Hon. Kenneth Gbandi
The New African Community Representative at Hamburg Senate Integration Advisory Council, Germany
– Obiora Nweke
Hamburg is no doubt one of Germany’s biggest commercial metropole and is home to Millions of people from all over the world. Hamburg is a Gateway to the World described by many as the highlight of the North. It is a multicultural modern society with a population of about 1,7 Million citizens with 30% of the population as people with immigration background of which over 35,000 are of African descent. Today, organizing and representing the interest of these 35,000 Africans is part of the bulk of challenges facing Hon. Kenneth Gbandi in the next four years as the newly elected representative of the Hamburgcity Integration council.
Two years ago inMunster, I challenged Nigerians in Germany to start participating in the affairs of this land as the anchor of the 49th Independenceanniversary. Therefore, I did not hesitate to endorse him when he showed interest for the integrationbeirat for the city of Hamburg. It was easy to endorse him and the result of the election tells why.
In his manifesto, he promised to lead a dynamic initiative using his long years of tested and trusted contacts and experiences amongst citizens of Hamburg and the African community as a whole and to carefully articulate and present the interest of the African community in a well articulated manner; while respecting the rich and long tradition of the “Freie und Hansestadt of Hamburg” built on discipline, rule of law and diligence.
As a representative of the African Community in Hamburg, he has pledged to bring to the notice of the authorities, the immediate concern of the African community including Jobs, Housing, Health, Education (practical training opportunities) Social and Family, Police & Justice (Asylum and Deportations) Sports, Culture and Media. To achieve this he in collaboration with his colleagues has planned to establish an African Community Consultative Forum (ACCF) Hamburg. The Task of ACCF Hamburg according to Hon. Kenneth Gbandi is to act as a “Think Tank group” and to help articulate an African Interest in Hamburg City. Furthermore, they plan to Provide solid and coordinated Networking between the African communities and fellow citizens of Hamburg and would function as a Lobby group to help promote peace and cordial relationship amongst the citizens of Hamburg. There is no reason to doubt that he will deliver on his plan based on his past pedigree
Born in Akwkwu Igbo,DeltaState, a southeastern town ofNigeria, he graduated in 1992 fromUniversityofCalabar, a leading first generation university inNigeriawith a BSc. Hons in Geography and Regional Planning. He was Admitted to theUniversityofHamburgin 1999 for further studies in Geography and Regional Planning but exmatriculated himself from the university after seven semesters and later enrolled in 2010 into theUniversityofHamburgfor a Masters Degree in Peace and Security Studies. From February 2011 to July 2011 he was a research student at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA – a member of the prestigious Leibniz-Institut for Globale and Regionale Studies) as part of the pursuit for Masters degree. In October 2011, he was awarded bagged a Master degree in Peace and Security Studies from theUniversityofHamburgwith a thoroughly researched thesis on the facets of the Niger Delta conflicts.
He is interested in Global affairs with specialization in the areas of conflict mitigation and the rights of demographic minorities. A keen promoter of dialogue based solutions in stress afflicted communities believing that a strong and fair public media can mediate disproportionate communal relationships. Hon. Gbandi is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of African Heritage Magazine in Germany, producer of an Afro-European TV segment “Africa Outlook Special” in Germany, organizer of Miss Africa Germany, Miss Nigeria Germany and the Project Manager of Nigerian Professionals and Entrepreneurs in Germany as well as the Sports Director Nigeria community Football Club (NCG FC Hamburg). He belongs to the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, the German Union of Journalists and the Inter-Cultural Media Hamburg. His new book “Oil and Conflict in Nigeria, why the conflict never ends” is on sales on line world wide since January.
On behalf of the editoral board of African Heritage Magazine and the board of HiBC GmbH, I wish to congratulate Hon. Kenneth Gbandi once again and to wish him well in his new office.
Masters in Global Public Policy and management
Project Manager (HIBC GMBH)
Editor Policy and Politics Desk