Alumni Speaker: Dr Ayoade Olatunbosun-Alakija

Dr Alakija

Dr Ayoade Olatunbosun-Alakija (MSc Public Health in Developing Countries, 1994) is the founder of the Nexus Hub, an innovation centre, research, social development and emergency response unit for the West Africa/Sahel region headquartered in Abuja, Nigeria. She is a published researcher and in collaboration with the World Health Organization and UNICEF has led multi-country behavioural health surveys across several nations in the Pacific Region.

Dr Alakija is currently Co-Chair of the Africa Union Africa Vaccine Delivery Alliance for COVID-19 (AVDA), serves on the Global advisory board of WomenLift health and is Chief Strategist CONVINCE Africa. She is also the former Chief Humanitarian Coordinator for the government of Nigeria and led the joint national and international humanitarian response in the Lake Chad region between 2016-2019. 

Dr Alakija delivered this year’s International Women's Day lecture where she discussed why gender equity is the answer in her talk entitled “women at the forefront of global leadership in an era of COVID”. The session was followed by an informal discussion and Q&A about her career and journey to becoming the Co-Chair of the Africa Union Africa Vaccine Delivery Alliance for Covid (AVDA). 

She shared her fondness for LSHTM and her time here:

“Of all the places I have been, and all of the amazing experiences that I’ve been privileged within my global health journey, coming back to this place where it all began has got to be one of my highlights. Those days at the London School are now some of my most wonderful memories.”

She highlights women’s achievements and challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic:

“70% of front line workers of the world tend to be women. So yes, women have continued to serve at the forefront of the struggle against this virus but rarely at the political or organisational help.”

And she shares her tips to make women’s voices heard:

“If they won’t give you a seat at the table, you pull up a chair. If they won’t let you pull up a chair, you climb onto the table and you sit on it. Because if you’re sitting on the table, they can’t ignore you. You automatically have a voice.”

Watch her full talk.

Keep up to date with Dr Alakija via Twitter @yodifiji and Instagram @yodifiji.