Board of Trustees


Angela Emuwa

A Director with PUNCH newspaper

Angela Olufunmilayo Emuwa is a seasoned veteran in the Nigerian Journalism industry currently serving as the Chairman of Punch Nigeria Ltd, publishers of Punch the widest circulating newspapers in Nigeria, a post she took on in 2018.

Before this appointment, she was a member of the Board of Directors at Punch. In 2000, Mrs Emuwa was the Head of Operations, Nigeria at News Africa, a London based company set up to serve the news and information needs of Africa and Africans in the Diaspora. In 1995, she was the Advertising Sales Director and head of Nigerian operations at Africa Today, a London based company and publishers of Africa Today magazine.

In her early career years, she also worked at Newswatch Communications Limited for 9 years and occupied the positions of Advert Executive, Senior Advert Executive, Advert Manager, and Corporate Affairs Manager.

Mrs Emuwa’s passion for supporting Parents of Autistic children led her to co-found Autism Parents Association International, an NGO for Nigerian parents of autistic children. In like manner, she is a trustee and immediate past Chairperson of Golden Hearts Touching Lives Initiative, an NGO that caters for persons living with special needs and supports poor communities. Mrs Emuwa has a Post graduate diploma in Business Administration and also an MBA in Public Relations & Advertising.
She’s married with 3 children including Chidubem Emuwa, a 2 time Special Olympics gold medalist.


Bolanle Adewole

Managing Director of The Learning Place



Nneka Obiagwu

President/Founder, Child Restoration Initiative

Nneka Obiagwu is a wife and mother of two amazing boys, one of whom is on the autism spectrum. Her experience with her son turned her into a passionate advocate for children with special needs in general and autism in particular. She is currently The Chief Operating Officer at COMACO Advisory Ltd, a Cooperative Management and Advisory Company. She is also the founder and president of The Child Restoration Initiative (CRI), an educational advocacy (and support) group for children with autism. She is the creator and administrator of the first Nigerian social media page on autism awareness called Nigerians for Autism on Facebook, over a thousand members strong, the page is solely dedicated to raising awareness and facilitating discourse and encouraging action about autism treatment and management in Nigeria. Nneka is also one of the founding members of Autism Parents Association international (APAi) an umbrella coalition of parents united to spearhead advocacy for issues relating to autism in Nigeria. She is the author of an illustrated children’s book on autism awareness and acceptance titled – Different But The Same.

She earned a Bachelors degree in Political Science from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and a Masters degree in International Conflict Analysis from University of Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies, Brussels. She spent some time gaining experience at the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the ECOWAS Parliament and also at Kiddy and Junior Classes, Brussels. She terminated a promising banking career in corporate Nigeria to focus on raising awareness on the need for early intervention services for children with developmental and learning disorders in Nigeria following her son’s diagnosis. She continues to speak and write commentaries on the subject and tirelessly canvasses to raise our national awareness on the plight of low-income families struggling with children with special needs.


Dotun Akande

Managing Director, Patrick Speech and Languages Centre

Mrs. Dotun Akande’s journey into the world of developmental disorders in children started with her son, now recovered from autism. Like many other parents, she was not familiar with the condition and her exposure was limited to what she had seen on television or in films. Her experience with the non-availability of educational resources prompted the establishment of Patrick Speech and Languages Centre (Patricks) in September 2006. Patricks is the pioneer special needs Centre in Nigeria for the education of children with Autism. The Centre offers services such as speech therapy, occupational therapy and behavioral therapy. Also the Centre offers social skills building and play therapy. Mrs. Akande is a mother of 3 and holds a Bsc degree in Economics from the University of Ado Ekiti. She has over 12 years banking experience before her switch into the world of developmental disability. Over the years she has attended numerous training programmes on Autism and other developmental disorders at various international institutions including National Autistic Society (NAS) UK, Geneva Centre for Autism, Canada, Western Psychological Services, USA and the Discovery Initiative, South Africa. She holds a diploma in Applied Behavioral Analysis from Florida Institute of Technology. She regularly gives lectures on Autism and is a strong advocate for Autism awareness in Nigeria.


Adetoun Okunoren

Managing Director, Nutricentre

Autism Parents Association International, APAI, invites all interested parents who share our cause to join hands with us in the quest to keep the light burning IN the tunnel.