Onyeka Obasi

Onyeka ObasiOnyeka Obasi is the President and Founder of Friends of Africa International Inc. where she oversees the executive and programmatic functions of the organization. In this role Ms. Obasi directs Projects with various regional and international institutions and designs the Monitoring and Evaluation strategy, to measure the outcome of the organization's projects.

Ms. Obasi consulted with Women's Environment and Development Organization where she was responsible for the United Nations reform process and gender equality architecture issues, specifically related to the report of the United Nations Secretary General's High Level Panel on UN System-wide Coherence in the areas of Development, Humanitarian Assistance and the Environment, entitled "Delivering as One". The report put forward a series of recommendations to overcome the disintegration of the United Nations to enable the UN deliver as one, cooperating with and serving the needs of all countries in their efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally agreed development goals.

Her United Nations experience began with an internship with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, New York Office. Here, Ms. Obasi researched and analyzed human rights and humanitarian issues related to peacekeeping operations in Haiti and Sudan. She also worked with the focal point during the drafting and presentation of the United Nations Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. With the focal point on Angola, Ms. Obasi monitored women's rights in Angola related to compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Other responsibilities included analyzing and routing communications and cases of alleged human rights violations to the appropriate mechanisms and representing the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in a variety of fora including Security Council meetings, and prepared follow-up reports for internal reference.

Ms. Obasi has worked with various non-profits in Africa. Her experience includes developing resource/training materials, co-facilitating seminars and training programs, as well as designing grassroots projects to strengthen women's effective participation in decision making processes in Nigeria. Ms. Obasi was involved in a gender-focused review of the 1999 Nigerian constitution by the NGO Coalition and participated in dialogues on the amendment of the 2000 electoral act in Nigeria. She has contributed in various dialogues to end trafficking in women and girls in Nigeria and their reintegration into the society. For example, she was part of the team that paid an advocacy visit to the National Assembly in Nigeria to push successfully for the passage of the Bill on Violence Against Women.

Ms. Obasi was a member of the 2002 inner caucus working on recommendations to the African Commission on Human and People's Right with regards to the 2001 World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance which was held in Durban, South Africa.

Ms. Obasi is currently the Africa Program Researcher with International League for Human Rights where she is responsible for the UNDP-funded "Enhancing Capacity for Women's Human Rights", which has established the first mobile legal aid clinics for rural women in Northern and Eastern Nigeria. She is also responsible for the Leagues Voice of Youth Project in Sierra Leone which utilizes media to bring the issues impacting upon young citizens to the national dialogue.

Ms. Obasi was a member of Boston University School of Public Health's committee to address racial, ethnic and gender diversity, and the representation of traditionally under-represented people of color, among the student body of the school. While working with Boston University's Partners in Health and Housing Prevention Research Center, she played a key role in designing a continuing education curriculum for Boston Resident Advocates on family violence and substance abuse issues within public housing facilities. She has made several presentations at various institutions on the effects of war on women and girls and she is committed to the cause of ending conflict and promoting the conditions for gender equality. Her publications include Zero Tolerance - Nigerian Men Against Domestic Violence.