#YNaijaPowerList: Ada Osakwe, Muntaqa Umar-Sadiq, Olasupo Olusi… See the most powerful young people in policy

by Wilfred Okiche

As the annual #YNaijaPowerList enters its 4th year, we bring you the most influential young Nigerians under 40 who are doing the hard and tasking work of crafting public policies to enable smooth sailing of government and private sector initiatives.

From senior special advisers, technical leads to boardroom CEOs and field workers, we present the custodians of the think tank.


Ada Osakwe

According to Forbes magazine, Ada Osakwe is a huge part of the Nigerian agricultural sector’s $4billion private sector investment commitments. At 34, Osakwe serves as the Senior Investment Adviser to the performing Minister of Agriculture, Akinwunmi Adesina, and in this capacity, advises on policies regarding private sector investments, while interacting with prospective agribusiness investors. Osakwe has also served as Vice President of Kuramo Capital, a New York-based investment management firm.


Dabesakin Mac Ikemenjima

Dabesakin works as a youth development advocate, researcher and policy consultant. His consultancy experience includes assignments completed for the United Nations Population Fund, the Commonwealth Youth Programme, the Commonwealth of Learning and the African Union Commission. Presently a PhD Researcher at the School of International Development, University of East Anglia, Ikemenjima’s work is focused on measuring and understanding youth quality of life in urban Nigeria.


Esther Agbarakwe

Esther Climate as she is fondly called, Is the founder of the Nigerian Youth Climate Coalition. An environmental activist with over 10 years experience, Agbarakwe has represented both country and African youth at many global interactions and assemblies. In 2013, she was elected the convener of Actionaid Nigeria general assembly and serves as technical advisor to the Africa Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC). She works as communications officer, (Global Fund) for the Association For Reproductive & Family Health


Innocent Onah

Onah is a development professional committed to solving global energy poverty, food security and environmental degradation problems in developing countries through modern technology as well as targeted policy making. His specialties include Agriculture & Environmental Policy, Renewable Energy, Water-Health-Energy-Food Nexus, Economic Development Programming for developing countries, specifically, Africa. He is a special Assistant & legislative aide to Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki in agriculture and environment legislative issues.


Joyce Awojoodu

Awojoodu is a renewable energy advocate who has worked in the renewable energy research and development team at the Nigeran Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and also as the technical assistant on research, analysis and informatics to the Minister of Power. She has started the Solar and Alternative Resources (SOAR) to illuminate remote and rural communities lacking grid connectivity and is a World Economic Forum Global shaper.


Katja Schiller Nwator

This vibrant and accomplished young woman is the director, Elumelu Nigeria Empowerment Fund, a non-profit organisation tasked with the responsibility of transforming post-conflict and post-disaster communities into thriving and economically sustainable communities. She also doubles as head of the The Tony & Awele Elumelu Prize, a reward and opportunity platform for African students. She has also worked as the leadership director and CSR manager at the TEF. She is a member of the independent audit committee, The Future Awards Africa prize.


Laz Ude Eze

Eze is Laz is a public health physician and health policy advocate. He works with the Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH), a leading non-governmental organization where he leads the Global Fund support to the Malaria Monitoring and Evaluation Systems in 5 states. As a member of the Technical Working Group of the Integrated Community case management (iCCM) of Childhood Illnesses, Ude helped develop a draft of the National M&E Plan for the project in Nigeria. He has had clinical and program experience in managing infectious diseases at various levels of health care.


Lukman Jaji

As Consultant to the AU Institute for Education Information Management System, Lukman is responsible for the take-off of the AU Pan African University. He manages the promotion, application, review and welfare of the students of the university through remote hubs and units in 4 regions of the continent (Algeria, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria) and also developed and managed the desktop, mobile and web applications currently used by the African Union Commission in the management of the Pan African University


Muntaqa Umar-Sadiq

Perhaps the most powerful young person in the health sector, Umar-Sadiq has direct access to global shapers like Bill Gates and Aliko Dangote. He is the CEO/Board member of the behemoth, Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria, a private sector initiative to mobilize the broader business and corporate community as well as the private health sector towards improving health outcomes. Until this appointment, Muntaqa was the Senior Technical Advisor to the former Minister of State for Health in Nigeria, Dr Muhammad Ali Pate.


Olasupo Olusi

This economist was spirited away from the World Bank along with his principal, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala during her second coming to serve country. As technical assistant to the Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy, he is in a prime position to work on the finance ministry’s important policy documents. His is the co-ordinator of the ministry’s much ballyhooed YouWin! Project and has contributed to the ministry’s important work on the Sovereign Wealth fund and SURE-P.

One comment

  1. I am inspired by you guys’ work and service. You are my heroes. Thank you

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