Adebowale Olorunmola joined WFD in 2016 as the first Country Representative in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He heads WFD’s office in Africa’s most diverse and populous country.
Since joining WFD, he successfully implemented programmes designed to support the inclusive participation of citizens and accountable governance. He helped to establish WFD as a key stakeholder in Nigeria and built working relationships with national and state level legislatures, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), strategic ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs), donor agencies, civil society, and political parties, among others.
Before joining WFD, Adebowale worked with various international organisations and projects. These include the Carter Centre, where he supported the NDI/Carter Centre joint democracy programme in Nigeria; International Republic Institute (IRI), where he worked for eight years to strengthen national and state level political parties in Nigeria and supported the coordination of the IRI International Election Observation Missions to the 2003 General Elections in Nigeria, the 2005 post-war elections in Liberia, and the 2007 General Elections in Nigeria.
His work with political parties culminated in the formation of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) and a political parties’ code of conduct, signed by all parties in Nigeria. At the UNDP led Democratic Governance for Development (DGD) Project, which was jointly funded by DFID (FCDO), CIDA, EU, and the UNDP, Adebowale managed the election pillar, which was supported the INEC and State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs). He mentored civil society organisations on an EU funded project called Increasing State Actors Implementation and Development Expertise (INSIDE).
Adebowale is passionate about evidence-based programmatic implementation and has been involved in a wealth of research. In 2020, he commissioned research to assess the implementation of the VAAP Act in Nigeria, as well as 12 policy briefs to support implementation of the act in 12 States, including Abuja.