Following an almost five-year stint as Country Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Ghana, Mr Niyi Ojuolape has resumed in a similar capacity with the organisation in Somalia.
Representing UNFPA in Ghana between July 2017 – May 2022, Mr. Ojuolape piloted several ground-breaking initiatives for the Country Office, such as the Youth Leaders (YoLe) Fellowship Program, a graduate internship programme that introduced young people to the professional UN work environment, along with skills in innovation and training for them to be actively involved in development work across the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mr Ojuolape also led the establishment of the Orange Support Centre with close collaboration from the Domestic Violence Secretariat of the Ministry of Gender, Children & Social Protection. He equally led the Country Office to form several strategic alliances with various Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to advance the UNFPA agenda of achieving sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.
Under his leadership, the organization also provided strategic support to the Ghana Statistical Service for its first digital census in 2021. For the first time, this exercise saw the participation of an international observer team, which Mr Niyi Ojuolape and his team deftly masterminded.
UNFPA has been active in Somalia since the 1970s and continues to support humanitarian responses and recovery efforts. Ojuolape, whose credentials as the new UNFPA Country Representative were officially received by the Somali Foreign Ministry on 20th June 2022 is expected to pilot UNFPA objectives in the areas of gender-based violence prevention, reduction in maternal mortality, family planning, adolescent sexual and reproductive health services, as well as leading other youth-focused initiatives.
Somalia is an East African country that faced a devastating decade-long civil war starting in 1991. Peace and stabilisation efforts in the country began in 2000 and remain ongoing.