By Amin Kef-Ranger
Professor David J. Francis, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, is among four Heads of State in Africa nominated for the 8th Pan African Peace Leadership Summit and Honors (PALESH) slated for August 2022 in Abuja, Nigeria in honour of his Excellence Leadership and Outstanding Role Model Performance on Capacity Building and to be decorated with the Honour of UN Sustainable Development Goal Humanitarian Icon of Peace by the IPGC Africa where he is to deliver a speech on the theme :” The Role of Inclusive Governance towards Consolidating Peaceful Co Existence in Africa”.
On 30th April 2021 His Excellency President, Brig. Gen. (Rtd) Dr. Julius Maada Bio appointed Prof David J Francis as the Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Co-operation.
Before he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor Francis served as the first Chief Minister of the Republic of Sierra Leone since May 2018.
As Chief Minister, he served as one of the Principal Advisers to the President. He was responsible for the supervision, monitoring, coordination and performance management of 28 Ministries of the Government of Sierra Leone. As a Senior Cabinet Minister, the Chief Minister served as a member of the National Security Council; National Defence Council; member of the Economic Management Team; the National Investment Board, member of Cabinet Sub-Committees and member of the Presidential Task Force of COVID 19 National Preparedness and Response.
In his capacity as Chief Minister, Professor Francis chaired and led several high-level Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) negotiation processes with international, multilateral and private sector agencies and institutions.
Before joining Government, Professor Francis was the Head of the world-renowned Department of Peace Studies & Director of the John & Elnora Ferguson Centre for African Studies (JEFCAS) at the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom. He served as Commissioner for the UK Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. Also, he held the UNESCO Chair of African Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Bradford. Professor Francis held a Research Professorial Chair in African Peace and Conflict Studies, the first-ever to be established at a leading UK University.
Professor Francis has published more than eleven books and more than fifty journal articles, book chapters and commissioned-policy papers. Some of his published works include Peace, Democracy & Development in Africa, Adonis & Abbey Publishers: London, July 2020 (Ed); African Peace Militaries: War, Peace & Democratic Governance, : UN Cooperative Peacekeeping in Africa (Ed.) Ashgate, 2005; The Politics of Economic Regionalism: Sierra Leone in ECOWAS, Ashgate, 2001.
As a distinguished international academic, senior policy adviser, and consultant for more than 25 years, Professor Francis successfully supervised six doctoral completions, 14 Ph.D./Doctoral External Examinations in the UK, Europe, North America, and Africa, as well as more than 50 Master’s dissertation supervision. Professor Francis has served as a consultant consulted for numerous Governments, intergovernmental agencies (EU & Commonwealth), and vital UN agencies (UNAMSIL Sierra Leone, UNMIL Liberia, UNESCO on Peace Education, UNDP on Infrastructure for Peace, UNHCR on Internally Displaced Persons in Liberia); ECOWAS (ECOWAS Early Warning Mechanism & National Early Warning System); African Union (African Peer Review Mechanism & the AU Post-Conflict Reconstruction & Development).