THE United States Pharmacopeia’s (USP) Centre for Pharmaceutical Advancement and Training (CePAT) has honored former Minister of Information and Director General (D.G.) of the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Dora Akunyili (posthumous), and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, Dr. Stella Okoli, for contributing immensely to the development of the pharmaceutical sector on the continent.
The honor was bestowed upon African female luminaries in global health at the inaugural CePAT Honors 2014 Gala, last weekend, November 8, 2014, at the Moevenpick Hotel, Accra Ghana.
Presented by United States Pharmacopeial Convention, the official standards setting authority in the United States, CePAT Honors was created to acknowledge the unique and valuable contributions of African female trailblazers in advancing the global health sector, celebrate their capacity building initiatives despite the myriad of existing challenges in Africa, and empower future generations of female leaders.
The high-powered event featured a keynote address from the First Lady of the Republic of Ghana, H.E Lordina Mahama, duly represented by Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Transportation, Mrs. Joyce Bawah Montgari. Dr. Stella Okoli, CEO and Managing Director of Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, Nigeria, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, Executive Vice Chairman, Famfa Oil Limited. Prof. Akunyili was presented with the award by a representative of the DG NAFDAC, Dr. Monica Eiumjeze.
Additional award recipients included: Ms. Margareth Ndomondo-Sigonda, Pharmaceutical Coordinator—AMRH Programme, African Union—New Partnership for Africa’s Development; Dr. Alexandra E. Graham, Executive Vice President, LaGray Inc., U.S.A., Co-founder, LaGray, Ghana; and Ms. Esnat Mwape, Director General, Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority
The gala served as a launching platform for CePAT’s Women in Science Exchange (W.I.S.E) program, created to coach entry level, mid-career female scientists into leadership and other highly skilled positions through the provision of post studies mentorships, training and educational opportunities.
According to Dr. Patrick Lukulay, CePAT Founder and Vice President of the Global Health Impact Programs at USP, “CePAT and USP are synonymous with standards across the globe. As a result, we acknowledge African women who apply this elevated level of excellence to advancing medicines regulation and quality assurance in Africa. They ultimately serve as an inspirational platform for the next generation of female trailblazers”.