Celebrating Africa’s first endowed chair in sexual and reproductive health and rights

Friday Okonofua, Lindsay Edouard


This month, April 2024, the University of Benin, a federally-funded university in Southern Nigeria announced the first endowed professorial chair in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in subSaharan Africa, and possibly the first such chair globally. This professorship is named in honour of Friday Okonofua1 , the irrepressible champion who is a trailblazer in women’s health, social advocate for women’s social advancement, lead founder of the University’s African Centre of Excellence in Reproductive Health, and founder of Nigeria’s leading non-governmental organization, the Women’s Health and Action Research Centre and the African Journal of Reproductive Health. The new professorship will be crucial in deepening and scaling up reproductive health curricula at the University of Benin, by drawing upon the principles and models of transparency, excellence, and accountability that Friday Okonofua has championed over several years. The University’s Registrar alluded to this approach by explaining that the endowment “will strengthen the leadership of the University of Benin in Nigeria in this area of public health and educational delivery”

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