AMANDLA! VANGUARD EDITION

Dr. Abiola Makinwa

Dr. Abiola Makinwa

Senior Lecturer, Lagos State University, Lagos, Nigeria

Principal Lecturer, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, 2016 - till present.

Chair, Structured Criminal Settlements Subcommittee International Bar Association IBA Anti-Corruption Committee (2016-18).

My Story, Your Inspiration

Every disappointment is a blessing in disguise and a door to new opportunity!

My disappointment in the reality of Nigeria, the ‘giant of Africa’, brought low under the crippling weight of corruption, catalyzed my research interests and questions. Looking back, I can safely say that riding the wave of this ‘disappointment’ is what led to my Ph.D on the role of private-actor-led remedies in anti-corruption enforcement; to my chairing the International Bar Association Committee on Structured Criminal Settlements for Corruption Offences (2016-2018); to my published books and articles centering around leveraging out-of-court settlements to promote corruption prevention; to serving as a consultant to the UN FACTI panel on currents trends in foreign bribery prosecution; to the Compliance Minor and Integrity Digital Leaning Module that I developed for young undergraduates at the Hague University of Applied Sciences!

So truth be told, 'disappointment' has opened up a whole new world for me! I am fascinated by anti-corruption enforcement mechanisms that can bypass compromised governance structures and put new incentives for compliance in place. I am also excited to develop educational curricula and practical tools that provide young minds with new insights, personal skills and the resiliency to deal with white collar crime.

My words of encouragement, for all of us women navigating our different professional paths, is to embrace disappointment! If we stay focused, we may break new ground.

Yes, disappointment can certainly be paralyzing. It is too easy to get distracted and join in a never-ending plaintive song. Let us instead take inspiration from the long line of women who braved every pushback, every disappointment, to break new ground and on whose shoulders, we stand! This is their legacy and I believe we have a duty to pass the torch forward.

And yes, Nigeria is going be even greater than it ever was—of this, I have no doubt!