The Earl of Wessex is visiting Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire this week to meet young people taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh International Award in both countries.
As Chairman of the International Award Board of Trustees, His Royal Highness will see first-hand how Award participants and volunteers have benefited from developing their life and leadership skills, through opportunities offered by the Award programme.
In Nigeria, The Earl paid a visit to the Children’s International School in Lagos where he met current Award participants, and discussed their experiences completing the scheme. Since its reintroduction in Nigeria in 2014, over 27,000 young people have participated - with more than 11,000 currently working towards achieving their Award this year alone.
His Royal Highness also attended a showcase of Nigerian artistic talent, featuring performances from across Nigeria’s creative industries. The event brought together representatives from Nigerian businesses, arts and cultural organisations. The Earl is a keen supporter of theatre and the arts and is Patron of many arts organisations, including the National Youth Theatre.
The Earl also presided over a Gold Award Ceremony in Nigeria today, presenting certificates to young people who had succeeded in reaching this level of the Award.
The Earl of Wessex travelled to Cote d’Ivoire, continuing his visit to Africa with The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. Young people across the country have been participating in the International Award since its introduction in 1989, and currently there are over 30,000 active participants in the programme across Cote d’Ivoire.
His Royal Highness, who is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Award, arrived at the Town Hall of Port Bouet where he received a traditional welcome, before meeting Award participants, volunteers and group leaders. Later on, alongside the President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, The Earl presented 60 young people with certificates during a Gold Award Ceremony. The ceremonies, which The Earl also attended in Nigeria, are a special opportunity for those who have reached the highest level of the Award to celebrate their achievement.
The Earl also visited the Scientific Research Gardens at the Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny today. Whilst there, His Royal Highness planted a tree, representing both the UK’s and Cote d’Ivoire’s commitment to sustainable biodiversity conservation.