I hope Mayor-For-Now Dwaine Caraway brought back pictures from his trip to Nigeria, where he's been for the past eight days to attend the swearing-in of President Goodluck Jonathan and tend to some business. He's back this evening, and in advance of his return sends word that, why, matter of fact he was "the highest ranking elected official from the United States to attend the event," which is only good news for Dwaine and Dallas. "Because we have been one of the first out of the gate in reaching out to Nigeria," he says, "we have laid the foundation for a strong partnership for Dallas in the future."
Meaning what, exactly? Well, for starters, Caraway says he discussed "holding major soccer matches in the Cotton Bowl between U.S., Nigerian and other African teams," bringing some Nigerian police officers to train at the Dallas Police Academy, finding Nigerian moneymen to exchange dollars for visas through the city's Regional Center, and getting an airline to establish direct flights between Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Lagos or Abuja. Also on the to-do list: "helping to connect Nigerian and Dallas-based energy firms to the Nigerian energy infrastructure, notorious for its rolling blackouts." As opposed to our top-notch 19th-century technology.
I haven't seen many mentions of Caraway's visit in the Nigerian papers, but here's one: Says he attended the Children's Day Celebration and "doled out five scholarship to five Nigerian children for one week training in USA." Caraway says he also visited the British Nigerian International School and found the library's bookshelves barren. "This is an area that I know Dallas can step up to help," Caraway says in his official release. "If we can launch a book drive and get this material back here to this school, I know this would make a tremendous difference for these kids."