Governor Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola of Osun State has approved the appointment of Dr. Charles Akinola as the Director-General, Office of Economic Development and Partnerships (OEDP).
The OEDP, domiciled in the Office of the Governor, is an initiative of the current administration in the state to expand the state’s capacity for innovation, promote effectiveness in economic governance, as well as enhance the capacity of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government to deliver public value.
The mandate of the OEDP is to promote innovation in economic development and to use creative partnerships to facilitate the economic transformation of the state, which would be achieved by assisting the state to leverage the financial knowledge and skills assets of local and international development partners and funding organisations, the informal and organised private sectors, and Osun citizens at home and in diaspora.
The broad functions of the OEDP are: Development Cooperation; Investment Promotion; Public Private Partnerships; Innovation for Economic Development; and MDA Capacity Enhancement.
To fulfill its role as a key enabler of economic development, the Office will act as a liaison between development partners and private investors on one hand, and the MDAs on the other hand, to ensure that the state enters into meaningful development partnerships that create the greatest public value.
According to Governor Rauf Aregbesola in a statement signed by the Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon “the establishment of the OEDP has become imperative for the economic development of a state with arguably the lowest gross domestic product per capital in Western Nigeria.
“Improving the economic well-being of the people of Osun State should not be left to the government and its MDAs alone. A new approach that is rooted in innovation and cross-sector partnerships must be developed to complement their efforts.”
The statement noted that, while the work of the OEDP would cover all sectors of the economy, special attention would be given to agriculture investments and partnerships.
Dr. Akinola has been leading the efforts on the Osun Rural Enterprise and Agriculture Programme (O-REAP), which is one of the flagship programmes of the current administration in Osun State. The programme is geared towards massive food production.
He joined the administration of Aregbesola from his work as a Mason Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and most recently, Fellow at the Weather-head Centre for International Affairs (WCFIA), Harvard University.
Akinola brought with him, a wealth of experience gathered in the international development cooperation and agricultural sectors. He was for several years Country Director, Techno-Serve, an international development organisation reputed for its work in agriculture value chains and agri-businesses, and later Executive Director, Enterprise for Development International, the successor organisation to Techno-Serve in Nigeria.