Taiwo Francis Akerele

Distinguished Member, Chinua Achebe Literary Prize Committee

Taiwo Francis Akerele (TFA) is from Igarra, Edo State, Nigeria. he attended St Paul’s Anglican Grammar school Igarra between 1989-1994, from there he proceeded to the University of Benin where he graduated with second class upper division in political science and public administration in 1999. He did his National Youth Corp (NYSC) in Lagos between 2000 and 2001. Mr Akerele did his Master of Science (M.sc) graduating with a PhD grade from the University of Ibadan in 2004/2005. 

Mr Akerele worked at various times the old Fidelity Union Merchant Bank, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), United Bank for Africa and Afribank as a Senior Assistant Manager. He worked briefly at the Center for Applied Economics of the Lagos Business School (LBS) in Lagos and also a founding Director of the Trustees of the Center for Values in Leadership (CVL) in 2004.

 He later joined the services of the Edo state government in 2009 as Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Economic Policy, in 2011 he was promoted to the position of Project Coordinator of the World Bank Assisted State Employment and Expenditure for Results (SEEFOR) and the Development Policy Operations (DPO) projects a position he held for five years before he was appointed as the Chief of staff to the Governor of Edo state in 2016 and held the position till the year 2020.

 In the summer of the year 2022, Mr Akerele was appointed as the Technical Adviser to the Nigerian Government on the World Bank assisted post COVID-19 recovery project (NGCARES) a position he still holds till date. In May 2021, Mr Akerele was elected as the Chairman, Abuja chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA). 

Mr Akerele has written and published numerous articles focusing on the economy, development policy, autobiographical works, his articles have been published by reputable news outlets such as the Ghana web, THISDAY, Guardian, Punch, Vanguard newspapers and others. His books, Sage of Growth; the reflections of a policy economist and Ariro: the opinions of an itinerant African optimist have been published and are widely read within and outside Nigeria. Ajewun-Ijamba, his third non fiction work is due for public presentation in the spring of 2023.

 Mr Akerele has attended many courses both in Nigeria and overseas including Harvard Kennedy School (2015), Stellenbosch University, Cape Town (2008), Carelton University, Ottawa, Canada (2011), World Bank Institute, Washington DC, United States Institute of Peace (2004), Institute of Capacity development (ICD), Pretoria, South Africa (2013) and others. He has won many awards including community based, professional and social, top of which is the transparency in public service award by the African Network for Environmental and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) under the Open Government Partnership (OGP) framework in 2019. 

In 2009, Mr Akerele established Policy House Group as a think tank. Policy House has been championing the cause of out of school children, using various platforms to advocate for education reforms, budget effectiveness and gender inclusion. He has sat on many panels including at the world bank, the UN and the EU. He is an active member of the Civil Society Policy Forum (CSPF) of the World Bank/IMF group.

 Mr Akerele is married.