Pope Francis has appointed Kokunre Agbontaen-Eghafona, a Nigerian professor, to the prestigious Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.
Agbontaen-Eghafona was named as a member of the prestigious academy on Friday alongside two others including Mario Draghi, former European Central Bank chief, and Pedro Morandé Court, a professor emeritus at the Pontifical University of Chile.
Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences was established by Pope John Paul II on 1 January 1994, with the aim of promoting the study and progress of the social sciences, primarily economics, sociology, law and political science. The Academy helps offer the Church those elements which she can use in the development of her social doctrine, and reflects on the application of that doctrine in contemporary society
Agbontaen-Eghafona holds regular international symposiums on subjects of social concern such as human trafficking, modern slavery and debt relief, and produces reports which the pope can use to guide him on non-religious issues.
A professor of cultural anthropology, Agbontaen-Eghafona was born on 1 October 1959 and studied at the University of Benin (UNIBEN) where she obtained her undergraduate degree and later a master of arts in history.
At the University of Benin, she lectured at the department of sociology and anthropology from 1992 to 2008 when she was made a professor.
At the school she won numerous awards including best lecturer and excellent lecturer.
Professor Agbontaen Eghafona is the author of numerous academic publications. Her current scientific activities include measures to combat human trafficking in Nigeria.