S4C director named 2016 Desmond Tutu Fellow


Victoria Ohaeri, the executive director of Spaces for Change | S4C (www.spacesforchange.org) is one of the 24 candidates selected for the 2016 Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellowship Programme. Out of 305 top-quality nominations from 32 countries who competed for a slot in this prestigious programme, Victoria Ohaeri was selected as one of  ”Africa’s highest-calibre emerging leaders who have the potential to lead the continent to a bright future, and who are already doing amazing things.”


The 24 candidates are from 13 different countries, including less-represented countries like Somaliland, South Sudan and Guinea Bissau. They also represent a wide spectrum of sectors, from government, business, civil society, entrepreneurs, education, etc – which provides a platform for rich dialogue and learning. You can view the full list here.


Victoria Ohaeri, an SXSW 2013 honoree, and Harvard University alumni, is the founder and executive director of Spaces for Change – a non-profit that leverages on digital technology to crowdsource policy research data, facilitate public dialogues and mobilize the participation of the often-unheard segments of the population – youth, women and local communities –in the development of social and economic policies in Nigeria.


In her decade-long legal career and involvement in social and economic rights research and advocacy, she has traversed four continents: Africa, Europe, North America and South America, leading research investigations, documenting and exposing human rights violations, formulating and analyzing social and economic policy  at national, regional and international levels. She has participated in major studies and fact-finding missions commissioned by UNHABITAT, COHRE, MSI Integrity, Ford Foundation, CORDAID, IISD among others.


With over 10 years research work and advocacy experience across continents, she is the currently the country team lead in the ongoing international energy sector research program focusing on Nigeria, Bangladesh and India. The 4-year multidisciplinary research seeks to investigate the stark gender inequalities in access to energy resources and build the evidence-base for developing policy reforms that can overcome these disparities in Nigeria. Victoria also leads S4C’s frontline advocacy and litigation campaign to address the recurrent threats of urban violence and forced displacement in Lagos slum communities.


Victoria Ohaeri is a regular commentator on national and international television and radio programmes in Nigeria and beyond. Her fields of scholarly work criss-cross energy, gender, urban governance, oil sector transparency, human rights and environmental sustainability. Her articles and analytical commentaries on the above thematic areas feature regularly on a variety of Nigerian and international news media.


“My work on human rights, policy advocacy, and community engagement gives me a strong sense of fulfillment, especially knowing how my work impacts the lives of the less-privileged in the society. This prestigious recognition simply provides additional motivation to do more”, Victoria Ohaeri said.


This is a proud moment for all members, staff and Board of Trustees of Spaces for Change.  This recognition shows how consistently and selflessly you have worked hard for the organization, and for the country.  As we continue to avail of your invaluable guidance, we are hopeful that you’d sustain this momentum, and take advantage of the unique opportunity for professional growth and service to do just more.


Congratulations in receiving the most prestigious and deserving award.



Aizighode Obinyan

Head, Advocacy and Administration

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