Mrs. Prof. Dora Akunyili Minister of Information and Communications - Nigeria
eGovernment: Improved - Keynote Speech
eGovernment: Improved - Panel Discussion
Q&A panel discussion with audience
About Mrs. Prof. Dora Akunyili
Prof. Dora Nkem Akunyili (OFR), the Hon Minister of Information and Communications, is an internationally renowned Pharmacist, Pharmacologist, Erudite Scholar, Seasoned Administrator, and a visionary leader.
Prior to her present appointment, she was the Director General of National Agency For Food And Drug Control (NAFDAC).
Prof. Akunyili's educational career started with her passing the First School Leaving Certificate with Distinction in 1966, and the West African School Certificate (W.A.S.C.) with Grade I Distinction in 1973 (both in Nigeria), which earned her the Eastern Nigerian Government Post Primary Scholarship and the Federal Government of Nigeria Undergraduate Scholarship respectively. It is remarkable that throughout her high school career, Dora Akunyili was always first in her class - a record that has never been broken in the school to date.
She got her B.Pharm (Hons) in 1978 and P.hD in 1985, both at University of Nigeria Nsukka (U.N.N.). Prof. Akunyili won the best student award in the school of Pharmacy in her very first year in the school and the Vice Chancellor's Postgraduate and Research Leadership prize in Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences for 1984/85 and 1985/86 academic Sessions.
She was promoted to the rank of a Professor in October, 2000 by the same University.
Prof. Akunyili started her working career as a Hospital Pharmacist in the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (U.N.T.H) Enugu in 1978. In 1981, she ventured into Academics as a Graduate Assistant (Research Fellow) in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, U.N.N. In the University system, she made a steady progress from lecturer I in 1986 until she was made Senior Lecturer in 1990.
She transferred to College of Medicine, U.N.N. in 1992 and became a Consultant Pharmacologist in 1996.
From 1992 to 1994, Prof. Akunyili served as a member of Anambra State's Hospitals Management Board and State Advisory Council for Women Commission, and was appointed Supervisory Councillor for Agriculture in Anaocha Local Government of Anambra State, Nigeria from 1994 - 1996
Prof. Dora Akunyili was appointed Zonal Secretary of Petroleum Special Trust Fund (P.T.F.), coordinating all projects in the five South Eastern States of Nigeria from 1996 - 2000. In 2001 she was appointed the Director General of NAFDAC a position she held until December 2008 when she was appointed a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
As a Scientist and a Scholar, she has presented 20 scientific papers based on research and 485 papers delivered locally and internationally on regulatory matters, published two books and 38 Journal Articles. She also supervised PhD and Masters candidates, and is currently supervising six Postgraduate students in the College of Medicine U.N.N.
Prof. Akunyili has held positions of responsibility in University of Nigeria Nsukka which include: serving in six Senate Committees and various faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences Committees of the University from 1986 -1992.
She is a very active member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (P.S.N.) where she has served in various capacities notably as the National Vice President of Association of Lady Pharmacists (1992-1995) and President of the Enugu State Branch from 1992-1998.
Prof. Akunyili was appointed the Chairman of West African Drug Regulatory Agencies Network (WADRAN) in March, 2006, Vice Chairman of the International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force (IMPACT) on 15th Nov. 2006. She is also a Post Doctorate Fellow of University of London, Fellow of the West African Post Graduate College of Pharmacists, and member of other learned societies, a few of which are New York Academy of Science, International Narcotics Control Board, United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Expert Committee, Association for African Medicinal Plant Standards (AAMPS), Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN),
Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD).
In 2001, Akunyili became the lighting rod for transparency and honesty in the public sector. She was appointed by President Obasanjo to head the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). As many Nigerians now testify, that appointment is indeed putting a round peg in a round hole, and it fitted perfectly.
Dora Akunyili had an outstanding success as the Director General of NAFDAC. Prior to her assumption of duty, food and drug regulation was chaotic, to say the least. All manners of adulterated, fake and substandard foods and drugs were dumped into Nigeria. Unscrupulous individuals made fortunes from such unwholesome practices, but Prof. Akunyili brought in a new culture of excellence and honesty into NAFDAC and the entire regulated environment. As a commentator in a national newspaper once wrote, "The NAFDAC Director General is a revolutionary. She has not only changed NAFDAC, she has also changed the pharmaceutical industry in the country."
As the Honourable Minister of Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili OFR, anchored the Re-branding Nigeria Project - Good People Great Nation, conceived as an internal process to address Nigeria's negative image both at home and abroad. Dora has proved that she is indeed an agent of change in this generation.
For her industry and commitment to the values of honesty and transparency, Prof. Akunyili has received over 675 Awards and Recognitions locally and internationally, prominent among which are: -
Integrity Award by Transparency International in South Korea (2003); Honoured as one of the 18 heroes (Health) of Time Magazine Worldwide by Time Magazine, New York (2005); Grassroots Human Rights Campaigner Award by Human Rights Defence Organization (International Service) in British House of Commons (2005); Special Award for Combating Economic Crime by International Chamber of Commerce-Commercial Crime Services London (2004);
Pharmacist of the year Medal Award by International Pharmaceutical Federation, FIP (2005); Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws by University of Bristol, London (2006); Honorary Georgia Citizen by The State of Georgia, USA (2006); Agribusiness, International Euro Market and Transbusiness Awards respectively for 2003, 2005 and 2006 by European Marketing Research Centre (EMRC),Brussels; Conferment with the National Order of the Federal Republic-OFR and Recognition as an Icon of Hope for Nigerians by President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (2002); Person of the Year 2005 Award by Silverbird Communications Ltd, Nigeria (2006) ; Elected Honorary Member Of The Royal Pharmaceutical Society Of Great Britain, London by The Royal Pharmaceutical Society Of Great Britain, London (2008) ; Nigeria's Five Greatest Living Legends Award by Silverbird Group and The Vanguard Media, Nigeria (Dec. 2009).