Akudi is a Winner of the 7th Ogunte Women's Social Leadership Awards | Category Leader in Charitable Organisations and Campaigns 2013
Dr Akudo Anyanwu Ikemba’s vision is an African continent free of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. An African woman and a mother of three children with a passion for Africa’s health, she founded Friends Africa (Friends of the Global Fund Africa) as an African voice in support of the Global Fund and the fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
A post-graduate from Tufts, Harvard, Lehigh and Duke, among others, she returned home to play a role in revolutionizing Africa’s health care.
Her objective is to mobilize and build capacity for the African private sector, civil society and government to improve Africa’s health using advocacy, technical assistance, capacity building and documentation.
The Friends Africa story is a story of commitment from Africa towards Africa.
It’s a story of organic social entrepreneurial rigor.
A story of very small incremental successes that have added up and a story of innovative engagement of an under-engaged sector – the African Private sector.
Friends Africa is driving forward the innovation through a multiplier effect with rudimentary evidence from participating countries showing tangible impact on people’s lives through supportive quantitative and qualitative documentation. As the initiative grows, it gains the commitment of a multiplicity of actors to the vision and objectives of the organization, giving rise to a triple-helix approach for tackling Africa’s three biggest diseases.Overcoming structural and cultural obstacles
Striving for gold standards and exemplary corporate leadership in an environment with multi-faceted capacity limitations, the obstacles faced by Dr Ikemba include inadequate human resource capacity, financial resource challenges and poor social infrastructure to facilitate work output. Working as a female CEO in the African environment, she also faces the challenge of gender inequality from different quarters while presenting Friends Africa.Unrolling Impact
Through Friends Africa, she promotes the fight against the three pandemics through grass roots capacity building for NGOs across Africa, workplace health policy training for over 2,700 participants, a world AIDS day novelty football match with over 2, 000 attendees where HIV counselling and testing was provided for 257 persons. She organises events at the African Union and the UN General Assembly yearly for advocacy. She also uses social media to promote advocacy and increase visibility.
For the Small and Medium Scale enterprises workshop on workplace health policies to address HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria, Friends Africa trained over 2700 SMEs in Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda and Zambia through expert consultants and provided the SMEs with the necessary tools to develop Workplace Policies on AIDS, TB, Malaria and effectively manage the adoption of these policies in the workplace.