Thursday, August 19, 2021

We are delighted to announce that Dr Aida Opoku-Mensah is to join the Walker Institute as a new Board member.  She brings substantial knowledge and a formidable network of contacts to help steer and develop our climate adaptation research work with colleagues in Africa and elsewhere.

Dr Opoku-Mensah was, until recently, Chief of Staff at United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Apart from the Walker Institute board she currently serves on the Business Advisory Board of the Canada-based Allam Advisory Group and is vice-chair of the board of the ICT-focused NGO, Paradigm Initiative and sits on the University Advisory Council of the Accra Institute of Technology a technology-driven university, Ghana.

Previously she was Director of the Capacity Development Division (CDD) & Special Advisor on SDGs/Agenda 2030, as well as Director of the ICT, Science and Technology Division.  At the CDD, Dr Opoku-Mensah led work supporting African Union member States, regional economic communities and other pan-African Institutions to strengthen their capacity to promote and achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth, and to accelerate structural transformation in the context of the African Union’s priorities, including the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) programme (NEPAD) programme and Agenda 2063. Whilst leading the ICT, Science and Technology Division she spearheaded technology initiatives across Africa such as the Innovation Prize for Africa and the African Information Society Initiative (AISI) and assisted over 40 African countries in the formulation of national  ICT4D policies working closely with partners such as African Union Commission, African Development Bank and other UN entities.

Earlier in her career Dr Opoku-Mensah worked for the Ford Foundation, a global, grant-making philanthropic institution that works to disrupt inequality in all its forms, supporting programmes in more than 50 countries.  She was also Regional Director of the Panos Institute in southern Africa, working to ensure the effective use of information to foster sustainable development by empowering communities to shape their own agenda, particularly focusing on amplifying the voices of the poor and marginalized.

She received her PhD in politics and communications at the University of Leeds, England.  She also has an MA in Communication Policy from the City University of London and a BA in Linguistics from the University of Ghana.

You can see tributes made to Dr Opoku-Mensah following her recent retirement from the United Nations here.

You can follow and contact Dr Aida Opoku-Mensah on Twitter @AidaOpokuMensah