Kenyan author named in UN high-level advisory board

Nanjala Nyabola

Kenyan author and researcher Nanjala Nyabola.

Photo credit: Courtesy | YouTube

What you need to know:

  • Nanjala Nyabola and Donald Kaberuka from Rwanda are the only East Africans in the newly-established board.
  • Board will be co-chaired by retired Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven.

Kenyan author and researcher Nanjala Nyabola and a Rwandan national are among 12 eminent persons named in the United Nation’s high-level advisory board on effective multilateralism.

Ms Nyabola and Donald Kaberuka from Rwanda are the only East Africans in the newly-established board which will be co-chaired by retired Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven.

The board will be tasked with building on the ideas contained in the Secretary-General’s report titled Our Common Agenda, which was released in September 2021.

Our Common Agenda ideas include the centrality of women and girls, and the need to take into account the interests of young people and future generations.

The board will be supported in its work by the Centre for Policy Research of the United Nations University in close coordination with the Executive Office of the Secretary-General. 

Ms Nyabola’s work focuses on the intersection between technology, media, and society. She is the Director of Advox, the digital rights research and writing initiative of Global Voices, and is the author of Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics: How the Internet Era is Transforming Politics in Kenya (Zed Books, 2018) and Travelling While Black: Essays Inspired by a Life on the Move (Hurst Books, 2020).  

Mr Kaberuka is Chairman and Managing Partner of SouthBridge, a Pan-African financial advisory and investment firm. Previously he served as the President of the African Development Bank, and as Rwanda's Minister of Finance and Economic Planning. He is also the African Union High Representative for the Peace Fund and Board Chair of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.  

Africa’s other representative in the board is Azza Karam from Egypt. Ms Karam is Secretary-General of Religions for Peace, a multi-religious leadership platform, and a Professor of Religion and Development at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. She was previously Senior Advisor on Culture at UNFPA and the convener of the United Nations inter-agency task force on religion and development.

The other board members are Xu Bu (China), Poonam Ghimire (Nepal), Jayati Ghosh (India), Tharman Shanmugaratnam (Singapore), Anne-Marie Slaughter (United States), Ilona Szabó de Carvalho (Brazil) and Danilo Türk (Slovenia).  

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