Royal African Society's 2014 Annual Lecture

Monday, 1 December 2014 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

'Africa Rising? What will happen when her citizens arise'

Annual Lecture with Dr Obiageli 'Oby' Ezekwesili, Senior Economic Adviser at Open Society Foundations (OSF), Former Vice President of the World Bank (Africa Region) and Nigeria's Minister of Education from 2006-2007

Chaired by Zeinab Badawi, Chair of the Royal African Society


Date & Time: Monday, 1 December 2014, 6-8PM

Venue: Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, London W1G 0AE


Dr. Obiageli ‘Oby’ Ezekwesili is a Senior Economic Advisor at Open Society Foundations (OSF). She also jointly serves as Senior Economic Advisor for Africa Economic Development Policy Initiative (AEDPI), a program of the Open Society Foundations. In these roles, she advises nine reform-committed African heads of state including Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia.

Before joining OSF, she was Vice President of the World Bank (Africa Region) in Washington, D.C., responsible for operations in 48 countries and a lending portfolio of nearly $40 billion. From 2002 to 2007, Dr. Ezekwesili worked for the federal government of Nigeria as Minister of Education, Minister of Solid Minerals, head of the Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Unit as well as Chairperson of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) where she led the first ever national implementation of the global standards and principles of transparency in the oil, gas and mining sectors. She was a key member of President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Economic Team.

More recently, Dr. Ezekwesili has been one of the leading campaigners for the ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ movement following the kidnapping of over 300 girls from a boarding school in Chibok by Boko Haram in April 2014. 

At the Royal African Society Annual Lecture, Dr. Ezekwesili spelled out why attempts by outsiders to promote good governance in Africa will not work: "The supply side can never deliver ambitious objectives. Better governance will only happen and deliver what the people need when the people themselves demand it from the politicians."