Babatunde Omilola manages the African Development Bank’s multi-billion-dollar response to the COVID-19 pandemic to save lives and livelihoods throughout Africa and to help African countries strengthen their health systems, stabilize their economies, and alleviate the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. A global development leader, Babatunde served as Head of Development Planning with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in New York and led the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on the monitoring and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) globally. He also co-chaired the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Task Force on Global Food and Nutrition Security Technical Team. Babatunde was UNDP’s Regional Practice Leader for poverty reduction and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa and UNDP’s Chief Economist and Head of Policy and Strategy in South Africa. He was also the Africa-wide Coordinator with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). He handled the relationship of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with the African Union Commission and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. He has visited and delivered development assistance in over 80 countries worldwide in Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Babatunde was selected as a Fellow of Comparative Research Program for preventing and eradicating poverty by the International Social Science Council in 2014. He won the prestigious Ford Foundation International Fellowship in 2001 and the Graduate Research Fellowship of the International Development Research Centre in 2004 for his MPhil and PhD degrees in International Development and Development Economics from the University of Sussex. He is a writer and regular speaker on global development for international news agencies.