A Part of Our History of Rotary in Africa
The world-wide spread of Rotary arrived in Nigeria some 40 years after the creation of Africa's first club, the Rotary Club of Johannesburg, South Africa on 1 July 1921. Rotary slowly spread throughout the continent before reaching West Africa via the first club in this region, the Rotary Club of Dakar, Senegal on 10 July 1939. Many other countries followed but it was not until the 56th year of Rotary International, in 1961, that the first club was formed in our country. Nigeria was the 32nd country on the African continent to welcome Rotary International into our life.

It was on 28 April, 1961 that the Rotary Club of Kano was chartered. Kano is the capital of Kano State and is the second most populous city in Nigeria with a population of nearly 4 million people.

Despite this slow adoption of Rotary, Nigeria has more than made up for its slow start.

Only one month after the formation of RC Kano, Rotary found its way to the nation's capital, Lagos. The Rotary Club of Lagos was chartered on 30th May 1961 and followed a few months later by the Rotary Club of Ibadan on 24th November 1961.

By 1973, the number of clubs in Nigeria was large enough for grouping with other clubs outside Nigeria to form the new Rotary International District 210 with Rotarian Francois Amorin of the Rotary Club of Cotonou, Benin Republic, as the first District Governor.

In 1972/73, Nigeria produced her first District Governor for District 210 when Rotarian Anofi Guobadia of the Rotary club of Ikeja came into office.

Worldwide changes in district numbers saw the creation of the new District 910 in 1973 and for the next 8 years to 1981, this district grouped all of the clubs in about 14 countries in West Africa. It was a huge district and created enormous strains on the District Governors at the time.

Throughout the entire West African region, Rotary made its name and developed a reputation of the caring and humanitarian organisation which had followed it around the world. An impossibly long list of projects and activities were carried out during this period, not coincidentally resulting in a huge growth of members and clubs.

In the 1980/81 year, Nigeria produced its second District Governor when Rotarian John Majiyagbe of the Rotary Club of Kano took charge of this huge district. The constant and prolific growth of clubs in the country, encouraged RI to create a new district solely for the administration of all the clubs in Nigeria. As a result,  District 911 was created on 1 July 1982 to administer all the clubs throughout the entire country.

The first District Governor of this newly created All-Nigerian District 911 was Rotarian Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi. In that year (1982 – 83) PDG Juli (as he is fondly called) criss-crossed Nigeria several times doing some 26,000 kilometers by air, by land and over water to spread the message of Rotary with the support of a well chosen, motivated, committed and coordinated team of District officers.

PDG Juli and his team created a new dawn for Rotary in Nigeria with the establishment of 31 new clubs, thus having a growth of about 100% in one Rotary year! A feat that won the commendation and salutation of Rotary International, as the best ever from any District in the Rotary world at that time. This sudden, unequalled and unprecedented growth of clubs and membership, forced RI to divide the country into two districts.

In 1984, District 912 was added to form two Districts and PDG Bob Ogbuagu took over from PDG Juli and sustained the tempo with great charms and promotions, typical of a the public relations guru and veteran that he was.

After the redistricting exercise, PDG Babs Ajayi became the third District Governor of District 911 which was left to comprise six states and the Federal City Territory i.e. Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Kwara, Sokoto and FCT.
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