Dr. Obadiah Mailafia is a development economist, public finance expert and a former international civil servant with 28 years of experience that has taken him through Africa, Europe, the Caribbean and the Pacific. His expertise is in international finance, public sector management, central banking, investments and global trade.

He recently completed a five-year stint as Chef de Cabinet of the 79-member African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States. In this capacity, he served as the most senior adviser to the Secretary-general, overseeing the strategic management function of the organisation and managing joint programmes with the EU Commission, Council of Ministers, Parliament and the European Investment Bank (EIB). He was also appointed Associate Fellow of the United Nations University Institute for Regional Studies in Bruges and Visiting Professor/Doctoral Supervisor at
the Faculty of Applied Economics of The Free University of Brussels.

Dr. Mailafia began his career as an academic, lecturing at Oxford and London before joining the African Development (ADB) Group, serving in Abidjan, and, later, Tunis. He was Chief Economist in the Strategic Planning and Budgeting of the Bank; winning the President Mamoun Beheiry Prize for outstanding contributions to the Bank’s strategic management turnaround. He was later recalled home in 2005 to serve as Deputy Governor for Economic Policy at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). He played an influential role in the banking consolidation and macroeconomic policy
reforms of those years.

Dr. Mailafia is a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, IIAP-École national d’administration, Paris and Oriel College, the University of Oxford, where he completed his DPhil. He is a popular commentator on economics and international affairs; a public intellectual widely acknowledged as one of the thought leaders in Africa today. Dr. Mailafia serves on the boards of a number of corporations and agencies within and outside Nigeria. He is also a business and strategy consultant.

His extra-curricular interests include the spirituality of the Apostolic Church Fathers, military strategy, political theory and Islamic metaphysics. He is also keenly interested in African wildlife conservation, Egyptology, classical music and tennis. He is a fluent French speaker, with knowledge of elementary Spanish, Italian, German and Arabic.