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Dr. (Mrs.) Akon Etim Eyakenyi was born on 24th February 1960 into the family of Chief & Mrs. Charley Uweh Isangedihi of the Oro-Ukpabang stock in Mbokpu Eyo-Akan village, Urue-Offong/Oruko Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
She attended Government Primary School, Uko-Uyukim, Oron, where she obtained her First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC) in 1974 and later proceeded to Methodist Teacher’s Training College, Oron from 1974 to 1979 for her Teachers Grade II Certificate (TC II).
In her quest for higher education, Akon Eyakenyi enrolled at the then University of Cross River State between 1983 and 1986 and was awarded a Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE). She obtained a Bachelor of Education (B. Ed) degree from the University of Calabar in 1990, as well as a Master of Education (M.Ed) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Curriculum Education, which she obtained from the same institution in 2000 and 2014 respectively. She also holds a Certification (Special Class) from the Akwa Ibom State Civil Service.
Dr. Eyakenyi started her teaching career and her unbridled passion for education and service led to her appointment as Mistress I & II by the then Cross River State Education Board from 1986 to 1993. She was also President of the Better Life Programme, Oron Local Government Council from January – November 1991.
Dr. Eyakenyi was also appointed as Supervisor for Education, Youths, Sports and Culture in Oron Local Government Council in 1991; Education Officer in Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Education in 1993 and subsequently, Senior Education Officer from 1994 to 1999. Thereafter, she was appointed to serve as a Member, Akwa Ibom State Secondary Education Board from 1999 to 2000, where she contributed to the laudable improvements in secondary education in the state.
Due to her diligence and resourcefulness, Dr. Eyakenyi was appointed as Commissioner for Industry, Commerce and Tourism in 2000, by the then Governor of Akwa Ibom State Obong Victor Attah. Her stint was marked by sterling performances, some of which includes the revival of moribund industries such as Champions Breweries, introduction of the Le Meridien Ibom Hotels & Golf Resort, as well as other laudable projects. She also created an investment haven, which encouraged numerous investments, notably in the hospitality industry in Akwa Ibom State.
In 2013, she was appointed as Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Technical Schools Board, by Governor Godswill Akpabio. In this capacity, Dr. Eyakenyi introduced laudable initiatives to restore the dignity of Technical Schools in Akwa Ibom State. She served in this capacity until her appointment as Minster of Lands, Housing and Urban Development in 2014 by President Goodluck Jonathan.
In her role as Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Akon Eyakenyi was effectively the Lead Champion of Affordable Housing and Sustainable Urbanization in Nigeria.
She was the Rapporteur of the African Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (AMCHUD); the National Focal Point/Champion of the Continental Initiative on Strengthening Partnerships for a New African Urban Agenda; and the Chairperson of the National Administrative and Technical Coordination Team, which was charged with the responsibility of managing the evolving New Urban Agenda.
She secured the Federal Government’s approval for the Development of 10,000 Housing Units to meet the housing need of Nigerians and in support of Housing Provision under the Nigerian Mortgage Re-Finance Scheme (NMRC), in addition to the Completion and Commissioning of over 3,500 abandoned Housing Projects scattered across the Federation.
By June 2015, Dr. Eyakenyi was appointed into the Technical Committee on the Realization of the Ibaka Deep Seaport; and in October 2016, she was appointed as Chairman Governing Council of the Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua.
In 2019, her acceptability by her people was proven by the overwhelming support at her Senatorial district polls. She emerged victorious and is a serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. She also serves as the Vice Chairman Senate Committee on Education.
Dr. Eyakenyi has participated and spoken at many conferences, seminars and workshops within and beyond Nigeria. She is a committed Christian, humanitarian and a philanthropist with the heart for the welfare of members of all around her.
She has received numerous awards and recognition for her selfless service, diligence and contributions towards humanity such as the Paul Harris Fellowship of Rotary International. Others include:
*Award of Honour for Exemplary Life of Women Living out their Dreams by Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (2009).
An Excellence Award in Christian Service by Vision College and Seminary (2010)
Award of Excellence by Beulah International Schools (2010)
Rotary International Gold Service Award for Community Development and Women Empowerment by the Rotary Club of Calabar
Couple of Honour Award on the occasion of the 2nd Anniversary of Women Aflame Magazine.
Dr. (Mrs.) Akon Etim Eyakenyi is happily married to Engr. Etim Eyakenyi of Iquita village in Oron Local Government Area, and together they have five lovely children.
Her sterling performance in career and government remains a strong point of reference for women in Akwa Ibom State.