Tuesday, July 21, 2020 1:11 pm
By Nehru Odeh
Nigerian writer, medical practitioner and former President of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Dr. Wale Okediran has been appointed Secretary- General of The Pan African Writers Associatio, PAWA. The Interim President of PAWA and Chairman of the PAWA Council, Emeritus Professor Femi Osofisan, announced the appointment on Tuesday, 7 July, 2020. Okediran is expected to resume work at the PAWA Secretariat on August 2020.
By this appointment, Okediran, who succeeds Professor Atukwei Okai, the founding Secretary-General of PAWA, following his demise on 13 July, 2018, brings to the position his wealth of experience in the literary world, the political landscape of his country and almost 30 years’ experience as a public servant.
An award-winning writer, Okediran has published fourteen novels, many of which are on the reading lists of a number of Nigerian Universities. .His highly acclaimed novel, Tenants of the House, a fictional account of his years in the House of Representatives, was the 2011 Co-Winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature. A film adaptation of the novel has just been completed and will be ready for premiering shortly.
Okediran, with a few friends established the first Writers Residency in Nigeria, the Ebedi International Writers Residency in Iseyin, Oyo State in 2010. The residency, an initiative that is building and motivating teams of writers across Africa and the world at large, has produced many internationally acclaimed writers..
Okediran is a Fellow of the General Medical Practitioners of Nigeria and Fellow of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria, and a member of the Association of Nigerian Authors, prior to serving as its National President between 2006 and 2009. He is currently the Deputy Secretary-General (Africa) for the Union of Writers from Africa, Asia and Latin America.
He also served as a Member of the Federal House of Representatives from 2003 to 2007contributing to advocacy, regional dialogue and policy development, leading to improvements in health across Africa. He has consulted for several international and local development agencies such as Constella Futures International USA, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, USIS, UNAIDS, NPHCDA, NACA, UNICEF, Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria, The World Bank and Action Aid.
Dr. Okediran holds BSc (Hons) 1977, MB, ChB 1980 from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University). He was also a sportsman in the university. In view of his prowess in the field of sports where he variously represented his University and Oyo State, Dr. Okediran was awarded a university scholarship for sports between 1977 and 1980 at the University of Ife.