About Me

Credit: AU - Inauguration of the sound installation Sonic Communitary at the Julius Nyerere Peace &  Security Building of the African Union, November 2016

Dr. Olawale Maiyegun is a Public Policy expert and an independent consultant with North-South Consultancy Services LLC. A former Ambassador and career Diplomat in the Nigerian Foreign Service; and also a former Director, Department of Social Affairs (now Humanitarian, Health & Social Development), African Union Commission, Addis Ababa. He has published works in reputable journals on health, child rights and migration. He is a strong advocate of women and child rights. 

His academic background includes a PhD in Public Policy, Master’s degree in International Relations, Bachelor’s degree in History, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Diplomacy. He has four decades experience in bilateral and multilateral diplomacy; development and humanitarian work, as well as in public and global health security. 

His diplomatic postings in Europe, Middle East, North America and Africa and work experience in international organizations have contributed considerably to his multicultural experience and ability to work in a multicultural and multi-ethnic environment as a team member and leader. His language skill includes fluency in English and French and passable knowledge of Arabic. He has the ability to work at the grassroots and community levels, as well as strong rapport with civil society and nongovernmental organizations on a variety of development-related issues. 

He was a leading Member of the Nigerian negotiating team for the Transnational Organized Crime (TOC) Convention (and its three supplementing Protocols on human trafficking, smuggling of migrants and trafficking in firearms); as well as the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). He chaired working groups during the negotiations of these legal instruments between 1998 and 2004, as well as serving on the UN Panels of Experts that developed the Practical and Legislative Guides for the implementation of these Conventions and Protocols; and for monitoring their implementation.

As Director, Department of Social Affairs at the African Union Commission (AUC), Addis Ababa from 2009 to 2018, he led a technical team and provided strategic leadership that had significant social impact in Africa using advocacy, legal and policy instruments to promote and protect the health and rights of women, children, young people, older persons, persons with disabilities, population at risk and minority groups, as well as migration mobility and employment. He provided leadership and supervised the formulation of right-based policy instruments in the thematic areas mentioned above, conduct research, monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of, and compliance of the AU Member States with continental instruments they voluntarily committed to. He ensured the highest standard of research and integrity, ingredients that are vital to successfully relating to, and earning the respect of the Member States, while holding them accountable to the commitments they have undertaken.

He provided strategic leadership and sound operational management that brought significant improvements to internal work processes and methods of the department, motivating and supporting staff with the aim of improving efficiency and performance. Putting in place mechanisms to ensure strict budgetary control and rigorous enforcement of administrative and financial regulations in order to ensure accountability, better and effective use of available but limited resources. Delivery rate and program budget utilization increased from about 35% in 2009 to about 85% in 2017.

He conceptualized, designed and coordinated Africa's response to the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa. This included a Civil-Military Medical Mission – AU Support for Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA) involving the mobilization and deployment of about 1000 African health workers from 18 African countries (blending them into a formidable team) to Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone in September 2014. Resource mobilization of more than $80 million from Partner Countries, organizations and the Private Sector. The critical intervention by the African Union is acknowledged globally and credited for bringing the outbreak to an end.    

Credit - AU - Launching ceremony for the US assistance to the ASEOWA (African Union Support to Ebola in West Africa). Pictured here with U.S. Ambassador to the African Union, Dr. Reuben Brigety

Following the Ebola outbreak, he designed and coordinated the establishment of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) with the support of the United States CDC, China CDC and the European CDC as a medium to long term plan for disease surveillance detection and response in Africa and with a vision to make the Africa CDC, Africa’s foremost Health Agency. The Africa CDC is now fully operational with 5 Regional Collaborating Centers (RCCs) in Egypt, Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia and already conducting surveillance and responding to disease outbreaks, as well as capacity  building to African countries to to meet the core capacity requirements of the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005). The Africa CDC’s leadership and robust response to the COVID-19 pandemic is a clear demonstration of its founding vision. Dr. Maiyegun has the honor of being appointed by the Governing Board as a Champion for the Africa CDC and regularly invited to the Board’s meeting as an expert and ex-officio.   

He took the lead on all matters relating to the Continental Policy on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and its Maputo Plan of Action for its implementation. Coordinated the following Campaigns: (a) Campaign for Accelerated Reduction in Maternal & Child Mortality in Africa (CARMMA) launched in 2009, which has been embraced by 47 of 55 AU Member States, thereby contributing to the decline in maternal and child mortality on the continent. This was part of the scaled-up effort to meet MDGs 4 & 5. The campaign is now scaled up towards ending preventable maternal and child deaths by 2030; (b) Revitalized in 2012, the AIDS Watch Africa (AWA) as Heads of State and Government’s platform for advocacy and accountability toward ending preventable AIDS-related deaths and new infections. The revitalization of AWA put HIV/AIDS, TB & Malaria firmly on the agenda of every AU Summit and an advocacy working lunch by the Heads of States and Government (c) Advocacy and Campaign to End Child Marriage as well as the empowerment of the girl-child launched in 2014. Worked with the youth on SRHR advocacy and training; mobilized and coordinated them to  design the African Union Campaign to End Child Marriage launched in 2014.

He re-energized the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) through capacity building of its members and the secretariat as well as the infusion of resources to facilitate active participation of the civil society. The ACERWC is a treaty body established by the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) to hold Member States accountable for the way the child is treated. There has been improvement in rendering reports by Member States and timely consideration of these reports by the Committee. The Committee has given a number of useful opinions on the provisions of the Charter to guide Member States and held some of them accountable on issues such as slavery and statelessness (denial of citizenship) in the way they treat the African Child.  These achievements were achieved in part with strong collaboration with UNICEF, Plan International, Save-the Children, and the African Child Policy Forum among others.

Contributed to the implementation of Social Policy Framework (SPF), which include among others: social determinants of health, the development of decent job agenda for the Youth; the Social Protection for Rural and Informal Workers, a new Disability Architecture for Africa and the development of continental Protocols on the Rights of Older Persons and Rights of Persons with Disability (both protocols supplementing the African Charter on Human and people’s Rights. In addition, the Protocols cover the welfare and health issues of older persons and persons with disability 

Throughout his professional career, he has been involved in academic and policy research, development, implementation and evaluation of policies. His current research focus is on the intersection of human rights and sport in Africa. He has particular interest in the migration and trafficking of children and young African athletes, as well as safeguards for children in sports. It’s about documenting the human rights risks and collection of accurate data for evidence-based mitigation and remedy policies. He is currently affiliated with the Centre for Sport and Human Rights, Geneva as a Senior Adviser and Consultant.

Since leaving the African Union Commission in 2018, his consultancy services have focused mostly on the development of programs and projects for funding opportunities, research and advocacy on HIV/AIDS, gender equality, the rights and welfare of the child, ending child labor, youth and adolescents, mobility and migration, safeguards for children in sports, as well as social behavioral change (SBC). In 2020 and 2021 for instance, he was a Narrative Consultant for the International Labour Organization (ILO) for the preparation of Technical Proposal for funding opportunity from United States Department of Labor (USDOL) on reducing child labour and trafficking in agriculture in Ethiopia, cocoa farming in Ghana; and reducing child labour in mica mining in Madagascar; as well as for the preparation of Technical Proposal for funding opportunity from United States Department of State (USDOS) on the impact of COVID-19 on Trafficking in Persons in the DRC, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Nigeria, and Tunisia.

From September 2021 to December 2022 he served as the Administrator of the Global Fund Project, NFM-3 (2021- 2023) at the Cameroon Association of Family Welfare (CAMNAFAW) on behalf of IPPF and Global Fund for HIV TB & Malaria for the temporary management of EUR 31 million Global Fund Programme for HIV and TB in the Community. CAMNAFAW is the Principal Recipient (PR) responsible for implementing HIV/TB interventions in the community under the NFM-3, a grant of EUR 31 million from the Global Fund.