The Executive Creative Director of Noah’s Ark, an advertising agency, Abolaji Alausa, has won a full Global Health Communication scholarship to the Berlin School, courtesy of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. This scholarship was keenly contested for by senior executives in the Nigerian creative industries ranging from TV, film, music, advertising, media, marketing, gaming, design or technology. In contesting for this prestigious honors, candidates were selected based on their strong professional background and a proven track record of creative excellence.

According to a statement issued by the agency in Lagos, Gavi, in partneship with the Berlin School of Creative Leadership started this initiative with one goal; to successfully plan a pilot project whereby the creative media and marketing industries can be brought together to communicate the need for action, as well as the benefits of preventive vaccination efforts like those led by Gavi.

As the winner, Bolaji will not only participate in the Executive MBA in Creative Leadership, but will work individually with Gavi to develop a comprehensive communication strategy, plan and creative concept to increase vaccination coverage and equity, overcome barriers and increase children’s coverage with vaccination by helping to foster Vaccination Demand from caregivers in Nigeria.

The EMBA programme, which would commence on the 6th of March, 2016 includes 5 compact two-week modules that can be completed in 12-24 months (total of 70 classroom instruction days). The program includes modules in Berlin (3 modules), the USA (1 module) and in Asia (1 module).

Bolaji’s decision to participate in this competition is driven by his desire to better understand the complex creative business environment, cross-cultural communication, leadership and strategic talent management. By extension, to contribute effectively towards the improvement and growth of the health sector in Nigeria, especially in the area of vaccination which accounts for approximately 22% of child deaths in Nigeria if not administered.

Speaking on this development, Bolaji said: “Creative leadership is a real challenge in these parts. At some point, Lanre Adisa was the only Nigerian creative director in the industry, but TBWA stuck with him because they understood the relevance of local insights that expatriates might be slow in getting. Although the story is quite different now, more can still be done.”