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Dr Walton Ekundayo Gilpin: My PhD is Authentic

My attention has been drawn to a social media post, demanding that I produce the original copy of my Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Degree Certificate from the Open University or resign my position as Managing Director of Rokel Commercial Bank. 

I do not in any way wish to defend my qualification on social media or rather serve as an impediment in the fight against intellectual dishonesty which is a noble course if our nation should restore its dignity as the Athens of West Africa. I will out of respect for the general public and my natural right to be heard make certain clarifications. 

Firstly, my appointment as Managing Director of Rokel Commercial Bank was not predicated on any PhD qualification as portrayed by the author of the said post. Same was not a prerequisite qualification for the position I occupy. Any suggestion that my employment as Managing Director was influenced by a PhD is untenable. My appointment was exclusively based on the requisite qualification and experience and other key performance indicators in the banking industry both within and without Sierra Leone. 

Secondly, I hold a B Sc in Economics from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone (1989), M Sc in Economic Policy Management from Columbia University, New York (1997) and several post-graduate professional development training in Macroeconomic Policy and Management, Public Debt and Financial Management, Computer System development and maintenance etc. I am also a Fellow of the International Professional Managers Association (IPMA). I  served in several capacities, either as a consultant or permanent staff in Sierra Leone and the diaspora with multilateral financial institutions such as the European Union, International Monetary Fund, Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute of Eastern and Southern Africa (MEFMI), West Africa Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), African Development Bank (AfDB), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Crown Agents, Commonwealth Secretariat, Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation, Commonwealth Service Abroad Programme and the Bank of Sierra Leone.  I worked in over 35 countries globally. 

In my quest for personal academic edification,  I  decided to pursue studies in a different discipline at the Open University (Commonwealth – CoU) in 2013, As a  student of the said institution my business was to study for the sake of knowledge acquisition. I enrolled for a PhD in International Public Policy at Aldersgate College in August 2016 and graduated in July 2019. My Research Topic for the above Ph. D was titled; “A Diplomatic Theory of International Relations and the Role of Inter-Governmental Agencies in International Diplomacy: A Case of the Commonwealth Secretariat.* As it can be gleaned from the aforementioned topic, it is glaring that it has nothing to do with Banking and Finance.

Meanwhile, I have received several recognitions both nationally and internationally. I remain humble about my accomplishments at the Rokel Commercial Bank were through great teamwork, and strategic leadership we have been able to transform ‘The Bank’ from a loss-making to a profit-making institution. The Bank is now on an upward trajectory and has for the first time in almost a decade, paid a dividend to the government and minority shareholders. 

Conclusion

I believe that my qualifications and expertise are not only relevant but significantly more than sufficient to manage Rokel Commercial Bank. 

I would encourage the author of the said post to remain open-minded in his “noble” quest to get rid of fake academic credentials in Sierra Leone and to do so with forthrightness, without malice and prejudice.  

I leave the rest for the public to judge whilst I remain; 

Amb. Dr Walton Ekundayo Gilpin, COOR

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