I first heard of Dr. Aloy Chife on twitter. He had posted about the flooding of the Anam New City School, Anam, Anambra State. I had seen pictures of the sports kits on the school kids and also their lunch. What struck me was the attention to detail in that menu: all the classes of food had been selected to support the children’s mental and physical health development. I could guess the recipes for those meals had among other spices, a lot of love.
Then I saw his farms around, of all places, the hills of Aburi!
Educated at the London School of Economics as a British Foreign and Commonwealth Office scholar, Dr. Aloy Chife is the highest-ranking Nigerian-American to serve in an executive-level capacity at Apple, a Fortune 100 technology company in Silicon Valley, USA.
Dr. Chife was led the implementation of many successful systems currently operated by the Nigerian government including the Federal Road Safety Commission (National Drivers License), the Nigeria Immigration Service (e-Immigration project), the National Communications Commission (NCC) (telecomm users (Sim Card) registry) and the National Population Commission (NPopC) (National Births & Deaths Registry), etc. Much of the support for the implementation of these technology platforms have come from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) the private sector arm of the World Bank by way of investment and loan financing. Dr. Chife has also exported software to countries beyond Africa (including Sri Lanka via a World Bank contract).
In addition to winning the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) “Best Entrepreneur Award”, Dr. Chife has been featured in many international news articles and magazines including the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, and The Economist, etc. He has also served as ICT consultant to the Federal Government of Nigeria and as Advisor, Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) to the U.S. Department of State.
Dr. Chife runs a venture capital firm in Princeton, NJ with portfolio companies located in the U.S. and Africa.
Anam New City: An African Model For Sustainable Development-
Dr. Aloy & Gesare Chife Foundation
In 2012, the Dr. Aloy & Gesare Chife Foundation initiated efforts to scale up own model of sustainable development by serving alternative affordable green housing; off-grid amenities support platforms, health services, and skills acquisition accessible to 1,000 Nigerians in Anambra State over a four-year period.
In a post on www.clintonfoundation.org, “The Foundation will also develop key pilot projects, including an earth brick factory, an ecological fish farm, a school, a hospital, and a community bank. Using the experience and knowledge of interdisciplinary teams of specialists from Africa, Europe, and the United States, the Foundation seeks to address the stressing conditions of urbanization in Nigeria through a replicable model. The model will package a holistic system of technologies that will improve the quality of life through integrated and planned approaches. The model also includes educational and employment programs, which will target 25 percent female enrollment.”
Dr. Chife’s thought–processes and actions show that commitment to self-help efforts present alternative platforms for achieving sustainable development in Nigerian, and African communities. This also form examples of the efficacy of sharing economies indigenous to African societies. The passion to drive these projects differentiates smart solutions that work to improve all indices of human capital development while providing a frame of reference to inspire future generations.
The sustainable architecture in the Anam New City School, reminded me of an interview with legendary and revolutionary architect and artist, Demas Nwoko alongside Architect Michael Buckley in 2004. We had spent more than two hours admiring the stunning architecture of his Idumuje-Ugboko home that required no electricity for powering any cooling systems. The edifice with three levels of ventilation remained cool irrespective of temperatures outside.
Dr Chife, and his wife Gesare, have authored and planted a system that will raise an army of professionals for posterity: from tooling engineering to commerce, from STEM education to hopefully, the formalization of a curriculum and syllabus of the multi-trillion dollar Igbo Apprenticeship System (IAS).
Dr Chife, a Citizen of the Earth, in his own right, has taken community consciousness to a level that connects with like minds and trolls alike. He has commented on the ills of our contemporary societies including the Mexico/US Brazil narcotics triangle, Credit Card Fraud, Business Email Compromise, political servitude in Africa, aptly termed “The Saviour Complex” and of course, his softer side, including 60s, 70s and 80s Ghanaian Highlife. He’ll no doubt be a fan of Kofi Kinaata’s Susuka, and Things fall Apart.
Doc, abi no be so?
Stephen Schreiner, Architect: Master plan, housing design, and construction management. A hybrid rural-urban model for sustainable development in Africa, the Anam City project balances ecology with economic growth. Focusing on the first neighborhood, I designed several prototype houses, an agricultural storage facility, workshed structures, and a health center.
Anam New City School, Anam, Anambra State.