Prominent business, public-sector leaders join Afrobarometer board

Two trailblazers in Africa’s business and public sectors have joined the board of directors of Afrobarometer, the organization announced Wednesday.

Amina Oyagbola, a business leader and former MTN Nigeria executive, and Lara Taylor-Pearce, auditor general of Sierra Leone, will provide strategic guidance and oversight as Afrobarometer enters its third decade as the world’s leading source of African public opinion data.

“We’re delighted to be able to bring the expertise, vision, and energy of these two pioneering women to Afrobarometer,” Prof. E. Gyimah-Boadi, acting CEO of the research network, said in announcing the appointments. “Their proven commitment to excellence and integrity will both challenge and guide us to do even better, to go even farther, to ensure that citizens’ voices are heard.”

Oyagbola and Taylor-Pearce join network co-founders Gyimah-Boadi and Prof. Robert Mattes as trustees within a new Afrobarometer structure designed to emphasize partnership, capacity building, and sustainability. The organization recently appointed Bruno van Dyk as director of engagement and is recruiting a CEO.

Oyagbola, a former human resources and corporate services executive at MTN Nigeria, has more than 30 years of experience spanning legal consulting, banking and finance, energy, and telecommunications. She is the managing consultant of AKMS Consulting Ltd., senior partner in Oyagbola Chambers, and a Chevening Scholar.

A passionate advocate for diversity and inclusiveness, she is founder and chairperson of WISCAR (Women in Successful Careers), a not-for-profit gender empowerment and strategic mentoring and leadership initiative for professional career women.

Taylor-Pearce, who has served as the Sierra Leone government’s chief external auditor since 2011, has more than 27 years of experience in public- and private-sector financial and administrative management and oversight. Previous appointments have included positions with the Institutional Reform and Capacity Building Project, the Public Sector Management Support Project, the Ministry of Finance, and KPMG Peat Marwick.

She has won praise for helping change Sierra Leone’s public-sector accountability landscape, including her work in developing its 2016 Public Financial Management Act. Among other honors, she received the 2015 National Integrity Award from the Sierra Leone Anti-Corruption Commission.