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Samson Itodo

Samson Itodo is a community organizer and development practitioner with 13 years of experience in elections, parliamentary strengthening, constitution building, youth development, and community organizing.

He led the movement for the reduction of age limits for running for public office in Nigeria. He has facilitated legislation and policies on constitutional and electoral governance, civic engagement, public accountability, and national development. He also provides strategic policy advice to parliamentary committees, electoral commissions, political parties, and international donors. Under his leadership, Yiaga Africa has emerged as a leading civic organization promoting political inclusion, electoral integrity, and public accountability in Africa through citizens' engagement, data, technology, and policy advocacy. He has initiated numerous democracy and citizens’ engagement projects in Gambia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Ethiopia. Itodo is invested in building the next generation of leaders with the requisite capacity, character, and competence to transform Africa.
Itodo previously served as lead consultant for International IDEA on the development of a strategy for mitigating electoral and political violence in Cameroun, Guinea, Ghana, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe. He also served as Research Facilitator for United States Institute for Peace (USIP) on Transparency and Accountability movements in Nigeria. Itodo also served on the National Assembly's institutional reforms committee to design a strategic framework to strengthen Nigeria's National Assembly. He is currently engaged as a member of the steering committee for the preparation of Nigeria's Medium-Term Development plan (2021 - 2025) and Nigeria's Agenda 2050. He is the co-chair of the Focal Group for the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund, a fund established by the government of Nigeria to fund youth enterprise and innovation.
The impact of his work earned him recognition from international and local organizations. In 2018, he was appointed by the Gates Foundation as a Goalkeeper and honored by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) Washington DC as 2018 Rising Democracy leader in Africa. He is the winner of the popular The Future Africa Award Young Person of the Year 2018 award and the Leadership Newspaper 2018 Outstanding Young Person of the Year award. He is a fellow of the prestigious Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership program. In 2017 and 2018, he was recognized amongst YNAIJA’s ten most powerful names in advocacy and 100 Most Influential People in Nigerian Politics. He is a fellow of the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance at the University of Cape Town; International Visitors Leadership Program of the US Department of State, Swedish Visitors Leadership Program, European Union Visitors Program (EUVP) and the UK International Leaders Program. In March 2020, he was recognized by the United Embassy in Nigeria as a Nigerian Star for his achievement and service. His work has been featured by local and international media stations such as Aljazeera, CNN, BBC, RFI, CCTV, SABC, etc. He holds a bachelor's and master’s degree in Law and he has a Master of Public Policy candidate at the University of Oxford Blavatnik School of Government.

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