The Nelson Mandela Garden of 95 Trees was established in commemoration of the 95th birthday celebration of Nelson Mandela, a world revered icon of freedom, equality and justice. The idea was borne following a chanced meeting in March 2013 of Dr Newton Jibunoh, founder of FADE Africa with Ndaba Mandela, grandson and Founder of Africa Rising Foundation in New York. This was also coming on the heels of the endorsement of the United Nations International Mandela Day (July 18) by the United Nations Headquarters.
In alliance with the Delta State Government and the Africa Rising Foundation, with the approval of the Nelson Mandela family; the Nelson Mandela Garden of 95 Trees was birthed by Dr. Jibunoh’s FADE Africa initiative and was commissioned in October 2013. Members of the Nelson Mandela Family led by Ndaba Mandela, the Chairman of Africa Rising Foundation, were present to flag off the planting of the trees at the launch of the Mandela Garden of 95 Trees in Nigeria as well as during its commissioning.
The garden is located within the Asaba international airport in Delta State and is designed in the shape of the Map of Africa using 95 Trees with each tree representing the 95 years of Nelson Mandela. Outlines of the maps of Nigeria, South Africa and Delta State are clearly delineated with trees within the garden as well as a life size statue of Nelson Mandela. It is a nature resort that offers both tourism and educational provisions for the general public while promoting the values of Nelson Mandela, also known as “Madiba”, which include freedom, equality, inclusivity, and truth.
At present, there are only three other similar monuments created around the world by the African Rising Foundation namely in Washington, London and Johannesburg making the Mandela Garden of 95 Trees, Asaba in Delta State the fourth of such monuments.
The project is being executed in three phases; Phase One of the project involved the creation of the garden which is designed in the shape of the Map of Africa using 95 Trees, with the maps of Nigeria, South Africa and Delta State outlined with trees as well. Amenities such as children’s playground, equipped gazebo, male and female conveniences, enquiry office and gatehouse have been provided and commissioned in October 2013.
Construction of the second phase which commenced in November 2013 includes the development of an exhibition hall, library, 1000-seater conference centre, sets of paired hospitality suites (in other words, a 4-star hotel), a Games reserve (i.e. mini zoo), swimming pool, lawn tennis court and a shopping center. Most of these facilities have now been completed and available to the public.
Phase three will involve the completion of the 4-star hospitality suites, convention (conference) center, shopping center and the library. These facilities are expected due for completion by December 2015. Notwithstanding, it is advisable that enquiries are made about the state of these facilities prior to making bookings and plans for use of these phase three facilities. The completed resort will offer both tourism and educational provisions for the general public.
The garden is strategically located within the Asaba International Airport of Delta State which lies along the Asaba-Benin Expressway and only twenty Kilometers (20km) away from Onitsha in Anambra State. This implies that the Nelson Mandela garden can conveniently service the needs of travelers and residents of the south-east and south-south area of Nigeria as well as visiting tourists from around the world. Furthermore, dignitaries on state visits can also be brought to the garden to plant a tree in honour of the dignitary of Nelson Mandela while simultaneously promoting the sustainability of the environment.
The Nelson Mandela Garden of 95 Trees is a division of Nelson Mandela Gardens Limited, a private limited liability company.