Amina Mohammed’s recent appointment as the Deputy-Secretary -General of the United Nations is a beacon of hope in this troubled time that has pervaded the Nigerian polity. Her elevation to this esteemed office from her cabinet position as the Minister of Environment in President Mohamadu Buhari’s administration is a big cause for cheer.
Amina Mohammed had previously served as the Special Adviser on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to three successive Nigerian Presidents. She also coordinated Nigeria’s Debt Relief Fund towards the attainment of the MDGs.
She coordinated the Task Force on Gender and Education of the Millennium project. In her privileged position as adviser, her work has impacted the whole country, such that the modest outcome and impact of the MDGs in Nigeria is bound in large part to her resilience, competency and tenacity.
Amina was a key player in the Post-2015 Development Process where she served as the Special Adviser to the Immediate Past UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on the Post-2015 Development Planning. It is in this role that she served as a link between the Secretary-General, his High Level Panel of Eminent persons and the General Assembly’s Official Working Group on the drafting and presentation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
It is however, her earlier work between 2002-2005 as the Coordinator of the Task Force on Gender and Education for the Millennium Development Goal project as well as her tenacity, resilience and knowledge of the UN Systems that influenced UN Secretary-General Guteries’ appointing her as his Deputy Secretary-General.
Amina over time has worked diligently to promote and fuse poverty alleviation and environmental sustainability into one comprehensive agenda rather than seeing them as competing priorities. She has worked to curb the incidence of female gender mutilation and gender imbalance in Nigeria especially in northern Nigeria, where the incidence is high.
She has also promoted primary healthcare as well as maternal healthcare for mother and child. Her work in Nigeria has spanned the promotion of child basic education, women empowerment initiatives, environmental management, climate change mitigation and control to mention but a few.
In the days ahead, Amina will be spearheading efforts to produce synthetic reports combining recommendations from various official working groups on a number of trending and relevant issues across the globe. She will be expected to continue to push for issues relating to girl child well-being, poverty alleviation and environmental sustainability. She is equally expected to champion seminal causes like Deep De-carbonistaion and Decoupling initiatives as well as focus on people development, ensuring effective goal project implementation across continents, bridge political divides and push for stronger institutions.
On a cautious note, Amina’s rise to this esteemed position is effectively a different field, a trajectory from her previous advisory positions. She is now a Bona fide member of the inner circle of the UN Systems. We hope she is able to seamlessly transmit her previous experiences to the needs of her new office.
If Kofi Annan flew the African flag, we hope Amina will push the African cause to greater heights. She charts a historic path, her narrative yet unfolds, Amina no doubt have a date with history. Kudos to a deserving Global Citizen.
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