Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities after Disasters

at the University of Massachusetts Boston

Maps & Directions

Jonathan Oluwole Coker

Jonathan Oluwole Coker is a retired Civil Servant of the Nigerian Government. He began his career in 1972 as a Foreign Service Officer, serving both at home and in the Country’s diplomatic mission abroad. He was appointed Ambassador in 1991 to Cote d’Ivoire just at the wake of

a) The end of the golden and peaceful ear of the Late Felix Houghouet-Boigny, who ruled Cote d’Ivoire for about half a century, and
b) The eruption of war in the neighboring Liberia and later in Sierra Leone. As Nigerian’s Ambassador to Cote d ’Ivoire at the point in time, he played a very significant role in the emergent political processes in the three countries respectively. After 8 years as Ambassador of Cote d’Ivoire, he was deployed to oversee the protocol department of the ministry of Foreign Affairs for about 6 months before being appointed as the overall protocol boss of Nigeria.

In that capacity, he served as the Chief of State Protocol, working closely with the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from 1999 to 2004.

At the end of the first term of the government of President Olusegun Obasanjo, he was appointed Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, a position he held for three years, during which period relations between Nigeria and China grew tremendously and impacted considerably and positively, the economics of both Nigeria and China.

Since he retired in June 2007, he has been invited both by the Nigerian government and some foreign institutions to advise on the emerging role and strength of China in the global policy and especially in Africa. His recent significant contribution to that topic was an invitation to and effective participation in a forum on Current Development and Trends in China’s Relations with African Countries organized by the HEINRICH BOLL STIFTUNG Foundation under the auspices of the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC). The event took place on April 28, 2008 at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington D.C.

While he was still serving Ambassador, he was honored with the position of Advisor to the CHINA-AFRICA BUSINESS COUNCIL ADVISORY BOARD by the UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME Coordinator in CHINA. Nigeria still counts him as an expert on Nigeria/China, Africa/China relations as he was an active player in the process leading to the organization of the first-ever summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Ambassador Coker similarly extends his knowledge and services to the ECOWAS Commission especially in the relationship of the African sub-regional Organization with CHINA.

Now as a private citizen, he is busy putting together in Nigeria, a consortium dedicated to the Management of integrated domestic and industrial wastes in the Lagos area of Nigeria, from collection to the different stages of transformation to compost, gases and energy of electricity generation. This is an agreement between the State Government and Ambassador Coker’s privately run environment outfit.

He is devoting his present time to galvanizing his knowledge about the world and experience thereof gained over 35 years to attract more knowledge and know how and important foreign investments into the Nigerian economy.

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