Antwerp Belgium, Tuesday 13 December 2022

Resource Persons

Monsignor Johan Bonny

Bishop of Antwerp

Host & Keynote Speaker

Mgr. Johan Bonny was born in Ostend, West Flanders, Belgium on 10 July 1955. He was ordained a priest in 1980 and appointed 2 years later professor and archivist at the Grand Seminary of Bruges where he also taught Church History, Dogmatic theology, Ecumenism and spirituality. In 1997 he became a member of staff of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and rector of the Belgian Pontifical College in Rome.

On 28 October 2008, Msgr. Johan Bonny was appointed 22nd Bishop of Antwerp. His episcopal consecration took place on 4 January 2009 in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Antwerp.

Mgr. Bonny is a bishop-referent for education and school catechesis, for university and college pastoral care, for Catholic University of Leuven, for pastoral care for inland shipping and Apostolatus Maris, and for contacts with the Flemish Government.

In the international arena, Mgr. Johan Bonny was responsible for ecumenical relations between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox churches, mainly in the Middle East. He took part in theological dialogue with the Oriental Orthodox Churches, including the Coptic Syriac Armenian Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and the Assyrian Church of the East. He has had a good working relationship with Catholic Diocese of Onitsha, Nigeria resulting in appointments of several priests from the diocese into the leadership of the Diocese of Antwerp.

Mgr. Bonny earned a bachelor in philosophy degree at the Catholic University of Leuven, a second bachelor in theology at the Grand Seminary Bruges before proceeding to the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome for a masters and doctorate in theology.

Pastor Ituah Ighodalo

President Rebuild Nigeria Initiative


Ituah Ighodalo is a Pastor, an Accountant, a Thinker, a Social Reformer and a Writer. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant. He commenced his professional career in September 1982 at PriceWater House now Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) and later founded Ighodalo & Co., a professional public Accounting firm which later merged with 3 other firms to form SIAO / RSM Nigeria. Pastor Ighodalo is a Fellow of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria.

Pastor Ighodalo is a member of the following institutions: Nigerian Institute of Management, the American Society of Industrial Security and the American Institute of Management. He is Chairman and board member of several companies and charitable organisations.

He is currently the Pastor-in-Charge of Trinity House, a non-denominational free flowing International Christian Worship Center in Lagos Nigeria. He is the President of Rebuild Nigeria Initiative.

Collins Nweke

Vice President Rebuild Nigeria Initiative


Collins Nweke is a Green Party Belgian politician of Nigerian origin. Born 14 July 1965, he is the first non-Belgian-born person to be elected to political office in West Flanders. He is active in social welfare, economy, international development and diversity matters. He currently serves as Councillor for Social Affairs in the government of Mayor Bart Tommelein of Ostend City Council.

He remains active in consultancy and advocacy for socio-economic development of Nigeria, Africa, and other transition economies in general. An opinion-maker columnist with The Brussels Times and contributor to several Africa-centric media on global affairs and foreign policy, Collins Nweke is director business development of Belgium Luxembourg Nigeria Chamber of Commerce. He is also founding member and Vice President of the advocacy group, Rebuild Nigeria Initiative. A Certified Management Consultant, Nweke is a Fellow of both the Institute of Management Consultants and Chartered Institute of Public Management of Nigeria. He has served or chaired several corporate or charitable boards in Nigeria and in Europe.

Dr Fatima Akilu

Executive Secretary Rebuild Nigeria Initiative


Dr Fatima Akilu is the Executive Director of Neem Foundation. She also heads the Psychosocial Services Component of the foundation. She is a trained psychologist with over 20 years experience in the field of mental health and psychology. She has taught and authored research papers relating to homelessness, ethnicity and its relationship with mental health.

Dr. Akilu has garnered experience in the Communications industry in her capacity as the Chairman of the Editorial Board of a leading Nigerian national newspaper and the Head of Communication to the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Nigerian President on Millennium Development Goals. Until August 2015, she pioneered Nigeria’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programme as the Director for Behavioural Analysis and Strategic Communications at the Office of the National Security Adviser; a position she held for 3 years.

Dr. Akilu holds a Masters Degree and PhD in Psychology from the University of Reading (UK), and has worked as an Adjunct Professor of General Psychology at Broome Community College (USA) for over 12 years. She is founding member and Executive Secretary of Rebuild Nigeria Initiative.

Meyrem Almaci

Politician & Expert Comparative Cultures

Special Guest & Speaker

Meyrem Almaci was born in St. Niklaas, Belgium on 25 February 1976 to a Turkish immigrant family with roots in Kozluçay - Yalvaç, Isparta Province. She had 10 siblings, two of whom died young. She has Turkish-Belgian dual citizenship.

Almaci got attracted to Green politics from the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace where she was a militant. She rose through party ranks to become party leader for two consecutive terms before retiring in May 2022 from the party leadership to spend more time with her husband and two young children. She remains a Member of Parliament in the Flemish Parliament.

During her stint as party leader from September 2014 – May 2022, Green achieved the most successful results ever in local elections and guided the party during the negotiations in the federal government delivering two Green ministers. A majority was also formed in Brussels Parliament in 2019 with one Green minister.

Under the motto 'don't curse the darkness, light a candle', she has supported an inclusive society throughout her adult life. Meyrem is a renowned bridge builder who opposes the narrative that there is no alternative to prevailing short-termism. Her drive for a better society commands respect from both friends and foes. She has made her political marks in the areas of Finance and Budget; Social Emancipation; Business, Science Policy, Education, National Scientific and Cultural Institutions, the Self-Employed and Agriculture.

Almaci holds a bachelor in Social Work, later specialising in comparative cultures when she took a master degree in comparative cultural studies at the University of Ghent.

Ngozi Anthonia Onuorah

Barrister At Law


Ngozi Anthonia Onuorah was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2012 after obtaining both her Law Degree and Barrister At Law qualifications from the Nigerian Law School Abuja. She is currently studying for a Master of Law degree at the University of Antwerp while furthering her passion for advocacy.

Onuorah loves writing, reading and she is also a motivational speaker.

Onyeka Okwuosa

Applied Economist


Onyeka Okwuosa is an Applied Economist with bias for economic policies especially as they affect Africa’s developing or transition economies. He obtained his masters degree from the University of Antwerp. His current research interests are in conflict resolution and poverty alleviation strategies.