Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Former Minister of Education Obiageli Ezekwesili and former Minister of Information Mr Frank Nweke II are to join others drawn from the academia, civil society organizations, policymakers to discuss structural change and how poor politics affect good governance at the #FixPolitics Initiative.
The two-day conference scheduled for Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, is being put together by The Robert Bosch Academy tagged #FixPolitics Initiative with Obiageli Ezekwesili, who is its current Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow.
The Berlin, Germany-based academy stated that from the findings of Ezekwesili’s research, politics in Nigeria and other African countries is in dire need of a structural change.
The academy said: “Politics on the continent must be innovated, if Africa is to take advantage of the efficiencies that come with the technological revolution to speed up the development ladder, tackle mass poverty and catch up with other prosperous regions of the world,” it explained in a press statement.
The academy further explained that the #FixPolitics Initiative will propose innovative ways of empowering and centring the citizens in their countries’ politics before, during and after the electoral cycle.
At the conference Ezekwesili, a co-founder of the #BringBackOurGirls movement as well as the #RedCardMovement in Nigeria, who focuses her research fellowship on #FixPolitics, will present her interim report to the conference. Her research work is to develop a greater understanding of the nexus between the quality of politics and the economic progress or decline of nations, with a particular focus on Africa.
“During her Fellowship at the Robert Bosch Academy, she has been probing the effect that the poor quality of politics in a country has on governance, sound economic policies, growth and development in Africa and on Nigeria in particular.”
Ezekwesili will use the findings of her fellowship programme and the collaboration of the Work Study Group component to design a structural change agenda for the politics and polity of Nigeria and the rest of Africa.
The conference will combine a variety of meeting formats. Sessions are designed to allow participants to discuss ideas for emerging, an empowered and engaged electorate, citizens-led, value-based political class and agreed strategies for compelling political and electoral reforms. The conference facilitates an opportunity for a wider audience to sharpen the existing groundworks of the Work Study Groups component of the research and help concretize a post-meeting strategic plan that will mobilize citizens’ leadership to course correct the struggling democracy of Nigeria and ultimately, Africa.
The Robert Bosch Academy, founded in 2014, is an institution of the Robert Bosch Stiftung. The academy offers international decision-makers, opinion leaders, and experts the space for confidential exchanges and solution-oriented cooperation on global affairs.
Through its programmes, the Robert Bosch Academy provides its fellows with the opportunity to spend a residency in Berlin. In addition, it hosts a wide range of events and with its diverse perspectives contributes to a vivid debate on political and social issues.
Notable personalities expected at the conference are Jannik Rust, Senior Project Manager, Richard von Weizsäcker Fellows, Prof Johann Lambsdorff, Professor of Economic Theory at the University of Passau, Germany; Michael Famoriti, Head of Stears Data Advisory & Consulting Practice and Prof Annette Zimmer, Professor of Social Policy and Comparative Politics at the University of Münster; Professor Peter Lewis Warren Weinstein Chair of African Studies, School of Advanced and International Studies, John Hopkins University Washington DC, USA and Dr Aloy Chife — Managing Partner/CEO SAANA CAPITAL, LLC.
Also expected are Mr Frank Nweke II- Co-Founder, NzukoLabs. Mrs Aisha Yesufu, Founder, Citizens Hub; Mr. Iyin Aboyeji— Co-Founder, Future Africa, Ms. Chioma Agwuegbo, Founder, TechHer. Dr Charles Omole- Managing Partner, Prodel Global Services Ltd, Mrs Alero-Otobo, Founder, Incubator Africa,Mr. Adewale Ajadi, Country Director, Synergos; Dr Amina Salihu, Senior Program Officer, MacArthur Foundation Abuja Nigeria, Mrs. Abiodun Omowumi Shoyemi Essiet, Special Adviser to the Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council on ICT/Donor Agencies & CSOs and Mrs Mary Ikoku— Founder, Emerge Women Development Initiative.
Others are Mr. Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Mr. Samson Itodo, Executive Director, YIAGA Africa and others.