Dayo Israel was named one of the 100 Most Influential People of African Descent (under 40) as part of the 2017 celebration of the UN Decade for people of Africa Descent at the One UN Plaza in New York. A Henley Business School Young Leader, Dayo has twice been named in 2016 and 2017 as one of 50 UK’s brightest young leaders. He was recognised as one of the top 25 Promising Nigerian Youths under 35 To Serve Nigeria in 2016 and as one of Africa’s top 30 most inspirational young people of 2013. Dayo is a member of the British Council Global Change makers Network and Alumnus of the US State Department International Visitors Leadership Program that has produced over 400 Heads of Government globally.
As one of the strong voices behind the #Nottooyoungtorun Campaign in Africa, Dayo actively promotes Youth Participation in Political Leadership; inspiring, challenging, training and fundraising for Young Africans interested in running for Public Offices across Africa.
He is renowned for his works with The United Nations, British Council, Save the Children UK, UNICEF, in various capacities, promoting the implementation and actualization of the UN Millennium and Sustainable Development Goals; currently serving as a YTI Special Representative to the United Nations, Africa Regional Director for GLEEHD Foundation and Director of Africa Operations at the Commonwealth Africa Initiative, where he promotes the interest of Africa in the commonwealth and intra commonwealth partnership and cooperation. He is also a globally recognized personality with over 17years of professional experience in international development.
Through his work at GLEEHD Foundation, Dayo helps drive trade and investment between Africa and the West (Europe and North America) through various activities including Trade Delegations, Business Roundtables, Investment Forums and Bilateral Meetings. Dayo also consults for Senior Executives and Government leaders in the areas of brand positioning and visibility strategy.
He was selected by the United Nations to represent all delegates to the UN General Assembly Special Session on Children on a special CNN Live Interview in 2002. He was specially invited by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh to a private reception at Buckingham palace as a result of his contribution to Africa Diaspora Development, the only ever recipient of the Young PEWA (Person Earnestly Working for Africa) Award at the office of the Mayor of London. He was also invited by the Obama Administration to the White House President’s Forum for Young African Leaders in Washington DC.
A global citizen, Dayo was born into the Abdulai Family in Olowogbowo (Agbole Baba Eleran/Baba Dudu) and the Banire Family in Ibita Ofin Lagos Island, Nigeria.
In recent times, Dayo’s United Nations engagement have included the management and coordination of the UNICEF Nigeria/Lagos State Government Launch of the Violence Against Children Campaign and the Visit of the Special Representative of the Secretary General to the Launch in Lagos as a UN consultant.
Prior to his role as Regional Director for Africa at GLEEHD Foundation, Dayo served as Special Assistant at the National Assembly of Nigeria, YTI Special Representative to the United Nations, and YGA Ambassador to the United Nations. As a Civil Society Diplomat at the United Nations, he was responsible for overseeing YTI/YGA’s Interaction and relationship with the United Nations, Representing YTI/YGA at various UN Meetings and Functions and also leading various advocacies of the organisation, which led to various side events at the UN DPI meetings in Bonn, Paris and New York coordinated by Dayo.
At the National Assembly of Nigeria (Office of Senator Omoworare CON), Dayo was responsible for Strategy Development, Project Design and Evaluation. He was also responsible for Creating and maintaining relationships with Strategic Global partners such as the World Bank, VSO, British Council and other International Organisations etc. Dayo was responsible for arranging the first official visit of the Former US Consul General –Jeffrey Hawkins and the US embassy delegation to the National Assembly of Nigeria – during which the delegation observed the sitting of the parliament and were acknowledged by Senate President David Mark.
His achievements at the National Assembly also included Fostering Trade and Investment Opportunities for his constituents and linking local businesses with international partners in Europe and North America with support from UK Trade and Investment; as well as Supporting his principal in his interactions with International Organisations, Diplomatic Community, and UN entities by working closely with liaison staff and senior officials of those entities. He developed new initiatives concerned with: community development, women empowerment, youth development, renewable and alternative energy, health care, and education, while building partnerships with the funding, civic, and political communities. Dayo created international opportunities for his Youth Constituent through design, development and implementations international exchange programs.
As a Social Entrepreneur, Dayo has been at the forefront of various advocacies for Youth Empowerment, Gender Development, Sustainable Development and Sustainable Livelihood. Dayo has appeared on countless television interviews, commercials, talk shows, radio programs globally to bring to the forefront of global consciousness the issues that affect our Sustainable Development.
After losing his Dad at age 11, Dayo was raised by a single mum in the slum of Lagos Mainland, helping his mother in her daily business hawking shoes and African wears to enable them feed the family and have a livelihood. However during those days, Dayo’s dream kept pushing him forward. He started the only Child led NGO in Nigeria at that time – General Action against the Violation of Human and Children’s Rights – an organisation which spearheaded the campaign for the promotion of children’s rights in Nigeria. As a result of which He was elected into the Nigerian Children’s Parliament at the age of 14 and rose to the position of the Deputy Senate President of the National Children’s Parliament until His retirement.
He was privileged to have received scholarship from the then Governor of His State Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to study at the London Metropolitan University for His Law degree at London Metropolitan University.
Today, Dayo serve as Director of Africa Operations at the Commonwealth Africa Initiative through which he engages African Member states of the Commonwealth family to leverage on their shared heritage for economic prosperity and growth. At the Commonwealth Africa Initiative, Dayo mobilises the participation of African leaders at the Commonwealth Week activities and Commonwealth Africa Summit in London.
Dayo is a recipient of so many International Awards which includes the British Red Cross Humanitarian Citizen Award, PEWA (Person Earnestly Working for Africa) Award, GAB Award, Icon Awards, Icon of Hope Award, Young Achievers Award and many more. He is also a 3 time Finalist for various categories of The Future Nigeria Award – including the Young Person of the Year Award.
Dayo facilitates many high profile events and meetings to connect Emerging Leaders with stakeholders and senior executives providing opportunity for mentorship and networking for development and growth. Some of his programs have featured World Bank Vice Presidents, Former Prime Ministers, Former and Serving Presidents, Ambassadors and High Net worth Individual.
Dayo’s TV show – Dayo Israel in Conversation with – airs on 3 TV stations in Nigeria and her Diaspora and brings to the public conversations that are transformative, informative and inspirational with an intention to inspire thoughts that lead to life affirming changes. The show features some of the most prominent and eminent leaders cross-sector including Presidents and Heads of Government, Politicians, Musicians, Sportsmen and women, Fashion Designers, Artists, Painters, Writers, Military Officers, and the ordinary unknown who do so much to help others in a very significant way. With discussions spanning Family, Faith, Finance, Politics, Science, Art, Business, Technology, Literature and Philosophy.
As a top ranked keynote speaker, author and television personality, Dayo Israel has risen to national prominence by delivering high energy message and speeches which tells people how to shake off mediocrity, turn their potential into performance and live up to their greatness. It is a message Dayo has learned from his own life and one he is helping others apply to their lives.
He gets his message out to an international audience of millions through his various tours, inspirational conferences, seminars, motivational coaching, philanthropic work, TV show, Media appearances, audio programs, and Youth advocacy.
He co-launched the UNICEF State of the World Children’s Report in 2003 alongside Carol Bellamy and Oscar Award Winner – Vanessa Redgrave CBE. A former student leader, Dayo was the First African to be elected a Student Council Chair at London Metropolitan University and served on the University’s Academic Board with the Vice Chancellor, representing over 30, 000 students on the board. He was also a member of the Research and Development Committee of the University with the Deputy Vice Chancellor during his Post Graduate days.
He also pioneered a lot of advocacy towards the enactment of the Child Rights Act in Nigeria and the development of the Juvenile Justice Framework in the Country. At 16, He was appointed the Chairman of the Presidential Summit of Nigerian Children alongside leading the Nigerian Children delegation to the United Nations Special Session on Children in New York where He was featured live on CNN and Nickelodeon with Carol Bellamy, the then UNICEF Executive Director. In 2004, at the age of 18, Dayo and His Team of other Young People single handed hosted the Annual Young General Assembly Annual Session in Nigeria with about 200 Young People in attendance from all over the World.
Dayo has been involved in High Level International advocacy that have earned him enormous International accolades. He co-chaired the only children side event at the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa, alongside chairing the World Media Briefing at the UN Children World Water Forum in Japan. In the recent years, He has continued to chair various side events at the UN DPI/NGO Conference. A founding member of the British Council Connecting Future Forum
He has met and addressed so many world leaders like HRM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HRH Prince Andrew Duke of York, Dr. Nelson Mandela, Former Nigerian Head of State – General Yakubu Gowon, Former Nigerian President and current UN Envoy to Congo: Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, President Goodluck Jonathan, Former Prime Minister Sir John Major, President Roberto Cavaco of Portugal, President Thabo Mbeki, President Jacob Zuma, EU Jose Manuel Barosso, Dr. Kofi Annan, Dr. Donald Kaberuka, Prime Minister Dlamini Absalom Themba, Queen Mubarak of Egypt, President Yahya Jameh, President Tejjan Kabbah, President John Kufor, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Foreign Secretary William Hague, UN Scribe Ban Ki Moon and many other Heads of States and Presidents in Africa and Europe.
He attracts a lot of “positive” media attentions and has featured on CNN Q and A Live, Daystar Christian Broadcasting Network, Iranian Press TV, Nickelodeon, BBC Network Africa, Ben Television, OBE TV, BBC World Service, NTA Newsline, and T.V Africa. He produces and presents the syndicated “Dayo Israel Show” across Europe and Africa. He has made headlines on various national newspapers such as Swazi Today, The Comet newspaper, The Punch newspaper, Tribune newspaper and The Nigerian Guardian.