”It is time for a sustainable development agenda.” ~ Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations

Summary: Amina J. Mohammed is the current Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and a former Minister of Environment of Nigeria. Previously, Amina Mohammed was a key player in the Post-2015 development process, serving as the Special Adviser to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 development planning.

Nationality: Nigerian

Industry: Global Relations

Q: As an African woman, in which areas do you think the continent has made the most progress and where does it need to do more? on un.org

A: I think it’s made an enormous progress in its economies, in terms of really trying to turn them around. We’ve seen growth across the board… we’ve also seen a new sense of urgency to take the helm of affairs and to talk about transformation, and not to talk about ad hoc success in terms of development. And I think that that’s a positive sign. It’s about Africa trying to rise and trying to take its own direction, its own future, its own destiny in its hands.

And we’ve seen some women at the helm of affairs that have helped us to do this. And certainly for the continent to take up a common position on Africa that has really informed the debate here on the post-2015 development agenda, that was in the hands and the leadership of a woman – Dr. [Nkosazana Dlamini] Zuma, the AU Chairperson, has really brought along leaders in Africa to say what we want to look at is, yes 15 years and how we engaged with the global agenda, but we want to go further. What’s the next 50 years about for us, and how are we going to engage with that. So I think we can see leadership. We can see Africa trying to take its own future, its destiny, in its own hands.

But it leaves so much more for us to do. I think if we want to see real change, then the scale at which we have to apply the things that we’re doing in a much more integrated way will be mammoth. We need to see many more women in leadership roles. But we also need to see that, when we look at most of the statistics and the data that we have, women are half of the population everywhere. And to say that the human resource – and we believe it – is really the opportunity and potential of nations. Not to invest in half of that potential, of course we will never achieve the ambitions that we have and that we need. So I think that’s going to be important.