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New Chairperson of West Africa Chapter wants to drive inclusive growth

Source: Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

23 March 2022

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Olusiji Aina, a Development Economist with over 20 years of experience, was recently appointed as Chairperson of the Alumni Association West Africa Chapter. He graduated from the MPhil in Development Finance (MDevF) programme in 2011 and says, “ever since then, I have pushed my career from a middle-level manager to an executive management position”.

He has also served on several national and international boards of directors. To mention a few:

  • He headed a multimillion-dollar project for the United States Aid for International Development Feed the Future Nigeria Livelihoods Project.
  • Appointed as Chairman of Kogi State Economic Advisory Council, advising the government on economic policies that can drive economic growth, job creation, and poverty reduction, among many others.
  • Partner and Board Member at Impact Amplifier, a social impact focused accelerator and capital advisory firm that blends business development services and funding to scale commercially viable social enterprises in Africa.
  • Delaware African Caribbean Coalition (DACC), United States.
  • Partner and Board Member at Impact.

 

He was also recently elected as an advisory board member of the U.S.-Africa Trade Council (USAfriTC) for the period of 2022 – 2025.

Aina has also featured in many international conferences in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East, including World Bank Spring Meetings, Economic Forums, and the Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit in Washington DC.

 

“My journey at Stellenbosch Business School helped reshape my career and the achievements I have recorded so far. The beauty of this experience was largely a mix of both academic and business worlds, which helped me gain traction and move me up the ladder gradually and consistently,” he reflects on his student experience at the business school.

 

He chose to study at Stellenbosch Business School because of the flexibility the Master’s in Development Finance programme offered. “The Modular experience helped me pursue my career while still working to earn a sustainable income.”

 

He was elected as a class rep of his programme during his studies and says the “role I played paved the way for me to lead the West Africa chapter of the Alumni Association today.”

 

 

He says the highlight of his career has been working towards economic development. “As a development economist and impact investing specialist, I focus on economic conditions and the well-being of people in low and middle-income countries. This includes policy advocacy, monetary and fiscal policies, rural economic growth, and economic programmes that can create massive impact and inclusive growth.”

 

Given his work in economic development and strategic transformation, it’s no wonder the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) honored him with a UN Ambassador of Peace in 2020. He is fully accredited to be addressed as His Excellency (H.E.) and with VVIP diplomatic access to all UN member states globally. “I have also had opportunities to sit with many international leaders (presidents and governors) globally,” he says.

 

Aina has played a significant part in forming and implementing the West Africa Chapter. “I became the pioneer Director of Membership and Communication for six years and later became the Vice-Chairperson for another three years before rising to the position of the Chairperson in January 2022.”

 

He says the Chapter aims to build strong networks and drive inclusive growth through member support to the host communities. “It will also help mentor the upcoming generation while encouraging them to pass through Stellenbosch Business School as a major leveller to advance their careers.”

 

He adds that they have monthly webinars and seminars on several topical issues planned to help both members of the Chapter and the public. “We will also have quarterly breakfast of dinner networking events to bond alumni members and the public while advertising the business school to those yet to be aware of the impacts created so far.”

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