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Zeinab Badawi

IAC member
Zeinab Badawi is a member of Afrobarometer’s International Advisory Council.


Zeinab Badawi was born in the Sudan; her family moved to London when she was 2 years old. She studied philosophy, politics, and economics at Oxford University and earned a master’s degree in history (awarded with a distinction) at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Badawi has worked in the British media for four decades and is best known for her work in the BBC’s international division at BBC World News TV and BBC World Service Radio on programmes such as Hard Talk and Global Questions as well as a 20-part TV series on the history of Africa, which she produced and presented through her own production company for BBC World News.

Badawi is the president of SOAS, London University, and a board member of the Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS), the Mo Ibrahim Foundation,  the Arts and Humanities Research Councild (UK), and the Royal Opera House. She has previously served on the boards of BBC Media Action, the British Council, the National Portrait Gallery, the Institute of Historical Research, and the Overseas Development Institute, and she has been chair of the freedom-of-speech organisation Article 19 and of the Royal African Society.

Among her many awards are honorary doctorates from SOAS, York University, and the University of the Arts London; the President’s Medal of the British Academy for her services to broadcasting and education; and the United Nations Association-UK’s Sir Brian Urquhart Award for distinguished service to the UN. Her first book, An African History of Africa, will be published in 2024. She has four children.

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