His Excellency Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR was formerly the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a diplomat and retired army General.
Chief Obasanjo served as the Nigeria’s head of state twice throughout his political career. The first occurred when Nigeria was under military rule. Chief Obasanjo, as the Head of the Federal Military Government of Nigeria and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces from 1976–1979, presided over the voluntary transition to civil democratic ruling. During this period, Chief Obasanjo oversaw the creation of a new constitution for Nigeria and implemented a wide range of governmental reforms, before stepping down from office.
Later, with the return of democracy in 1999, Chief Obasanjo was elected the President of Nigeria, an office he held for two consecutive terms, from 1999–2007. He also served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of Nigeria. During this time, he presided over several large-scale reforms that accelerated economic growth.
After stepping down from office in 2007, Chief Obasanjo continued to play a pivotal role in the regeneration and repositioning of the African Union, which he previously served as Chairperson in 2004. He has consistently supported the deepening and widening of regional cooperation through the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the co-prosperity of Alliance Zone incorporating Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, and Togo. Chief Obasanjo has also been involved in several international mediation efforts, particularly in Namibia, Angola, South Africa, Mozambique and Burundi. Chief Obasanjo was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon as a Special Envoy on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Great Lakes region in 2008.
Prior to entering politics, Chief Obasanjo spent his entire career in the military. He enlisted in the Nigerian Armed Forces in 1958 and rose through the ranks to General in 1979. Chief Obasanjo was also the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Headquarters between 1975–1976 and a member of the Supreme Military Council of the Nigerian Armed Forces between 1975–1979. During the early days of his military career, he frequently studied and received training in England, including the Royal College of Military Engineering and the Royal College of Defence Studies.
Amongst his many appointments, Chief Obasanjo is Founder of the non-profit African Leadership Forum and a member of Club de Madrid, an independent non-profit organization created to promote democracy and change in the international community. Its membership includes over 100 former democratically elected Presidents and Prime Ministers from more than 60 countries. Chief Obasanjo is also a member of the Africa Progress Panel (APP), a group of ten distinguished individuals who promote equitable and sustainable development in Africa.
Chief Obasanjo was a fellow at the University of Ibadan’s Institute of African Studies and authored several publications, journals and books.
*Advisor to Gateway Partners, not formally part of the Advisory Board but will attend meetings