The Ghanaian development specialist, Nafi Chinery, has been formally appointed Africa director of the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI).
She had been the interim Africa Director of the Institute since November 2022, a role in which she was specifically directed to oversee the activities of NRGI’s Africa team and provide strategic leadership for NRGI’s work in the region and globally.
“Since joining NRGI in 2017, Nafi has been a strategic leader, a dynamic ambassador and an innovative implementor”, says Suneeta Kaimal, president and CEO of NRGI. “In her service as interim Africa director since November 2022, she has demonstrated her ambition and vision for our Africa programme”, Ms. Kaimal explained. “Nafi is the right leader to ensure that NRGI deepens engagements with women and vulnerable communities, and supports the strong African movement to accelerate a just energy transition and manage natural resources accountably in the interest of citizens.”
With this appointment, the NGRI has concluded a search that had been ongoing since 2016. The Africa director, in the organisation’s description, is one “who can build relationships with a diverse range of critical partners and harness the strengths of the organization to advance accountable and effective governance in Africa”. The institute says that the role is a unique opportunity “to cohesively improve natural resource governance across Africa”.
In the last four months, Ms. Chinery had combined the job of Interim Africa Director with her role of West Africa regional manager (Anglophone) at the Institute, where she supervised the design, implementation and coordination of NRGI’s strategic engagements and programmes in Anglophone West Africa.
What this appointment means is that the role of West Africa regional manager (Anglophone) is open.
“In this new role, my vision is to prioritize transparency and accountability across the extractive sector value chain and help shape a sustainable energy future for Africa,” Chinery offers, in her response to the appointment. “This means actively promoting a just and equitable transition to renewable energy across the continent. It requires constructive engagement with governments, key regional and global institutions, civil society, local communities, vulnerable populations, and the private sector to promote policies and practices that enable African countries and citizens to thrive in the future. From minerals needed for green technology to building economic futures beyond oil, this transition is critical to addressing the twin challenges of climate change and energy poverty in Africa.”
Nafi Chinery has over 20 years of experience in development work. Prior to joining NRGI, she worked with Oxfam GB and the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), a pan-African grant-making foundation for women’s rights. She has a longstanding career in organizational development and transformative and strategic leadership. For 17 years, Nafi has worked to develop and strengthen credible well informed women’s rights organizations and leaders to accelerate the respect for women and rights of marginalized groups across Africa.
She holds a master’s degree in social development and sustainable livelihoods from the University of Reading, U.K., and a bachelor of arts and diploma in education from Cape Coast University, Cape Coast, Ghana. She was also a 2014 Aspen New Voices Fellow.