Ezek­we­sili awarded hon­orary de­gree by Univer­sity of Es­sex

Daily Trust - - JOBS & CAREERS - By Mustapha Suleiman

Co-founder of the Bring Back Our Girls cam­paign and for­mer Vi­cePres­i­dent of the World Bank’s Africa Re­gion Obi­ageli Ezek­we­sili has been awarded an hon­orary de­gree by the Univer­sity of Es­sex.

The univer­sity said she was awarded the hon­orary de­gree for her out­stand­ing work to achieve re­form, com­bat cor­rup­tion and pro­mote trans­parency which mir­rors Es­sex’s com­mit­ment to nur­ture pos­i­tive change, jus­tice and fair­ness.

The hon­orary de­gree was pre­sented to her dur­ing the univer­sity`s cer­e­mony for fi­nance and ac­count­ing stu­dents grad­u­at­ing from Es­sex Busi­ness School.

Obi­ageli told those that at­tended the cer­e­mony that she was in­spired by the same ideals as those cel­e­brated in the Univer­sity of Es­sex’s motto: “Thought the harder - heart the keener.”

She said her own fa­ther had taught her that the qual­ity of a hu­man be­ing de­pended on the qual­ity of their thought and that “when your mind pro­duces thoughts your heart must put them into ac­tion.”

She added: “Grad­u­ates of Es­sex Busi­ness School I am sure will un­der­stand that no longer does any­one care just about the ex­tent of your skills. Ul­ti­mately it is now about your char­ac­ter. Good gov­er­nance de­pends on the qual­ity of char­ac­ter of the peo­ple who lead us - whether that is as lead­ers of gov­ern­ment, busi­ness or so­ci­ety.”

Obi­ageli is cur­rently Se­nior Ad­vi­sor of the African Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Pol­icy Ini­tia­tive in­cu­bated at the Open So­ci­ety Foun­da­tions.

Hold­ing a Mas­ters in In­ter­na­tional Law and Diplo­macy from the Univer­sity of Lagos, and a Master of Pub­lic Ad­min­is­tra­tion de­gree from the Kennedy School of Gov­ern­ment, Har­vard Univer­sity, she be­gan her ca­reer as a qual­i­fied char­tered ac­coun­tant with Deloitte and has served as Direc­tor of the Har­vard-Nige­ria Eco­nomic Strat­egy Pro­gram in Bos­ton and Abuja.

Pro­fes­sor Neil Kel­lard, Head of the Fi­nance Group at Es­sex Busi­ness School, paid trib­ute to Oby dur­ing his ora­tion.

He said: “Her dili­gence in re­form, and ex­pos­ing cor­rup­tion mir­rors Es­sex’s com­mit­ment to change, jus­tice and fair­ness.”

He added: “We cel­e­brate to­day a wo­man who pushes po­lit­i­cal and ide­o­log­i­cal bound­aries for ed­u­ca­tion and equal­ity. We cel­e­brate to­day a wo­man who chal­lenges cor­rup­tion and en­cour­ages trans­parency.”

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