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Friday Okonofua

Program Officer Lagos

Friday Okonofua focuses on reproductive health and rights issues in the foundation's West Africa office. He develops grant making and other program activities to improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights outcomes, particularly for girls and young women who are marginalized by economic and social barriers.

Prior to joining the Ford Foundation in 2010, Friday was a professor of obstetrics and gynecology and former provost of the College of Medical Services at the University of Benin, Nigeria. He began his academic career as a lecturer in 1986 at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. In his field of obstetrics and gynecology, he provided academic leadership, serving as secretary of the faculty of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the National Postgraduate College of Nigeria, secretary-general of the Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria and executive director of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics.

In 1993, Friday established the Women's Health and Action Research Centre (WHARC), a nongovernmental organization to raise stakeholder awareness and improve broad-based understanding of the determinants of reproductive health among women and adolescents and challenge long-standing taboos and cultural practices. Today, WHARC is one of West Africa's foremost research, practice and advocacy centers for sexual and reproductive health and rights. It publishes the African Journal of Reproductive Health, a globally recognized scholarly publication Friday established in partnership with Harvard University's School of Public Health. He is frequently consulted on health policy formulation and implementation discussions and served as honorary adviser on health to Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Friday holds a medical degree from the Obafemi Awolowo University and a doctorate in international health and population studies from Karolinska University in Stockholm.

Issues and Initiatives

Friday Okonofua is a member of the following initiative team:

Issue Initiative
Gender, Sexuality and Reproductive Justice



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