Adefunke Adeyemi, Regional Director, Advocacy and Strategic Relations, Africa, IATA

A lawyer and aviation expert, Adefunke Adeyemi is currently the Regional Director, Advocacy and Strategic Relations, Africa for the International Air Transport Association (IATA), advocating for the overall sustainability and growth of the aviation industry in the region and the intermediary between airlines, the wider aviation community and the general public. She conceptualized and is responsible for an ongoing campaign to promote Africa’s socio-economic prospects through enhanced air connectivity across the continent.

As Regional Head, Member and External Relations, Africa and Middle East for IATA, between July 2013 – Jul 2018, she advocated on behalf of the air transport industry in Africa and the Middle East, which involved engagement and management of all aviation and allied stakeholders within the combined region. Her work revolved around promoting the value of aviation at all relevant levels and interfacing with stakeholders to ensure a positive impact on aviation and by extension, the economy. She was also responsible for conceptualising and delivering an on-going campaign regarding the transformation of Africa’s socio-economic prospects through enhanced connectivity across the continent.

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Aviation industry

Since joining IATA in 2009, she has been involved in many key industry and leadership initiatives, including being chosen as part of a core group of senior managers tasked with revising the strategic direction of the global aviation industry for the next 5 years, the re-organisation of IATA to better meet member and industry needs, participation as a national delegate during the last 4 Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to facilitate the global air transport industry position on environmental issues, and more recently, to lead the Women in Leadership initiative of IATA in Africa and the Middle East.

She obtained her Master of Laws (LL.M.) in International Commercial Law from University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, read Law at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, both with high honors and qualified as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Nigerian Supreme Court in 1999.

She recently completed her Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Nanyang Business School, NTU, Singapore, during which she simultaneously completed a collaborative Advanced Management Program in Aviation, Leadership and Innovation between the Nanyang Business School, Berkeley Haas School of Business, University of California and the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania.

Funke is also the founder of a business and legal advisory service, Africa Advocacy (Consulting) Services, a pan-African one-stop shop for advocacy and implementation across specific sectors outside of aviation.

Adeyemi specialises in advocacy, aviation and air transport, travel and tourism, government and industry affairs, strategic relations, stakeholder management, international commercial law, commercial and contracting experience and negotiation skills.

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