Pioneer Executive Director of the Addis Ababa based United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and Undersecretary General of the UN, Prof Adebayo Adedeji, is dead.
Adedeji died in Lagos at the age of 87 after a protracted illness, NAN reports.
Adedeji was the ECA boss between 1975 -1978, after which he was appointed the UN Undersecretary General. He remained in the ECA post until 1991.
Until his death, Adedeji was the director of the African Centre for Development and Strategic Studies, a think-tank NGO based in his hometown, Ijebu Ode, Ogun, Nigeria.
He was also a frontline member of his Ijebu-Ode community and a close associate of Oba Sikiru Adetona, the Awujale of Ijebu land. He was the Asiwaju of Ijebuland (leader) and Bobajiro of the Awujale (chief adviser to the monarch) as well.
The chair of Sikiru Adetona professorial seat at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Prof Ayo Olukotun, expressed shock at the death of Adedeji.
Olukotun is also the Secretary-General of the International Relations Society of Nigeria.
“Though elderly, Adedeji would be greatly missed. We, in the international relation society, would have been happier, if he had stayed on for a while longer.
“His death is a rude shock to us. We would have been happier to have him around to influence discussions on alternative strategy, which he championed during his iconic stint at the ECA.
“His contribution to an alternative to Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) cannot be forgotten. His effort led to the adoption of the alternatives by many African countries.
“Adedeji would still have been very relevant today as the continent still searches for economic redirection,” Olukotun said.