Rita Akpan

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Rita Akpan
Federal Minister of Women Affairs
In office
Jul 2003 – Jun 2005
Preceded by Aishat Ismail
Succeeded by Maryam Ciroma
Personal details
Born (1944-09-28) September 28, 1944 (age 72)
Akwa-Ibom, Nigeria

Rita Akpan (born 28 September 1944) is a Nigerian teacher who was Federal Minister of Women affairs in the cabinet of President Olusegun Obasanjo between July 2003 and June 2005.


Rita Akpan was born on 28 September 1944 in Akwa-Ibom State. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Languages and a Master of Art in Education from the University of Oregon, Eugene, USA. From 1968 and 1986 she worked with the American International School, Victoria Island, Lagos and the Federal Ministry of Education. She served as Head of French Department, Federal Government Girls' College, Calabar, Federal Inspector of French Language and later as Vice Principal, Federal Government Girls College, Calabar.[1]

Rita Akpan was once a secretary to the Akwa Ibom state government during the first tenure of the Governor Victor Attah administration. She was also a cabinet member during the first civilian administration of Obong Akpan Isemin.[2] She was appointed Special Adviser on Information and Culture to the Akwa-Ibom State Governor in 1992. She also served as State Commissioner for Education in 1993 and Secretary to State Government, Akwa-Ibom State, between 1999 and 2000.[1]

Minister of Women Affairs[edit]

In October 2004, during a workshop on the socio-economic implications of human trafficking and child labour, Akpan noted that Nigeria was the first and only country in West Africa to enact an anti-human trafficking act.[3] In January 2005 Akpan introduced the second periodic report on Nigeria to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. She said Nigeria had taken concrete steps towards Rights of the Child Convention since it had presented its initial report.[4]

She was reported to have fallen from favor with President Obasanjo as being an associate of Akwa Ibom Governor Victor Attah, with whom Obasanjo had a disagreement.[5] She was dropped from the cabinet in June 2005.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Mrs RITA AKPAN (Minister of Women Affairs and Youth Development)". Nigeria First. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  2. ^ "OVATION for the WOMEN". AKWA IBOM INTEREST GROUP. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  3. ^ Chris Garba (October 27, 2004). "12m Nigerian children out of school, says report". Online Nigeia Daily News. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  4. ^ "COMMITTEE ON RIGHTS OF CHILD CONSIDERS REPORT OF NIGERIA". United Nations. 26 January 2005. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  5. ^ EMMA AZIKEN (July 11, 2005). "Ministerial appointments: All the intrigues". Online Nigeria Daily News. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  6. ^ "As Obasanjo Reshuffles Cabinet... Ministers Under Probe for Corruption". BNW News. July 14, 2005. Retrieved 2010-02-20.