Mayor Dwaine, Meet President Goodluck
One week from today, Goodluck Jonathan -- who won election last month after receiving more than 60 percent of the vote during mostly peaceful elections -- will be sworn in as president of Nigeria, the most populated country in Africa. Analysts are mixed on what Jonathan's presidency will mean for the country. But, for now, this much is certain: He will be joined by one Mayor-For-Now Dwaine Caraway, who has been invited to attend not only the swearing in but also several other celebratory shindigs throughout the week. Which is why Caraway leaves Dallas Wednesday for the Sunday ceremony.
Says Caraway in a note sent by City Hall this weekend, "It is exciting that Dallas will be represented at this historic event. Nigeria is now considered one of the world's chief emerging economies, and our presence there certainly helps us build strong relationships between Dallas and Nigeria going in to the future. ... When it comes to global trade, Dallas has had a strong focus on Asia, Europe and the Americas. But we also understand that there is plenty of opportunity in Africa, and Nigeria is a nation and an economy we should not ignore."
Jonathan's known as Nigeria's improbable leader -- the accidental president, and one who has a fondness for fedoras. The BBC explains: "As his name suggests, Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan has a habit of being in the right place at the right time." He got one top job when the man above him was impeached on corruption charges; he ascended from "low-key deputy" to interim president when "President Umaru Yar'Adua was taken to hospital in Saudi Arabia and was not seen again in public until he died on 5 May 2010."
City Hall wants you to know: "Mayor Caraway's travel costs will be paid out of a special fund at the World Affairs Council. Each year, private contributions are raised to cover the travel expenses for the Mayor and other elected officials to promote international trade and cultural ties. Caraway will return to Dallas on June 1st."