key thinkers on development
Born in 1930 in Ijebu-Ode in southwestern Nigeria, Adebayo Adedeji received his doctorate in Economics from the University of London in 1967, following initial training in Economics (BSc Hons, London, 1958) and Public Administration (Diploma, University College, Ibadan, 1954 and MPA, Harvard, 1961). After working initially as a civil servant, he joined the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife) in 1963, becoming Nigeria’s first Professor of Public Administration in 1967 and, concurrently, Director of the Institute of Administration. Between 1971 and 1975 he served as Nigeria’s (post-civil war) Minister of Economic Planning and Reconstruction, before joining the United Nations as Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) with the rank of Assistant Secretary-General in 1975. He was promoted to Under-Secretary-General in 1978. He resigned from the UNECA in 1991 to return to Ijebu-Ode in Nigeria, where he established an independent think-tank, the African Centre for Development and Strategic Studies (ACDESS), which he continues to head as Executive Director.