Dr. Stella Okoli, OON is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, an indigenous group she founded 33 years ago, which has remarkably grown to have footprints in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Born in Kano, Northern Nigeria to the family of Chief Felix Ebelechukwu and Princess Margaret Modebelu of Nnewi, In Anambra State, she attended All Saint Primary School, Onitsha from 1954-1959 and Ogidi Girls Secondary School from 1959-1964, Attended Federal Science School Lagos from 1964 till 1966.

She later proceeded to University of Bradford in the United Kingdom from where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy. This academic achievement was followed by an MSC in Biopharmaceutics which she obtained from University of London, Chelsea College in 1971.

Dr. Stella Okoli’s post-graduation work experience is quite impressive. Her experience in the Pharmaceutical field is well consolidated. She initially worked in Middlesex Hospital as a Ward/ Clinical Pharmacist, followed in succession by her brief stint as a Pharmacist at Boots Chemist London. Her return home to Nigeria, saw her work at Massey Children Hospital Lagos before she joined a pharmaceutical manufacturing company Park Davies Nigeria Ltd (now Pharma-Deko Plc) as a Medical Representative and later as a sales Manager.

By 1981, her entrepreneurial drive led her into the Drug importation business. She imported both Ethical and Over the Counter (OTC) drugs to meet the health needs of Nigerians for quality drugs and by 1984 incorporated Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries, a leading producer of a wide range of drugs, over 70- lines of products and significant contributor to Nigeria’s gross domestic product.


Dr. Stella Okoli is on top of leadership challenges and is in tune with current management trends. She has attended wide ranging courses across the world, to broaden her knowledge and sharpen her leadership skill. Some of these, include The Executive Management Program at Harvard Business School Boston (1997- 1999) the implementing Strategic and Organizational Change at I.E.S.E. Business School, Barcelona Spain (1996). Management Course 2002 in Insead in Switzerland and the Chief Executive Programme of the Lagos Business School. She is also a director of the Harvard Business School Nigeria.

Beyond her quest for knowledge, she has consistently served in finding practical solutions to the perennial problems in our environment. She served as the Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMGMAN) she is an active member of many local and international professional organizations such as the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, British Chamber of Commerce, Commonwealth Pharmaceutical Association as well as Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce. She received the Bullion Award for her outstanding contribution to industry and Manufacturing.

She is the Vice President of Manufactures Association of Nigeria (MAN). And she is the Vice president of NACCIMA.

A great Philanthropist and a Change Agent, she has awarded many Scholarships to students in Secondary and Tertiary Institutions and donated generously to the less privileged in the society and consistently supported several non-profit organizations. Dr. Stella Okoli is the Founder of Chike Okoli Foundation. The Foundation was set up in 2006 to raise awareness on cardiovascular disease and promote entrepreneurship. To date, the Foundation has set up the Chike Okoli Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka and is trained over 1,600 entrepreneurs/students in the science and spirit of entrepreneurship. It has also reached over 5,000,000 people across Nigeria on lifestyle interventions.

Dr. Stella Okoli’s great entrepreneurial strides and philanthropy has won her many awards and accolades. She is a recipient of the MON and OON awards from the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, among others from several local and international distinguished groups.

Dr. Stella Okoli is proudly Nigerian and a distinguished daughter of Africa. Her doggedness, dynamism and unparalleled energy and passion in the face of daunting odds, have made her a remarkable role model for women and all classes of entrepreneurs across Africa. Her guiding philosophy is routed in hardwork, integrity and ethical leadership.

She was recently honoured with the Doctor of Business Administration (Honoris Causa) by Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

She is a proud mother of three Children and loves music, travelling and meeting people. She spends her spare time on charitable work and service to humanity.