Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon Is Appointed ILO Assistant Director-General & Regional Director for Africa

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has appointed Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon as its Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Africa.

According to Guebray Berhane, the Senior Communication Officer of ILO Regional Office for Africa in Abidjan, in a statement:

“Guy Ryder, the Director-General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), after having duly consulted the Officers of the Governing Body, has appointed Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon of Nigeria as Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Africa, in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire with effect from Nov. 10, 2017.’’

Until her new position, Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon was the Deputy Regional Director for Africa, a post she held since July 15, 2016.

She joined the ILO in 1995, where she held different positions in the field and Geneva, including Chief of the ILO Programming Unit for Africa and Deputy Director of the ILO Office in Pretoria.

She has been a member of the senior management team of the ILO Regional Office for Africa for more than nine years.

The Nigerian has played an important role in the development and implementation of regional strategies to deliver quality programmes, fostering opportunities for cooperation, particularly with the African Union and Regional Economic Communities, and alliance building throughout the region.

Born in 1961, Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon holds a B.Sc in Sociology and a Masters’ Degree in Industrial and Labour Relations from the University of Ibadan.

With more than 32 years experience in the world of work, she had worked as Assistant Director of the Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA).

She also worked as a lecturer on gender, industrial sociology and group dynamics at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

Ms. Samuel-Olonjuwon was appointed to the Board of the International Sociological Association (Research Committee on Women in Society) from 1986 to 1990.

She has significant experience in leadership, management and strategic partnerships to promote decent work and development outcomes at regional, sub-regional and national levels.

Amina Mohammed Receives 2017 FP’s Diplomat Of The Year Award

Foreign Policy (FP) magazine has conferred the “2017 Diplomat of the Year” award on deputy United Nations Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed.

The diplomat of the year gong is a yearly event by the Foreign Policy magazine that reviews the accomplishments of leading officials and diplomats worldwide and seeks to identify those who have made the greatest contribution to international relations.

Mrs. Amina Mohammed, also the former Environment Minister of Nigeria takes over this award which was won by Google in 2016 and in 2015 by former United States Secretary of State, John Kerry.

In her acceptance message, the 56-year-old said she was receiving the accolade on behalf of the U.N. “that I proudly serve.” Adding, “I believe diplomacy is a tool that should bring us together to close the gap between what is and what should be in a world of peace, development and human rights.” She spoke about the challenges the U.N. faces in its global operations but stressed that there was the need to do all it takes to put the world on a good footing for future generations, adding that it was important for every one to become a diplomat in their own small way.

In her words:

“Today, as a woman of colour, a Muslim, an African, a mother of 6, a grandmother and as the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, I owe it to the world to dig deep and to do my part in support of António Guterres to achieve our goals for a more peaceful world of dignity and hope, managing international relations, building trust, and leveraging diplomacy in the most unconventional ways and always speaking truth to power for those whose voices cannot reach these corridors of power.

Finally, I accept this honour for those women diplomats gone before me as I stand on their shoulders to carry on their unfinished work in our world of pain, desperation and yet we don’t have the luxury of failure.”

Before her appointment, the Nigeria and UK trained development expert, Amina Mohammed, was acclaimed in Nigeria as one of President Buhari’s most vibrant and best-performing appointees – since she took office in 2015. She served as UN Under Secretary-General and Special Adviser to immediate past Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 Development Planning. She was instrumental in bringing about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals.

As Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, Mrs. Amina Mohammed has largely been in the forefront of global diplomacy much more than most of her predecessors at the global body headquartered in New York. Her appointment according to the Antonio Guterres, the U.N. Secretary-General was in line with restructuring the organization to reflect gender parity. She continues to play an outward role especially in the area of the U.N. development agenda.

The ‘‘citizen diplomat of the year’’ went to Becca Heller, she is co-founder and director of the group International Refugee Assistance project (IRAP). Wendy Sherman, a former U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs was named the ‘‘national security diplomat of the year.’’

Akinwumi Adesina Receives Purdue University’s Order of the Griffin

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has received the Purdue University’s Order of the Griffin award.

The Order of the Griffin is given to individuals whose commitment and service to the university go well beyond the call of duty, and whose strength and vision have greatly benefitted the institution and the world.

The award was given to Dr. Akinwumi Adesina by the President of Purdue University, Mitchell Daniels, during a Presidential Lecture Series held at the university on October 23, 2017. Adesina, who was the special guest at the Lecture Series, earned his Master’s and doctoral degrees in Agricultural Economics from Purdue.

According to Mitchell Daniels:

“We have a lot of recognitions here at Purdue and lots of ways to honour people who do extraordinary things. The single highest of these, which has been given fewer than 50 times in history, is called the Griffin Award, and those of us who huddled on this subject took no time at all to decide that if anyone ever merited the Griffin Award from Purdue University, it’s you, Dr. Adesina. Here it is, and thank you.”

Answering questions at the Presidential Lecture Series, the 2017 World Food Prize Laureate and President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina emphasized the need to enshrine e-governance in Africa. He described e-governance as essential for citizen participation and transparency.

In his words:

“It is important to build very strong institutions, and also important to have strong economic management to make sure that the countries can have robust growth.  Without growth you can’t distribute anything.

I think that it is a very important area that we need to deal with. At the end of the day, when you have insecurity, it is the women and children who suffer the most. Africa has a rising refugee population as a result of insecurity in many of our countries.

We also have a lot of problems from malnutrition because of a lack of food. To have development or to have, let me say, a green revolution that we’re talking about, we have to sow the seeds on ridges of peace.”

Dr. Joe Abah Appointed DAI Nigeria Country Director [2017]

Dr. Joe Abah has been appointed as the Country Director for Nigeria by Development Alternatives Incorporated (DAI) Global.

Originally trained as a barrister in Nigeria, Dr. Joe Abah gained extensive experience in the governance sector, working on public sector reform programs for the U.K. Prime Minister’s Office. He has spent more than 10 years managing governance programs in Nigeria for the U.K. Department for International Development, including on the DAI-led State Partnership for Accountability Responsiveness and Capability project.

From 2013 to 2017, Joe took a post with the Government of Nigeria as Head of the Bureau for Public Sector Reform. He has now returned to DAI to serve as Country Director for Nigeria, where he provides technical and strategic inputs to DAI’s existing portfolio of projects, in addition to supporting business development initiatives.

  • Ph.D., Maastricht University, The Netherlands
  • M.A., business law, London Guildhall University, United Kingdom
  • Bachelor of Laws, law, University of Calabar, Nigeria

DAI, led the over seven year State Partnership for Accountability Responsiveness and Capability (SPARC) project. The project focused on supporting responsive policy formulation and encourage performance-focused public service in Nigeria by helping state governments to improve revenue collection, reduce budgetary waste, and implement strategies for locally led planning.

The project was succeeded in 2016 by Accountable, Responsive, and Capable Government (ARC) program, which is billed to elapse in 2020.

In implementing ARC, DAI says it will take a collective action approach to reducing corruption and strengthening public accountability by working with stakeholders both inside and outside of government.

DAI’s mission is to make a lasting difference in the world by helping people improve their lives. DAI envision a world in which communities and societies become more prosperous, fairer and better governed, safer, healthier, and environmentally more sustainable.

Tunde Fowler Elected 1st Vice Chairman of UN Tax Committee of Experts

Tunde Fowler, Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), has been elected as 1st vice chairman of  the United Nations Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters.

 The election took place in Geneva, Switzerland, where the global UN Committee of Tax Experts is holding its meeting.

UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guteress, announced the appointment of the 25 members in a United Nations Economic and Social Council notification dated 10 August 2017. The 25 tax experts were headhunted across the globe to sit on the Committee and proffer solutions to issues on international taxation and cooperation.

Five out of the 25 new entrants into the prestigious Committee are Africans. They are Tunde Fowler, who is also the Chairman of African Tax Administrations Forum (ATAF); Elfrieda Stewart Tamba, Chairman of the Liberian Revenue Authority and Chairman of West African Tax Administrators Forum (WATAF); Margaret Moonga Chikuba, Chairman of the Zambian Revenue Authority. Others are Eric Nil Yarboi Mensah, Chairman of Ghanaian Revenue Authority and George Omondi Obell, Chairman of the Kenyan Revenue Authority.
The appointment is in accordance with the United Nations resolution—the Economic and Social Council resolution 2004/69, which established that “only 25 tax experts selected from among all countries of the world are needed to join the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters, within an interval of every four years”.
Tax experts in the Committee also include Natalia Aristazabal Mora (Colombia), Abdoulfatah Moussa Arreh (Djibouti), Rajat Bansal  (India), Mitsuhiro Honda (Japan); Cezary Krysiak  (Poland), Eric Nil Yarboi Mensah (Ghana); Dang Ngoc Minh (Vietnam), Patricia Mongkhonvanit (Thailand); Marlene Patricia Nembhard-Parker (Jamaica) and Carmel Peters (New Zealand).

Others are Carlos E. Protto (Argentina), Antonio Deher Rachid (Brazil) Aart Roelofsen (Netherlands), Christoph Schelling; (Switzerland), Aleksandr Anatolyevich Smirnov (Russia), Stephanie Smith (Canada), Titia Stolte-Detring  (Germany), José Troya (Ecuador), Ingela Willfors  (Sweden), Yan Xiong (China) and Sing Yuan Yong (Singapore).

 Their mandate is to brainstorm always and offer, from their wealth of experience, knowledge of how the world can manage taxation for international development and cooperation.

Guteress, who signed the notification of appointment, stated that a total of 60 nominations were received for the 25 positions in response to a note verbale, dated 27 April 2017, in which the Secretary-General invited Member States to nominate qualified candidates for selection into the Committee.

Michael Lennard, Chief of International Tax Cooperation at the United Nations, in a brief remark as the meeting commenced, underscored the importance of the important work the team need to do given the centrality of tax to development today.

According to Michael Lennard:

“Developing tax now involves more countries, more civil societies, including NGOs more Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, more individuals, not just more Multinationals. More women. There is a lot more women on our tax committee this year and more young people. There is a bigger debate on Enlarging the people involved in this debate not just in subject matter, but also generationally which I think is important in this matter.”