Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Liberia
Olubanke King-Akerele, or ‘Banke, as she is known generally, is a Liberian and former Minister of Foreign Affairs as well as former Minister of Commerce and Industry of the Government of
Liberia, over the period 2006-2010. She studied at University of Ibandan in Nigeria; at Brandeis
University; Columbia University and completed first year of Law School at Louis Arthur Grimes
School of law at University of Liberia. Prior to her period of public service, she was engaged for some 24 years (1982 – March 2006) in international development at senior levels with the United Nations System, notably, UNIFEM (today’s UN Women), UNDP, UNIDO, and UNESCO. She served as United Nations Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme in Mauritius and Seychelles as well as in Zambia.
She was also Managing Director for UNIDO’s Regional Programmes (Africa; Asia and Pacific; Latin America and the Caribbean; the CIS; Eastern Europe and the Middle East). At that time she was the most senior African at UNIDO- the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.
Before joining the United Nations in 1982, she worked as a technical staff at Liberia’s then Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs under late Secretary Cyril Bright and subsequently late Secretary D. Franklin Neal both of whom were her professional mentors. During that period she was seconded for 5 years (1975-1980) to the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP) as Deputy Director General and Counterpart to the ILO Advisor as they cleared the prerequisites that laid the Foundations for today’s NASSCORP.
Recent publications by Banke include Women’s Leadership in Post Conflict Liberia: My Journey; Accelerating Africa’s Integration through Micro-regionalism: The case of Zambia-Malawi-Mozambique Growth Triangle and its Impact which was co-authored with Kojo Boafo Asiedu, and The ‘’Growing’’ of Africa’s Emergent Leadership, launched in February 2014 in Lusaka, Zambia, with a foreword by Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, First President of Zambia. This book is being transformed into an educational Board Game for development and promotion of the next Generation of Africa’s Emergent Leadership –her passion. The Game is bilingual and due to be launched by end October/early November in Ghana and then Cote d’Ivoire.
Her fourth book, entitled The Liberian Way: Breaking the Cycle, will be published and released by Mid late September 2016, in Monrovia.
Olubanke King-Akerele is currently the Chairperson of the Board of the Angie Brooks International Centre for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security (ABIC). She is one of Africa’s Eminent Women of The Women’s Situation Room, which is an early warning and rapid response mechanism (designed by Cllr. Yvette
Chesson-Wureh, Establishment Coordinator of ABIC) against violence or conflict arising around elections in African Countries, responding to the imperatives of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on the role of women in peace and conflict prevention processes.
She is passionate about Africa’s Emergent and Future Leadership; Industrial Development; South-South Cooperation and regional Integration, having undertaken a four months Sabbatical while at UNDP to the South East Asian Tigers Economies of Malaysia; Singapore; Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines