Professor Joyce Oronne Akaninwor is a highly accomplished academic. She is an expert in biochemistry and indeed the first professor of biochemistry to come from Ikwerre Land in Rivers State. She is the second female professor in the entire Ikwerre area. Outside academics, she is the second woman to be decorated as a Grand Dame (Knight of Quality and Service) of the Anglican Church in Nigeria.
These several years,Akaninwor has been a professor in the Department of Biochemistry of the University of Port Harcourt. For over thirty years, she has served the university in various academic leadership capacities.
Joyce Oronne Akaninwor was born on November 20,1955 into the family of the Late Venerable S.Y. Chukuigwe and Matron Isabel Chukuigwe of Isiokpo in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State. Joyce attended St. Peters Primary School, Isiokpo; Government Girls Secondary School, Isiokpo and Girls Secondary School, Harbour Road, Port Harcourt.
Having passed the London GCE with distinction, she gained admission into the then College of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt and passed out with the London GCE ‘A’ Level Certificate in 1976. She bagged the B.Sc degree in Biochemistry from the University of Benin in 1980. She followed it up with an M.SC from the same institution in 1985. She later enrolled at the University of Port Harcourt and earned a doctorate in Nutritional Biochemistry in 1992.
Prof. Akininwor worked in the Rivers State Transport Corporation as a Statistics Clerk between 1973 and 1974. Afterwards, she worked briefly with the Rivers State Ministry of Information as an Assistant Film Editor. She joined the University of Port Harcourt as a Graduate Assistant in 1981. She rose through the ranks of Assistant Lecturer (1985-1989) and Senior Lecturer (1997-2006) to become a professor in 2007. A former Head of the Department of Biochemistry (199-2001), she has been a member of the University Senate since 1998. She has also been a member of the Faculty of Science Board, Board of Studies of the Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medical Sciences, the College of Medicine Board of Studies as well as the School of Science Laboratory Technology. Between 1997 and 2001, she performed creditably as the Treasurer of the Parent- Teacher Association of U.D.P.S, Uniport.
An avid researcher, she has authored and co-authored over 40 publications in reputable national and international journals. She has over ten conference papers to her credit. As an indefatigable scientist with vast experience in General Biochemistry, she has done remarkable studies in the areas of nutrition and nutritional problems. Her works and research findings have helped to control incidences of health risks associated with pollution in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. She is a well known advocate of girl child education and empowerment of women and young people.
She belongs to several professional bodies including The National Association of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the Science Association of Nigeria, Third World Organisation of Women in Science and the National Association of Women in Science, Technology and Mathematics. She has functioned as Editor of several professional journals including the PAN Magazine, the Journal of Applied Science and Environment Management, The Focus (Women’s Work Magazine of the Diocese of the Niger Delta North) as well as Scientia Africana-Journal of the University of Port Harcourt. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Human and Natural Resources of Nigeria.
Joyce Akininwor has a colossal profile on the religious front. Her image looms very large within the the Diocese of Niger Delta North of the Anglican Communion. She has served and is still serving the church in numerous distinguished capacities. She is a former member of the Port Harcourt North Archdeaconry Board as well as The Board of the Diocese of Niger Delta North. A member of the Worldwide Mothers Union, she played a major role in the building and dedication of the Cathedral of St. Peters in the Diocese of Ikwerre.
She was Archbishop’s Nominee to the Diocesan Synod. She is a patron to several church organizations including the PHNA Youth Fellowship, St Stephen’s Rumueme Deanery Anglican Youth Fellowship, Anointed Choral Singers Choir and the Boys Brigade of St. Stephens Anglican Church. She also belongs to the Primate Advisory Committee of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion. In recognition of her invaluable contributions to the uplift of the church, she was invested with the prestigious honour of Knight of St. Mary by the Diocese of The Niger Delta North (Anglican Communion) on July 18, 2009. Two years later, precisely on September 24, 2011, Akininwor was invested with the ultimate honour of Professional Knight (Knight of Quality & Service) by the same diocese.
Interestingly, she has not forgotten her roots. She finds time to participate in several community development and social activities. She is the incumbent president of Onuburunotu Women Meeting, Oroazi as well as the Renowned Young Ladies Social Club of Nigeria, Rumueme. She is a member of Mothers of the Niger Delta, Rivers Women in Agriculture and Grassroot Association of Nigeria. She is the winner of the Award of Excellence by the Faithful Friends Club of Isiokpo. She also holds the Great Job Award by the American Biographical Institute.In recognition of her contributions to national development in the sphere of Higher Education, she was in the year 2012 conferred with the Woman of Merit Gold Award by PSR Magazine.
She is married to Sir Ndy Nyeche Akininwor and they are blessed with five children namely Buduka, Chinwe, Habinuchi, Manuchimso and Akpenuchi.