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UPMFB Chairman Wins Henrich Pesch Price

Chairman of Umuchinemere Pro-credit Microfinance Bank, Rev. Prof. Obiora Ike, received the prestigious Heinrich pesch prize on June 15,2010 in far away Cologue, Germany.

The Award to Ike was in recognition of "his outstanding contribution to the dissemination and practical application of Catholic Social Teaching in Africa". Prof. Ike is the first African to win Heinrich pesch prize, which was instituted to honour brilliant brains in church's social teaching and application. The award is in memory of Heinrich pesch, a Jesuit priest who was outstanding in applying the social teaching of the church.

The award was presented to Msgr. Ike by his former supervisor in his doctorate studies at the Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelms universitat in Bonn, Germany, Prof. Dr. Lothar Roos. In his eulogy while presenting the award to Prof. Dr. Ike, Prof. Dr. Roos said the award recipient was the first Nigerian priest to receive doctorate degree in Bonn in Christian Social Teaching.

According to Roos six more Nigerian priests later followed the footsteps of Msgr. Ike, and one of them he said is the current bishop of Enugu, Rt. Rev. Dr. Callistus Onaga. The German Professor declared: "Obiora Ike has become a 'multiplier' in the literal sense of the word. The Very Reverend Monsignor Professor Obiora Ike is a Roman Catholic Prelate of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu.

Ordained a priest in July 1981 in Hohenems Austria, he studied Philosophy, Theology, Economics, Political Science and History in universities across five countries in Nigeria, Austria, the United Kingdom, France and Germany from 1975 - 1985. After graduation, with the doctorate in Systematic Theology/Catholic Social Thought, he returned to Nigeria in 1986 and was appointed to serve the Social ministry of the Church as Chairman of the Commission for Justice, Development, Peace and Caritas.

He founded the research and development organ known as Catholic Institute for Development Justice and Peace (CIDJAP) and is Director and Chair of the Institute. Ike has served the Church as Vicar General; Vicar for Public Relations; Consultor, Curia Member, Chaplain for the Youth; Chaplain to the Catholic Women Organization and the Holy Rosary College and currently is Parish Priest at St. Leo the Great Parish, Enugu.

He is active on the national and international scene with many research and practical initiative to bridge the growing gap between faith and life, Church and Society and worked for several years as one of the experts at the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria.

Professor Ike is the current President of the Club of Rome, Nigeria chapter; Founder and Chairman of over 20 non-governmental organizations (NGO's) and a regarded philanthropist. Widely traveled and author of over 60 books, Ike has lectured in several universities worldwide and holds teaching positions with the Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt/M Germany as Professor of Social Ethics and African Studies and the Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. He is highly honoured with Awards at international and local levels.

Pope Benedict XVI invited him to the Vatican in October 2009 to join the Second Plenary Assembly of the synod of Bishops on Africa as a Synod Father. He is the second chairman of the Umuchinemere Pro-Credit Microfinance Bank (UPMFB), having being so appointed by shareholders at the Annual General Meeting of the UPMFB Ltd in October, 2008.

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