Daily Trust (Abuja)

9 August 2012

Africa: Ezekwesili Heads Africa Economic Policy Initiative

Former education minister Obiageli Ezekwesili has been asked by the Open Society Foundations to lead its new Africa Economic Policy Development Initiative.

The initiative was created to build on the growth performance of Africa over the last decade and structure economies to expand benefits to the poor through policies that boost private sector jobs and incomes.

Ezekwesili will operate from Abuja as she advises the leaders and policymakers of the countries on their economic strategy and policy reforms that can help boost investment and create job growth in the Mano River region.

The initiative, wahich will help develop leadership in public policy and economic reforms within governments, will leverage African expertise in the Diaspora to strengthen state capacities in various sectors of economies in Africa.

"I am delighted for Oby to join our team working on Africa," said George Soros, chairman and founder of the Open Society Foundations.

"My foundations have long been committed to fostering economic development in post-conflict countries and nations transitioning to democracy," Soros said.

Ezekwesili will oversee the creation of a public policy advisory centre in Abuja that will collaborate with Paul Collier, the professor of economics who focuses on developing countries, and others to provide economic policy solutions to pro-reform governments starting with Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

Before joining Open Society, Ezekwesili was for five years the vice president of the World Bank in charge of the Africa region.

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