwide by the U. S. Dept. of Labor, Washington D. C. and the only one contracted to develop Competency Based Education (CBE) for Job Corps programs. Back then, he advised visiting African Ministers and together with Hon. Emma Okocha (Journalist and author of Blood on the Niger), led a trade mission comprising of 12 American investors to Nigeria. He regularly writes professional and newspaper articles. He has made many presentations at the national conference of the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) and is presently working on a project to establish Industrial Technology in African Universities based on one of his presentations titled: Achieving International Technology Transfer to Africa with Modified Industrial Technology Programs.

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