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YALI Network Summit 2019: Meet our Speakers and Panelists

YALI Network Summit 2019: Meet our Speakers and Panelists

The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI Network) is an initiative of the US Government, our members comprise students, Civil Society Organizations, Civil servants (youths) and entrepreneurs, who devote their time and resources to create impacts in their local communities across the 36 states of the country.

This year’s YALI Network Summit will not only unpack the key issues facing youth in the 21st century in a developing economy’s like Nigeria, but also the strategies that can be adopted to address these issues. The theme is PARADIGM SHIFT: YOUTH INCLUSION IN GOVERNMENT POLICIES FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT and it aims at catalizing the abilities of young African leaders participating from various structured YALI hubs across Nigeria to lead and act in their respective communities. This will serve as a resolution focused advocacy project encouraging inclusive governance, development and public private partnership in helping youths to tackle these challenges. We recognise that for citizens to enjoy the dividends of democracy, Government, Institutions and Individuals must #IncludeYouthsToo.

Hon. (Barr.) Deacon Sergius Oseasochie Ogun is a Member of the Federal House of Representatives, representing Esan North East/South East Federal Constituency, Edo State. Before his foray into politics, he was a player in Nigeria’s oil sector as the Managing Director of Relentech Specialist Nigeria Limited (an indigenous oilfield services company).

His passion for education, health care, wealth creation, youth and women empowerment led to the creation of Sergius Oseasochie Ogun Foundation (SOOF) in 2007. Since its inception, the foundation has consistently engaged in annual empowerment programmes which include but are not limited to: distribution of enrolment fees for NECO/SSCE examinations to selected best performing secondary school students; annual distribution of free note books to primary and secondary school students, medical outreaches where beneficiaries are offered medical diagnoses, drugs, eye test, medicated eye glasses, at no cost. In the past ten years, about fifty thousand people have benefitted from these programmes.

As a member of the Federal House of Representatives, his legislative activities centre around enhancing the health, welfare and living conditions of the common people; this has been the background which has framed about 56 motions and 23 bills he has sponsored which are currently at various legislative stages. Furthermore, his versatility on topical issues makes him a major contributor on the floor of the house.

Hon. Sergius Ogun was Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the eight Assembly as well as a member of eight other committees, namely: Federal Character, Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Agric Colleges and Institutions, Special Duties, Human Rights, Local Content, Lake Chad and IDPs Refugees and Initiatives on North East. He was also re-elected by his constituents to represent them in the recently inaugurated ninth National Assembly.


Dr Wale Olasoji is an accountant, speaker, mentor and entrepreneur. He has participated in various leadership trainings including the prestigious London School of Management and Leadership with Euromoney, United Kingdom and Lagos Business School, Nigeria. He has also facilitated corporate training sessions on subjects of leadership, team building, time management just to mention a few. He has been featured in The Guardian newspaper, Punch, NTA among other media platforms and has contributed interviews and comments to various on subjects of national development. He brings to the table an experience of more than two decades spanning Banking, Oil and Gas, Information Technology, Media and Non-Governmental Organizations.

Wale holds a BSc in Accounting, an MBA in Business Administration and a Doctor of Ministry in Theology. He is currently undertaking a PhD degree with focus on Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the International School of Management, France. He is an alumnus of Lagos Business School and IESE Business School, Spain amongst others.

He holds an associate membership of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and a Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Commerce of Nigeria. He also has a Diploma in Management Accounting from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, United Kingdom. Wale Olasoji is the current President of Total E&P Multipurpose Staff Cooperative Limited, one of the best run cooperative societies in Nigeria. He is also the immediate past President of the Chartered Institute of Commerce of Nigeria.

Having a flair for mentoring and grooming young people, Wale serves on the board of DreamNFocus, an NGO that helps teenagers, secondary school and university students settle into a focused lifestyle.

Ibrahim Babainna is a Business Consultant & a Trainer with core competence in new business development and workplace learning. He had previously served with the Nigerian Navy and retired as a Commander from the Nigerian Navy with a 25-year meritorious military service record.  Ibrahim has a BSc in Accounting. He is a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Public Administrators and has invested greatly in Personal Development in the past 5 years. Ibrahim is also a security expert. He consults for the Armed forces and Police on security matters and training. He is a member of Centre for Disaster Management and fellow at the Institute of Safety and Security management. He is the founder and CEO of IBI Centre, a firm set up to re-position SME Solution in Nigeria and support organizations with the development of their greatest asset – their people. He supports and encourages startups, and small businesses with space for their programs, seminars, conferences and events at highly discounted rates. Ibrahim is also the founder of IBI Foundation an NGO that has being touching the lives of the less privileged, orphans and impacting communities with its humanitarian activities. He is the initiator of the SDGs Thursday meetup. A networking group that supports the actualization of the SDGs in Nigeria by 2030. His pet project under the SDGs supports the Girl Child by organizing the International Girls in ICT day event yearly at the IBI Centre. Through this project he has been able to train and mentor over a thousand young girls and ladies to take up careers in ICT or ICT related fields. He also strongly supports and advises on the benefits of educating the girl child in the north. His other areas of professional competence are: Learning Design; Adult Learning Facilitation; and Public Speaking. Ibrahim is a Mentor and Coach to individuals, groups and communities. Ibrahim  is married  and blessed with Children.


Chiedozie Nwafor has over 4 years’ experience spanning Medical Diagnostics and Health Systems Strengthening. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Abuja, an MSc in Biomedicine from Lancaster University, UK, as well as Certifications in Global Health from Imperial College London and Public Management from The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. Dozie is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community, an Exxon Mobil Scholar, a Mandela Washington Fellow, UK Government Chevening Scholar and during his graduate studies was recognized as one of the Top Ten Black Students in the UK, at the 2018 Rare Rising Stars UK Awards. Dozie is passionate about leadership, social transformation and translating evidence based biomedical research into improving healthcare delivery.

Adebukola Shonibare is the CEO of 555 Consulting Limited, and the Founder of The Light Family Empowerment Foundation, under which she coordinates ‘Adopt-A-Camp’ and ‘Girl Child Africa’ – assisting Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and promoting girls’ and women’s rights, respectively. Bukky holds an LL. B in Law, B.Sc. in Business Administration, and Master’s in Peace and Security. She also holds dual Certificates in Journalism, and Creative Writing from the London School of Journalism; and dual Certificates in Social Sector Management, and Entrepreneurial Management from the Pan Atlantic University, Nigeria. Bukky has received some awards and recognitions including being recognized as a ‘Nigerian Star’ by the US Embassy (Nigeria) in May 2019; and one of Quartz Africa’s Innovators at the World Economic Forum in 2017. In January 2018, she was awarded Glazia’s Person of the Year in the Philanthropy and Advocacy category; and in March 2018, she was named one of the 100 Most Inspiring Women in Nigeria. Bukky is a Mandela Washington Fellow (2016), a program of the US Department of State, leading to a Civic Leadership program at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, United States.

Imioboho Williams is a Public Health Pharmacist with Passion for qualitative leadership, Improved Standard of Healthcare Delivery in Africa and Strategic development.  Presently engaged by the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria, a renowned Organization dedicated to achieving epidemic control of HIV/AIDS and TB in Nigeria.

Imoiboho served as the Chairman of Young Pharmacist’s Group – Nigeria, the foremost interest group in the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria where he engaged and participated in development of policies affecting healthcare and pharmacy practice in the country. His Leadership credence dates back to his student days where he held various positions and designed sustainable interventions that are still in place today. As the Secretary of Students Union Government, University of Uyo, he launched the student MDGs campaign.

He is the founder of Corper’s Mentorship Platform; an online platform dedicated to engaging, exposing and improving the entrepreneurship and employability skills of Nigerian Youth Corps Members while at the same time pairing them to mentors in their respective field of Endeavour ( and Nationbuildershub Consults ( which is a virtual Human Resource, Career, Recruitment, Mentoring, Business Consultancy and Training / Skills firm dedicated to providing practical, challenging and affordable skills, information and training to meet the current, emerging and future needs of the sector. He serves on the board of several organizations including Safe Mother Safe Child Healthcare Africa, a registered Non-for–Profit organization implementing quality maternal and new child healthcare services in Northern Nigeria. Imoiboho is a Certified Management Consultant, a Fellow of President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative Program (RLC). His passion for research and innovation has earned him various travel grants. He is a member of the African Union Youth Working Group and the United Nations Major Group on Children and Youth.

Dr. Otive Igbuzor is the Executive Director of the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD) (See He was one-time International Head of campaigns of ActionAid International and Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria. ActionAid International is an international organization working with people, communities, associates and partners in over 50 countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe to eradicate poverty and injustice.(See He was also an honourable Commissioner in the Police Service Commission (PSC) from 2008-2013 representing civil society. (See Prior to joining ActionAid, he was a Programme Coordinator of Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), an independent research, information and training institution dedicated to policy-oriented scholarship on questions of democratic development and peace building in the West African sub-region. He also served as the Secretary of Citizens’ Forum for Constitutional Reform (CFCR), a coalition of over one hundred civil society organizations committed to a process led and participatory approach to constitutional reform in Nigeria (See Previously, he was a lecturer at the Delta State University, Lagos Centre and has published many scholarly articles on democracy, gender, politics and development. He is the author several books including Perspectives on Democracy and Development, Challenges of Development in Nigeria, Overcoming Challenges of Transformation in Nigeria, National Security and Policing in Nigeria, Alternative Development Strategy for Nigeria and Leadership, Development and Change. He is the co-editor of two authoritative books on Constitution making and Constitutionalism in Nigeria: Contentious Issues in the Review of the 1999 Constitution and A Citizens’ Approach to Making a People’s Constitution in Nigeria, and two others, one on Poverty Eradication titled Poverty Eradication in Nigeria: Perspectives on a Participatory and Pro-Poor Approach and the other on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) titled Can Nigeria achieve the MDGs in 2015? In all, he has 49 academic publications including seven books and 15 articles in local and international journals. He holds a bachelors’ degree in Pharmacy, two masters’ degrees in Public Administration and International Relations and a doctorate degree in Public Administration specializing in Policy Analysis. He was a founding and leading member of many human rights and mass democratic organizations in Nigeria in the 1980s and ’90s. He is a member of many professional associations including Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Nigerian Political Science Association (NPSA), Institute of Strategic Management Nigeria (ISMN) and Nigerian Institute of Management. He is a fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and Institute of Strategic Management, Nigeria (ISMN). He is a past President of Institute of Strategic Management, Nigeria (ISMN) (  and President of The Ejiro & Otive Igbuzor Foundation ( He sits on the board of several organisations including Oando Foundation, Police Health Maintenance Organisation (Police HMO), Mining Implementation Strategy Team (MIST), Nigerian Women Trust Fund and Partnership Opportunities for Women Empowerment Realisation (POWER). In recognition of his leadership roles, he was appointed by the immediate past Secretary General of United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki Moon in October, 2012 into the Global Network of Men Leaders to end Violence Against Women ( .

Nathaniel Msen Awuapila, FSPSP, FIIM, FIMC, CMC, is the Executive Facilitator/CEO of Civil Organizations Research Advocacy and Funding Initiatives Development (CORAFID), an NGO based in Benue State, Nigeria.

Nathaniel holds: a baccalaureate degree in Philosophy from the Urbanian Pontifical University Rome; a graduate diploma in Planning and Management of Development Projects from Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) Nairobi; a practicing peace and security expert with several professional qualifications from the West Africa Peacebuilding Institute, Accra. He also bagged qualifications in Child Protection and Child Safeguarding, from UNICEF, Bar Human Rights UK, and the Keeping Children Safe Coalition. He is currently studying International Human Rights Law at Université Catholique de Louvain (edX).

Nathaniel is Chairman of Benue State Child Protection Network (BnSCPN) and recently appointed to the Board of Child Protection Global Advocates which is Nigeria’s umbrella body for Child Protection Networks in Nigeria; he is also, Convener Safe Spaces Forum; North-Central Coordinator at West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP); Member of Forum of Farmer-Herder Relations in Nigeria (FFARN); a longstanding member of the training faculty of Society for Peace Studies and Practice (SPSP); National Facilitator on the United States Institute of Peace’s (USIP) Justice and Security Dialogue (JSD) Programme; Member of Women, Youth Peace and Security Working Group West Africa and the Sahel (#WYPSWG) Nigeria; Member, Women Peace and Security (WPS) Steering Committee on the UN Women’s WPS project in Benue State.

Nathaniel is also a member of a number of professional bodies: he is, Fellow Society for Peace Studies and Practice (SPSP); Professional Fellow, Institute of Information Management (IIM); Member, Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE); Member, Global Social Service Workforce Alliance (GSSWA); immediate past Co-Chair, Tools & Resources Sub-Group of Case Management Interest Group at GSSWA (2017-2018); and, a professional Fellow at Institute of Management Consultants (FIMC) and as well a Certified Management Consultant (CMC), a qualification that was offered to him by the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI). Nathaniel has consulted for some organisations including Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Action Aid, Society for Peace Studies and Practice (SPSP), West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), AHNI, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), United States Institute of Peace (USIP), and has resourced for UNICEF, United Nations Human Rights Office (OHCHR), and a few others. Nathaniel is married to Magdalene, his beloved best friend of many years. He lives with his family in Makurdi, Benue State.

Femi Omotuyi is the youngest amongst the only five in the world Licensed by UNDP as “CAREER INCUBATOR”.  He is an inducted Fellow Emeritus, a Certified LEAN SIX SIGMA BLACK BELT-“Profit Through Process Improvement” Expert and a Seasoned Professional Business Leadership Executive with a Top-notch quality working Experience of over 15years characterized with solid background in Corporate Occupational Leadership and Operational Management Consultancy, Technical Organizational Development and Career Empowerment Resource Facilitation. Femi has Industry expertise in Professional Career Performance Audit & Productivity Improvement, Business Strategy & Transformation Planning as well as Organizational & Operational Alignment Protocols. Femi Omotuyi has extensive Career expertise as Training Facilitator, Career Leadership Coach, Training Resource Consultant, Forensic Project Advisor and Organizational Support Technician. Femi worked with Omotology Consults (a Forensic Project Advisory and Administrative Management Consultancy Firm) where he rose to the position of Chief Managing Consultant. He also worked briefly with Simeon’s Pivot Resources (a HR Management Consulting Firm) as its Principal Consultant and presently serves as a Faculty Member of Pause Factory (Africa’s Premier Emotional Intelligence Academy) where he functions as the Director of Certification. He also worked as the African Regional Director of the British International Institute for Leadership and Management – BIILM (a Globally Recognized Citadel for Leadership & Management in the UK) Until his recent appointment into the Board of the Nigeria Investment Gateway – NIG where he is currently the Group Executive Director. Femi is the Founding Partner of Apex Professional Services. His career certifications include: Fellow – Institute of Chartered Consultant – (NIG, USA) | Fellow – Institute of Management Consultants – (NIG, CANADA) | Licentiate Fellow – Institute of Training & Occupational Learning – (UK) | Fellow – Institute of Management Consultant – (USA) | Certified Training Consultant – (USA) | Chartered Management Consultant – (CANADA) | Associate Certified Coach – (UK) | Certified Career Coach – (USA) | Forensic Project Analyst – (AUSTRALIA) Certified Human Resource Consultant (CANADA) | Member – International Administrative Consultant Association | Member – Association of Career Professionals International | Certified Professional Innovator – (CANADA) | Member – Corporate Project International (MCPI) | Member – Committee of Organizational Development | Associate – Academy of Sales Management | BSc. – Human Resource Management -International University of Management & Administration (IUMA) | BSc.-International Relations & Diplomacy -University of Ibadan (UI)


Tahir Sheriff is a freelance journalist, researcher, and writer, Tahir has worked as a reporter and content developer for new media platforms in Nigeria and co-founded W45. A media organization supporting social change actors with communication capacity. He develops feature articles, short stories, editorial pieces and broadcast scripts for News Wire Nigeria, and He writes about social change, inclusive governance, human rights, and social justice.

As Creative Director at W45, Tahir supports programs, conducts programmatic field research, designs training programs, and facilitates operations and logistics in Nigeria. He uses his deep in-context knowledge of Nigerian media, politics, and social justice to develop W45’s governance and citizen engagement portfolio in Nigeria.

Tahir is a graduate of Nigeria’s Northern premier university, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Financial Accounting, a master’s degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy, and is certified by The Journalism Clinic, Thomson Foundation and IDEO in – Mobile and Online Journalism, Trust and Reputation Building, and Human Centered Design Research. Tahir is a well versed in Nigerian history, speaks two of the three major Nigerian languages, and often doubles as a travel photographer.


Desmond Utomwen, a development communicator, seasoned journalist, TV host, public affairs analyst, filmmaker, content creator and developer, publisher of FreshNEWS Media and media strategist with almost two decades of local and international experience in professional practice. Utomwen is also a Media Right Activist and co-founded the Centre Against Brutality and for the Safety of Journalists in Africa (CABSOJA). He holds Degrees in Mass Communications and Sociology. Utomwen is widely travelled and has rich professional trainings from include the New York Film Academy, New York among others.

Maryann Atseyinku is a Resource Recovery expert and owner of CWR – Community Waste and Recycling. She started out with a Degree in Biochemistry, interned in Shell then started an Environmental NGO with classmates. As a passionate environmentalist she proceeded to get a master’s in environmental engineering and Project Management from the University of Leeds. Since then she has carried out several waste management projects through CWR: providing services for major events like ALITFEST, Bodyline and Abuja Creative Summit. She is forefront in the ‘Leave No Trace’ initiative getting hiking groups to consider waste management in the hills and cleaned more than 100kg of waste from the hills. CWR has other waste to resource projects in the works.


Isaac David Balami was born and raised in the North Eastern region of Nigeria. He is an indigene of Hawul Local Government Area in Borno State. In 2008, he obtained the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering from the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria. In 2011, he obtained the HAWKER 4000 course certification in Airframe and Power Plant and Aircraft Maintenance Engineering from the Flight Safety International, Kansas, USA. In 2013, he completed his postgraduate diploma in Aviation Management from the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria. He holds the Aircraft Engineering License TB9 Engine and Airframe, Pressurized Airframe, Gas Turbine Jet Engine, HAWKER 4000 New Generation Jet. As an aircraft engineer, his career has spanned over 11 years, beginning with the position of Extol System Engineer with Computer Associates Inc. in 2002, to the position he currently holds at Aero Contractors Company Nig Ltd, as Business Development Manager, overseeing third party maintenance across all airlines in Africa.



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