A communications expert, journalist, editor and lawyer, Sunday Akin Dare on Wednesday emerged as Nigeria’s new minister of sports and youth development, following President Muhammadu Buhari’s formal inauguration of his second cabinet in Abuja.
Though there is not documented information about Dare’s love for sports, the indigene of Ogbomosho in Oyo State will now face the task of not only piloting Nigerian sports to a higher level but creating fresh glorious for posterity to judge him right.
Born 29 May 1966, Dare has worked in diverse aspects of the media, including television, radio, electronic and print, with his journalism experience spanning over 25 years of multiple duties in various fields.
He is a well decorated professional with numerous award to his name. He has been honoured both locally and internationally, including being recognised as one of 50 Leading Nigerians during the country’s Golden Jubilee anniversary celebration in North America.
He also emerged the winner of the Voice of America Meritorious Honour Award 2009 in recognition of his sterling leadership and professional contributions in Africa and diaspora.
Additionally, Dare was listed as a member of International Committee to Protect Journalists Citation in 2000 in New York, USA in recognition of his spirited drive as a journalist.
Before his latest appointment as sports minister, Dare was Executive Commissioner (Stakeholder Management) of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and former Chief of Staff/Special Adviser (Media) to former Lagos State Governor, Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
He was also the Convener of Social Media Clinic (SMC), an Information Technology (New Media) initiative committed to educating private citizens on IT development and in the use of telecommunication as an information tool and creating awareness on responsible usage.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in International Studies from Ahmadu Bello University in 1991, then obtained a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from University of Jos.
He has also been a Freedom Forum Fellow and Visiting Scholar, School of Journalism at New York University, then studied Media and Public Policy at Harvard University between 2000 and 2001, under the prestigious Harvard Nieman Journalism Fellowship.
In 2011, he won Reuters Foundation Journalism Research Fellowship, University of Oxford, UK, where he researched “New Media and Citizen Journalism in Africa – A Case Study: Using New Media Tools and Citizen Journalism to Investigate Corruption in Nigeria.”
Dare was Chief, Hausa Service, African Division, Voice of America (VOA) in Washington, DC from 2001 to 2009, where, apart from directing the production of radio and online broadcast news and programs daily, he designed and implemented the adoption of new IT and Telecoms tools for international radio news-gathering and information dissemination.
He supervised the work of eleven (11) International Radio Broadcast Journalists based in Washington DC alongside 24 reporters/stringers based in West Africa for VOA.
He was a founding member of the Nigerian weekly magazines The News and Tempo in the heady days of the military, where he served as Editor, Tempo magazine and pioneer Online Editor/General.
Down the line, Dare has also been a reporter/columnist with several local and international publications, such as The Nation magazine in New York and a production editor/writer with European funded Fourth Estate magazine during the struggle against the military dictatorship in Nigeria.
In 2009, he became Senior Special Assistant (Media) / Chief of Staff to the Minister of Information and Communications during which he guided decisions on all media and communications related matters, government information, and media policies under the purview of the Ministry.
He was assigned to oversee aspects of the NCC’s operations and brief the Minister of Information and Communications on issues, challenges, and opportunities in Nigeria’s emerging telecommunications market.
He also participated in strategic meetings between the office of the Minister, Information and Communications and the NCC leadership at that time, including being a member of the Minister’s advisory team on the sale of the 2.3GHz spectrum frequency.
Dare is a recipient of many awards and is recognized internationally, including being identified as one of the 50 Leading Nigerians in North America 2010 in commemoration of Nigeria’s 50th Anniversary.
He won Voice of America Meritorious Honor Award 2009 in recognition of his skillful leadership and outstanding performance, and he bagged a Committee to Protect Journalists Citation in 2000 by the New York-based organization in acknowledgment of his courage as a journalist.
His published works include; Making A Killing – The Business of War (Public Integrity Books, Washington DC – March 2003), which won the Sigma Delta Chi International investigative award; Guerrilla Journalism: Dispatches From The Underground (Xlibris Corporation, USA.
He also has ‘We Are All Journalists – Africa In The Age Of Social Media’ (Oxford University Press, UK – 2011), which is the product of Dare’s research at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Oxford University; and Datelines – A Journalists’ Narrative (May 2016).
His ongoing works include; Butting Heads – Traditional Media Versus Social Media – Who Blinks First and Marriage that Works – The Convergence of Telecoms & ICT.
He is a member and associate of several professional bodies including the US-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) the Investigative Workshop, American University and a former Knight Fellow, International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), Washington DC.