Francisca Ayodeji (Ayo) Akala, is a Practice Manager for Health, Nutrition and Population covering Eastern and Southern Africa (AFE). Ayo has over 20 years of experience in human development primarily focusing on health services management, health systems strengthening and multi-sectoral interventions to address public health issues including malnutrition, early childhood development, HIV/AIDS, malaria and non-communicable diseases. She joined the Bank in 2000 as a Young Professional and since then, she has led a variety Bank projects in health and human development supporting countries in the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia regions. She has experience working in fragile settings including in Iraq, Yemen, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and DRC. Ayo was also a core team member of the World Bank’s Human Capital Project tasked with supporting countries to accelerate their human capital outcomes.
Ayo holds a bachelor’s degree in Medicine from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria; a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Lagos, Nigeria; and a Master’s degree in Health Services Management from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom.