10 Things You Need To Know About Dr. Tedros Adhanom (First African To Be Elected As The Director-General of WHO)

Must Read

Troublesome South African Baboon Evicted For Organizing Gang To Raid Homes

Kataza is an urban baboon who was captured and put in a local prison for organizing a band of baboons to join him in raiding 15 homes in Kommetjie, on Cape Town's southern peninsula in South Africa.

A Leading University In China Now Teaches Ethiopia’s Amharic Language As A Full Course

A leading university in China — Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) — has started to offer Ethiopia's widely spoken...

TIME 100: Tony Elumelu, Three Other Nigerians Makes Time’s list of 100 Most Influential People Of 2020

Tony Elumelu, is among four Nigerians named by the Time Magazine International in their 2020 list of 100 most...



In January 2016, the twenty-sixth ordinary session of the Assembly of the African Union endorsed Dr. Tedros Adhanom candidature for the next election of the Director-General of the World Health Organisation as a sole African candidate. On 23 May 2017, the 70th World Health Assembly elected him to serve as the WHO’s Director-General. He will take office on 1 July 2017 and will be the first Director-General from Africa.

Here are 10 Things you need to Know About him -Dr. Tedros Adhanom- the First ever African Director-General of World health organuzation (WHO).

Dr. Tedros Adhanom

1. Early life

He was born in neighbouring Eritrea on March 3, 1965 to Ethiopian parents Adhanom Gebreyesus and Melashu Weldegabir – currently he is 52 years old.

2. Education

In 1986 he received his Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Biology from the University of Asmara and joined the Ministry of Health of the Derg as a junior public health expert.

He later returned to the university to pursue a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Immunology of Infectious Diseases from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

He subsequently received a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Community Health from the University of Nottingham in 2000, with a doctoral dissertation on “The effects of dams on malaria transmission in Tigray Region, northern Ethiopia, and appropriate control measures”.

See also: Top 10 African countries highest number wealthy people

3. Education cont’d

He holds a PhD in Community Health and boasts of having technical and political competences that can help the WHO to move forward – as a health expert and seasoned diplomat.

4. Previously held positions

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has held two ministerial portfolios in Ethiopia – Health (2005 – 2012) and Foreign Affairs (2012 – 2016)

He has also served as Board Chair of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria – a post he held for a two-year term.

During his tenure as board chair, Dr Tedros guided the Global Fund to address significant challenges and to make important decisions that has led to the development of a comprehensive reform agenda and a more efficient and effective Global Fund.

5. Accomplishment

During his tenure as Ethiopia’s health minister, overseeing the expansion of basic health services across the country And In less than 7 years he built more than 16,000 health posts, 3,000 health centers, deployed more than 40,000 health extension workers.

6. Awards and recognition

A globally recognized malaria researcher, Dr. Tedros has co-authored numerous articles on this subject and other global health issues in prominent scientific publications.

His seminal work earned him the distinction of Young Investigator of the Year from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and in 2003 he received the Young Public Health Researcher Award from the Ethiopian Public Health Association.

Related:   South African Retailer Clicks' Stores Damaged in Protests Over Racist Hair Advert

In 2011, Dr. Tedros also became the first non-American recipient of the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian Award conferred by the US National Foundation of Infectious Diseases.

In March 2012, he received the prestigious Honorary Fellowship from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Stanley T. Woodward Lectureship, Yale University (2012). He also received the Women Deliver Award for Perseverance for his tireless efforts to improve the lives of women and girls at the fourth Women Deliver Conference on May 19, 2016.

7. He was One of the 100 most influential Africans for 2015

The New African Magazine, a best selling pan African magazine published in the UK, listed Dr. Tedros as one of the 100 most influential Africans for 2015 in the category of politics and public service. The magazine named him as ” the trailblazer” and signified his reformist agenda as Minister of Health of Ethiopia. His role as a key player in Ethiopia′s strategic regional interventions and mediation in Sudan and Somalia contributed hugely for his naming as one of Africa′s influential people for 2015.

Related:   TIME 100: Tony Elumelu, Three Other Nigerians Makes Time's list of 100 Most Influential People Of 2020

See also: 10 positive things that are taking place in Nigeria right now

8. Candidacy for the Director General of WHO

Dr Tedros officially announced his candidacy for the post of the Director-General of the World Health Organisation on May 24, 2016 in the margins of the 69th World Health Assembly; He was the sole African candidate with endorsement from African Union and Ministers of Health of the continent. He became the first African to head up the UN agency, after winning the most votes from 186 member states.

9. He is the First African to be elected Director General of WHO

He will become the first African Director-General to lead the WHO and also the first non-physician Public Health Specialist. He would be stepping into his new job on July 1, 2017.

10. His Plans For the world

Dr Tedros said his vision as the new director general was of “a world in which everyone can lead health and productive lives, regardless of who they are or where they live”.

His top five priorities in his new job are:

  • Advancing universal health coverage.

Ensuring WHO responds rapidly and effectively to disease outbreaks and emergencies.

  • Putting the wellbeing of women, children and adolescents at the centre of global health and development.

Helping nations address the effects of climate change on health.

  • Making the agency transparent and accountable.



Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.

Subscribe to receive email updates

With a subscription profile, you automatically receive updates without having to return to the website and check for changes

Just In

Troublesome South African Baboon Evicted For Organizing Gang To Raid Homes

Kataza is an urban baboon who was captured and put in a local prison for organizing a band of baboons to join him in raiding 15 homes in Kommetjie, on Cape Town's southern peninsula in South Africa.

A Leading University In China Now Teaches Ethiopia’s Amharic Language As A Full Course

A leading university in China — Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) — has started to offer Ethiopia's widely spoken Amharic language as a full...

TIME 100: Tony Elumelu, Three Other Nigerians Makes Time’s list of 100 Most Influential People Of 2020

Tony Elumelu, is among four Nigerians named by the Time Magazine International in their 2020 list of 100 most influential people in the world...

Zambia’s Namwali Serpell Wins UK’s Top Prize For Science Fiction

Zambia's Namwali Serpell has won the UK’s top prize for science fiction, the Arthur C Clarke award, for her first novel "The Old Drift". The...

African Tribe: The Artistic Ndebeles of Southern Africa

The Ndebeles are an African ethnic group living in South Africa and Zimbabwe known for their artistic talent, especially with regard to their painted houses and colorful beadwork. Not much is known about these people except that they originated from the larger Nguni tribes who make up almost two thirds of the black population in South Africa.

More Articles Like This