UN Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed a Nigerian, Ozonnia Ojielo, as the United Nations resident coordinator in Rwanda.
A spokesman for the secretary-general, Farhan Haq, announced the appointment at a news conference at UN headquarters on Tuesday.
“As you know, resident coordinators are senior UN officials who are leading our work on the ground to rescue the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while supporting ongoing national COVID-19 response and recovery programmes,” said.Mr Haq.
Mr Ojielo brings to the position more than 25 years of experience in sustainable development work, including experience overseeing a global portfolio of programmes and projects with the UN in Central Asia and Africa that covered four continents.
He recently served as resident coordinator in Kyrgyzstan, resident representative of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to the Kyrgyz Republic.
He also held other leadership positions at UNDP, including cluster director for governance and peacebuilding in Africa at UNDP’s regional service centre for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as well as director for conflict prevention and recovery at the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery of UNDP in New York.
He also took on other senior roles with UNDP in Kenya and Ghana.
Prior to joining the UN, he was an attorney, university teacher, journalist and advised truth, justice and reconciliation as well as human rights commissions in Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia and Sierra Leone.
He also served as the president of the Centre for Peace in Africa, a regional non-profit in Nigeria, and is the founder and first president of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators, the largest mediation and conciliation organisation in Africa.
Mr Ojielo authored numerous scholarly and technical publications and holds a PhD in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Ibadan.
He holds master’s degrees in strategic and project management from the Paris Graduate School of Management in France as well as in history from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Mr Ojielo holds bachelor’s degrees in history and law from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and ASUTECH respectively.