Celebrating International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Monday 21th March

Marking the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: Lord Boateng in conversation with Alfred Abolarin


This event, celebrating the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, is organised in partnership with the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building and the Migrant and Minority Ethnic Council Northern Ireland. We are delighted to welcome Lord Boateng who will be in conversation with Alfred Abolarin, followed by a panel discussion.

Lord Boateng

The Rt Hon the Lord Boateng PC DL was brought up in Ghana and the U.K. and was educated at the Accra Academy, Apsley Grammar School and the University of Bristol.

He has qualified both as a Solicitor and Barrister. He was MP for Brent South 1987-2005 and served in various Ministerial roles in the U.K. Government between 1997 and 2005 joining the Cabinet in 2002 as Chief Secretary to the Treasury and becoming the UK’s first Black Cabinet Minister. He was the U.K. High Commissioner to South Africa between 2005-2009 and was elevated to the Peerage in 2010 as Lord Boateng of Akyem and Wembley.

He currently serves on the International Relations and Defence Committee of the House of Lords and on a number of Commercial and Philanthropic Boards in the U.K., Africa and Switzerland in the Agriculture Water Utility and Development sectors.

A Methodist Lay Preacher, Lord Boateng Chairs the Anglican Archbishops Commission on Racial Justice. He is Chancellor of the University of Greenwich.

Alfred Abolarin, Chair, Migrant and Minority Ethnic Council Northern Ireland

Alfred was a former Race Relations Officer for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. He is the current Chair of the Migrant and Minority Ethnic Council Northern Ireland (MME Council) – a strategic advocacy and community think tank that seeks responses and solutions to key societal issues in NI and beyond.

He is an experienced strategist and facilitator; a qualified anti-racism, hate crime trainer and mediator.

He founded Interact NI, an intercultural organisation in 1999, ACSONI (2003) and served as Chair of NICEM (2007-2010). He was a former programme manager for a European Commission joint project across three countries which established the African and Caribbean Chamber of Commerce in Northern Ireland (2012).

Alfred also runs a Christian Foundation in West Africa, Nigeria; Royal Vine and Branches Empowerment Foundation (O2G Foundation) established in 1993.

In 2006, he attended a U.S government-sponsored exchange leadership programme in Boston and Chicago. In 2007, he was amongst the black leaders invited to a UK Wide Commonwealth Leaders event in Buckingham Palace by HRM the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh.