By Kamal Tayo Oropo
The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has joined the mourning train over the death of one of its most distinguished Chief Economists, Prof. Owodunni Teriba, who was buried on Tuesday in Chicago, Illinois in the United States of America.
In a statement by its Communications Section on Tuesday, the United Nations agency lauded Prof. Teriba’s contribution to the economic development and growth of the African continent.
The 82-year old, who died on Friday in Chicago, was a distinguished Professor of Economics and an accomplished scholar who worked at the ECA in various capacities for 18 years.
He retired in February 1998, after serving as Chief Economist of the Commission and Director of the then Socio-Economic Research and Policy Division (SERPD) under the late Prof. Adebayo Adedeji.
Teriba led the development and implementation of several initiatives in support of accelerating Africa’s development, including the African Alternative Framework to Structural Adjustment Programmes for socio-economic recovery and transformation (AAF-SAP).
Executive Secretary of ECA, Ms Vera Songwe, said the work Teriba did for the continent of Africa during his time at the ECA will never be forgotten.
Teriba first came to the ECA in 1980/81 while he was on sabbatical from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and later in 1985 as the Senior Regional Adviser to Member States of the Commission on economic surveys, research and planning.
He rose to become the ECA’s Chief Economist under Prof Adedeji, the then Executive Secretary of ECA.
Songwe recalled that Teriba contributed immensely to the Lagos Plan of Action (LPA) and the Final Act of Lagos (FAL) that were adopted by the African Heads of State and Governments in 1980.
“He also contributed to Africa’s Priority Programme for Economic Recovery (APPER) that formed the basis of the UN Programme of Action for African Economic Recovery and Development (UN-PAAERD) that was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1986.
“Teriba also played a leading role in the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa, 1991 (UN-NADAF), and the AAF-SAP that was adopted at various levels in 1989 beginning with the ECA’s Conference of African Ministers of Finance and Economic Planning, the African Heads of State and Government and the General Assembly of the United Nations.
“Colleagues at the ECA hailed him as a humble person with an in-depth and exceptional knowledge of development economics who made outstanding contributions both at national, regional and international levels to economic policy,” she said
Teriba had a PhD and an MA in Economics from the University of Manchester in England. His first degree was a B.Sc.(Hons) Economics from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria.
He is survived by his wife Yetunde, a former Head of Gender Coordination and Outreach Division in the Women, Gender and Development Directorate of the African Union Commission, five children and seven grandchildren