Babatunde Ahonsi is United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone. He has served as Acting United Nations Resident Coordinator in China and held leadership positions with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), including Representative in China, Country Director for Mongolia and Representative in Ghana.
Previously he was the Senior Program Officer for the Sexuality and Reproductive Health portfolio of the Ford Foundation’s Office for West Africa. Before that Dr. Ahonsi taught at the University of Ilorin (1985-86), the University of Calabar (1987-88), and at the University of Lagos where he taught various courses in sociology and demography. During this period, Dr. Ahonsi was a Visiting Young Fellow at the Population Institute for Research and Training at Indiana University, Bloomington, USA (1993), a Laureate at the First Gender Institute by CODESRIA, Dakar, Senegal (1994), and a World Bank-Robert McNamara Fellow (1995-6). He was also actively involved in research and technical assistance for a number of Nigerian NGOs working on gender equity, reproductive health, environmental sustainability, and youth development.
Dr. Ahonsi has published numerous papers in scholarly journals and books. As a grant-maker with the Ford Foundation, some of the highlights of his work include helping to catalyze the provision of comprehensive sexuality education for young people, the empowerment of persons living with HIV/AIDS in national responses to the epidemic, and the inter-linking of reproductive health education for poor youth and women with economic empowerment approaches. Amongst other professional engagements, he is currently a member of the Gender Advisory Panel of the World Health Organization’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree with first class honors from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and a PhD in population studies from the London School of Economics, which he undertook as a Commonwealth Scholar (1988-1992).