Adebayo Adedeji (born, Ijebu-Ode, December 21, 1930) is a Nigerian politician. He was Executive Secretary to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa from 1975 to 1978, and UN Under-Secretary-General from 1978 until 1991. He is the founding Executive Director of the African Centre for Development and Strategic Studies (ACDESS) in 1991, a position he holds till date.
He graduated from both London (B.Sc and Ph.D in Economics) and Harvard Universities (M.P.A). At the age of 36 years, he had become a full-fledged Professor at the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU). In 1971, he was drafted into the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of General Yakubu Gowon as the Cabinet Minister responsible for the economic development and reconstruction of post-civil war Nigeria. He was the founder and pioneer Chairman of the Nigeria National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and the pére da la CEDEAO –– the father of ECOWAS –– which he established in May 1975 ––after over three years of arduous negotiations with sixteen governments and countries divided into Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone spheres of influence.
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