Public Georgetown lecture on energy and the economy will feature the former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo

The former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo

The former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo

The former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, will be an honored guest of Georgetown University in Qatar on March 22 at 6 PM where he will discuss “Nigeria's evolving transformation,” exploring the challenges and opportunities in his nation’s efforts to steward and diversify its economy.

At the campus event, which is open to the public, former President Obasanjo will pay special attention to instructive insights from Qatar’s own experience of investing natural resource wealth to transition from a hydrocarbon-based economy to a knowledge-based economy. This is with a view to examine what lessons Nigeria can learn from Qatar and what opportunities exist for collaborations.  

“It is a great honor for Georgetown to host a former head of state of President Obasanjo’s caliber,” said the dean of GU-Q, Dr. Gerd Nonneman. “Two themes of enormous importance for the world as well as for us here at Georgetown are the urgency for single-commodity economies to diversify in pursuit of sustainable development; and the building and safeguarding national cohesion in countries of complex ethnic and religious make-up. President Obasanjo's experience and insights into the challenges and opportunities for Nigeria, in such efforts, are extremely valuable for all those concerned with these issues, not least here at Georgetown where our students and professors continuously engage with these questions."

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo served as Nigeria’s military Head of State from 1976 to 1979. Subsequently, he was popularly elected as the President for two consecutive terms from 1999 to 2003 and then from 2003 to 2007. His tenure at the helm of democratic government ushered in a commitment to the rule of law and crucial political reform.

In 2008, Obasanjo was appointed by the United Nations as a special envoy to mediate in conflict situations around the continent, including in Democratic Republic of Congo, in Zimbabwe and in South Sudan. He is called upon regularly to oversee democratic elections on behalf of the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States in countries across the continent.

Obasanjo is a member of Club de Madrid, an independent non-profit organization created to promote democracy and change in the international community. Its members are over 100 former democratically elected Presidents and Prime Ministers from more than 60 countries.  

Outside the political arena Mr. Obasanjo has been a catalyst in driving Africa’s economic transformation. The region is now amongst the fastest growing in the world, rapidly becoming the destination of choice for international investors looking to emerging and frontier markets.

More information about the upcoming lecture can be found on the university’s website.

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