Global Leaders in Nursing & Midwifery: UGHE's Program for Fostering Leadership across Africa

Hosted by UGHE's Center for Nursing & Midwifery

Date: March 30th, 2021
Time: 4-5pm CAT, 10-11am ET



Nurses and midwives play a critical role not only in delivering healthcare to millions in Rwanda and Africa, but also in transforming health policies, promoting health in communities and supporting patients and families. Nurses and midwives constitute more than 50% of the health workforce in many countries and work across almost all service delivery settings. No global health agenda can be met without a concerted and sustained effort to maximize the contribution of the nursing workforce and their roles within interprofessional health teams. To do this, nursing and midwifery as professions need to be strengthened through deliberate financial investment, effective legislation, regulation, education and employment practices. There also needs to be a fundamental shift in policy at national and global levels to recognize that nurses and midwives can support the achievement of the World Health Assembly’s ambitious target of 1 billion more people benefitting from universal health coverage (UHC).

The Discussion:

UGHE’s new Center for Nursing and Midwifery is pleased to announce its upcoming Executive Education offering in “Global Leadership in Nursing and Midwifery”, a dynamic program aimed at building key executive level skills in African senior level / executive nurses and midwives. In honor of this launch, UGHE are delighted to welcome WHO’s Chief Nursing Officer to a virtual event chaired by UGHE’s Deputy Vice- Chancellor and Dean School of Medicine, Prof. Abebe Bekele, with introductory remarks by Vice Chancellor Prof. Agnes Binagwaho. The one-and-a-half hour session will explore the importance of nursing and midwifery leadership in Africa, and the need for comprehensive advanced training to support this. Elizabeth brings a unique nursing perspective to the global decision-making table, and will provide an expert lens on the role of WHO in the training in leadership for nurses and midwives. 


Judy N. Khanyola

Chair, Center for Nursing and Midwifery, UGHE

Learn more about Judy N. Khanyola’s professional profile on the UGHE website here.



Prof. Abebe Bekele

Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic & Research Affairs, and Dean School of Medicine, UGHE

Learn more about Prof. Abebe Bekele’s professional profile on the UGHE website here.


Introductory Remarks

Prof. Agnes Binagwaho

Vice Chancellor, UGHE

Learn more about Prof. Agnes Binagwaho’s professional profile on the UGHE website here



Guest of Honor

Elizabeth Iro

Chief Nursing Officer, World Health Organization

Elizabeth Iro is the World Health Organization Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) who commenced in this role in  January 2018. She is based in Geneva, Switzerland. Mrs Iro is from the  Cook Islands, prior to taking up her role in WHO she served as her country’s Secretary of Health since 2012- 2017. She was the first nurse/midwife and woman to be appointed in this role in the Cook Islands. Her priorities while in this role focused on legislative reforms to strengthen the country’s health system and developing  National Health Strategic plans (2012-2016, 2017-2021)and a National Health Road Map 2017-2036. Mrs Iro was trained in New Zealand as a nurse and a midwife and holds a MHSc in Nursing and a MBA. She held various nursing roles such as Chief Nursing Officer (2011-2012), Registrar of the Nursing Council (2000-2007) as well was the President of the Cook Islands Nurses Association (2002-2010).