Two Tutu Fellows, Lai Yahaya and Moji Rhodes, have been appointed as Special Advisors to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.  Lai is a 2009 Fellow and Moji a 2014 Fellow.

Lai was appointed as a Senior Special Advisor to the President handling Strategy and Planning, while Moji was appointed as a Special Advisor handling Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs. Their appointments were announced in August 2020.

Lai has previously served as a Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari, working in the Office of the Chief of Staff. He is a public policy advisor to governments, development finance institutions, and major international corporations on political economy dynamics, market entry strategy, risk management, infrastructure project finance, and public-private partnerships in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Moji has a career that spans public and private sector organisations in the UK and Nigeria. She commenced her career in the public sector as a business planning manager at the UK government’s Department of Health. She went on to serve as the Senior Special Assistant for Administration and Strategy and was the first female Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of the Governor of Lagos from 2007- 2015.

Special Advisory roles are distinct and well established in the Nigerian public service. They are appointed by chief executives within government or government agencies to provide consultation, advisory support, as well as technical guidance to their appointee, or ‘principal’.

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About AFLI




The African Leadership Institute (AFLI) focuses on building the capacity and capability of visionary and strategic leadership across the continent. Developing exceptional leaders representing all spheres of society, the Institute’s flagship programme is the prestigious Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship. Offering a multifaceted learning experience and run in partnership with Oxford University, it is awarded annually to 20-25 carefully chosen candidates, nominated from across Africa. Alumni of the African Leadership Institute form a dynamic network of Fellows passionately committed to the continent’s transformation, bridging the divide between nations and ensuring that Africa is set centre-stage in global affairs.