It is with deep sorrow that we at The African Executive Magazine announce the passing of the United Nations Millennium Campaign Deputy Director for Africa and leading Pan-Africanist Dr. Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem. He passed away in a road accident on his way to launch a maternal health campaign in Kigali, Rwanda. The accident happened early this morning on Mombasa road en route to Jomo Kenyatta airport, in Nairobi, Kenya. Tajudeen was amongst Africa’s voices for pan Africanism and social justice. His weekly postcard and columns in about 10 major African newspapers amongst them The African Executive Magazine made him known all over the continent and beyond.
Dr. Abdul-Raheem was born in 1961 in Funtua, Katsina State, Nigeria. He was educated at government schools in Funtua and went to Bayero University, Kano, where he graduated with a first class honours degree in Political Science in 1982. He was winner of the Federal Government of Nigeria's Merit Award as the best student of Political Science between 1980-1982 at Bayero University. After his National Youth Service, Tajudeen was elected Rhodes Scholar for Nigeria and preceded to St. Peter's College, Oxford University, United Kingdom, where he obtained a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Politics.
Dr. Tajudeen has over the last four years tirelessly campaigned for African leaders to keep their commitments to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and poverty eradication by 2015.
Dr. Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem joined the UN Millennium Campaign in March 2006 as the Deputy Director for Africa. His primary role was to lead the Africa team in inspiring citizens across Africa to become more proactive in engaging their leaders to deliver on the Millennium Development Goals. He is recognized for his outspokenness and strong leadership role in campaigning for global justice, good governance, public accountability, human rights, democracy, regional integration and Pan Africanism.
He has also been a freelance journalist, writer and political analyst writing and speaking regularly on contemporary Africa in newspapers, magazines, journals and radio and was an analyst for the BBC's World Service Programs on Africa in Hausa and English, Radio France International and Voice of America. He was the founding coordinator of the London-based Africa Research and Information Bureau and also editor of its journal, Africa World Review. He is better known on the internet and in the print media for his syndicated weekly column, TAJUDEEN’S POSTCARD, which is widely circulated online and is published in several newspapers in different countries in Africa.
Until his death, he was serving as a trustee, board member or patron of many civil society organizations and charities including the Centre for Democracy and Development, Justice Africa, Hauwa Memorial College and the Pan African Development Education and Advocacy Programme. He was also the Secretary to the Advisory Committee of the Abuja-based Media Trust Group of Newspapers’ “African Person of the Year Award” which recognises Africans who have made real contributions to the development of Africa in the preceding year.
Prior to joining the Millennium Campaign, he was the General Secretary of the Pan African Movement Secretariat in Kampala, Uganda and Co-Director of the London-based human rights and peace organization Justice AFRICA.
He will be laid to rest at his ancestral home in Funtua, Katsina State, Nigeria today May, 26 2009.
BUT Africa has not lost the good seed he planted of probing causes to Africa's problems. Tajudeen once said: "Rich nations do not come to Africa to mine poverty; they come because of our wealth." So why are we poor?