Dora Nkem Akunyili

Dora was born in Benue State, Nigeria. She was a globally acclaimed pharmacist, technocrat, erudite scholar and community leader.

Dora’s revolutionary work created a paradigm shift in the Nigerian public service when she served as Director General of National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) from 2001-2008. She spearheaded reforms in policy and regulatory enforcement that radically reduced the measure of fake drugs that plagued the Nigerian pharmaceutical sector during her tenure.

Having exemplified the reality of a courageous, competent woman who challenged the ills of a dominantly patriarchal society and drove change, she became an icon for women’s empowerment. She was appointed the Minister of Information and Communication between 2008 and 2010.

She died after a battle with cancer and is survived by her husband, six children and three grandchildren.


Dora Nkem Akunyili, Nigeria