Folorunso Alakija Distinguished Lecture on Religion and Public Life in Africa

In 2018, the Center for African Studies launched the Folorunso Alakija Distinguished Lecture on Religion and Public Life in Africa. This annual lecture is sponsored by the Harvard Center for African Studies and generously supported by the Center for African Studies’ Africa Advisory Board Member, Folorunso Alakija

This lecture provides a platform for the Harvard University Center for African Studies to connect faith leaders with the Harvard community and beyond in a conversation about the constantly shifting and contested boundary between the secular and the sacred, the public and the private.

Mrs. Folorunso Alakija is Executive Vice-Chairman of Famfa Oil Limited. She is a businesswoman and philanthropist with a sincere desire to help the needy, a fashion icon with an infallible sense of style, a loving wife, a caring mother, and a doting grandmother.

Past Lectures

2019 Lecture

On April 17, 2019, we hosted the inaugural Folorunso Alakija Distinguished Lecture on Religion and Public Life in Africa which featured Bishop John Richard Bryant, retired Senior Bishop and Presiding Prelate of the Fourth Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Bishop Bryant shared his experience with religion as a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia and how that influenced his preaching career to this day. The sanctuary of Memorial Church echoed with breathtaking music provided by the 2017 choir of the world, the Aeolians of Oakwood University in Alabama. This lecture was followed by a dinner where Mrs. Folorunso Alakija was the keynote speaker, sharing her own experience of how her deep faith shapes her business and philanthropy.

Watch the recording here: