Hafsat Abiola is President of Women in Africa (WIA) Initiative. WIA is an organization which provides a platform for leading and high potential African women to connect and raise their level of individual success and collective impact. She graduated from Harvard University with a A.B. in Development Economics (Hons.) and received a Master’s in International Development from Tsinghua University Her experience covers the local to global. She was a member of cabinet in Nigeria’s industrial state where she was responsible for expanding access to public services for the poor. She also worked as a councilor of the World Future Council, a global entity that identifies, analyses and spreads the world’s best policies. She is one of three leads of Connecting Women Leaders and the Special Envoy to Africa of the Women Political Leaders. Through her non-profit, the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), which works in Nigeria; and WIA, which operates across Africa, she is working to build a critical mass of women with the capacity to take on these challenges and to bring about the breakthroughs Africans need. Hafsat is the recipient of several awards including the recognition as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2006, the Goi Peace Foundation award in 2016, the Freedom Award from the U.S. National Civil Rights Museum in 2019, and the Excellence Award from the Forum de Bamako in Mali in 2021.
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