[Dateline: Nairobi | Author: UN-HABITAT]
The United Nations Millennium Campaign Deputy Director for Africa and leading Pan-Africanist, Dr. Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem, died in a road accident in the early hours on Monday this week. He was 48.
He was enroute to Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi to board a flight for Rwanda where he was scheduled to launch a maternal health campaign and meet with President Paul Kagame.
Recognized for his outspoken nature and strong leadership, the Nigerian-born Taju as he was popularly known, was adamant in his beliefs that Africa and its people were perfectly capable of solving their own problems. As a prolific writer and public debater, the Nigerian political scientist joined the United Nations Millennium Campaign in March 2006 as the Deputy Director for Africa. His most prominent role was to direct the Africa team in motivating people across the continent to become more proactive in engaging their leaders to deliver on the Millennium Development Goals.
“His most untimely and tragic death on Africa Liberation Day comes as a terrible shock,” said Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director of UN-HABITAT. “He was a true son of Africa, a tireless campaigner and champion of Africa and Africans at home and around the world. May he rest in eternal peace. Our prayers are with him and his family.”
Africa Liberation Day on 25 May 1963, marks the occasion when the leaders of 32 independent African states met to form the Organization of African Unity. It is on this day that Africa and the rest of the world reflects upon the development and growth of the continent.
Prior to joining the United Nations Millennium Campaign, Dr. Tajudeen 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 was also a freelance journalist and widely sought after commentator on African affairs in major global media and across Africa, including Radio France International, Al-Jazeera, the BBC and Voice of America. He is well known for his syndicated weekly column, “TAJUDEEN’S POSTCARD”, which was widely circulated online and published in a number of newspapers across Africa.