Samson Itodo

Samson Itodo

Panel Moderator

Samson heads one of Africa’s leading civic group on democratic governance and citizens’ participation, YIAGA AFRICA. YIAGA AFRICA is a non-profit organization promoting democratic governance, constitutionalism and youth participation in Africa through research, capacity development and policy advocacy. Samson is the convener of the Not Too Young To Run movement advocating for youth inclusion in Africa through removal of age limits for running for public office. Samson is a lawyer by profession and has invested over 10 years in promoting democracy, constitutionalism and widening the civic space for youth in Nigeria and Africa. As a champion for quality youth representation, he facilitated the establishment of the Young Parliamentarians Forum in national parliaments in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Ghana. He currently leads efforts to establish the forum across West Africa. Recently, he was appointed as one of 100 most influential young Africans by Africa Youth Awards and was also appointed amongst the 10 most powerful names in advocacy in Nigeria.

He heads Nigeria’s largest citizens movement on electoral integrity, Watching The Vote. He has led election observation missions to Ghana, United States of America, South Africa, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Samson is a founding member of the African Movement for Democracy (AMD) a network of activists and youth leaders in Africa dedicated to deepening democracy in Africa. He led the formation of the Youth Alliance on Constitution & Electoral Reform (YACORE), Nigeria’s first ever youth coalition on constitution and electoral reform. Samson is a lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Bingham University. As a researcher, he has consulted for local and international organizations like United States Institute for Peace (USIP), Westminster Foundation for Democracy, International IDEA, International Republican Institute and United Nations Development Program. He is a fellow of Leading in Public Life program of the Graduate School of Development Policy & practice, University of Cape town; International Visitors Leadership Program of the US Department of State and the Swedish Visitors Leadership Program.

Itodo interests span democracy, constitutionalism, legislative engagement, youth development and elections.