On 5th June, Women in Africa (WIA) Initiative a platform dedicated to the economic development and support of leading potential African women appointed Nigerian activist Hafsat Abiola as its executive president making her the first African to lead the organisation.

Hafsat who was born in 1974 in Lagos is a graduate of Philips Academy and Harvard College; she also received an honorary doctorate from Haverford College. In 1997 she received the Youth Peace and Justice award of Cambridge Peace Commission.

Speaking about her new role, Hafsat said:

I accept this appointment with honour as I believe in the vision of Women in Africa (WIA) Initiative. Women are the greatest untapped resource of the continent. I want to help lead the organization that is working to harness their potential. It could very well be the game-changer that unleashes the long-anticipated rise of the continent.

Her predecessor, Aude de Thuin who has always hinted she would hand over to an African woman said she chose Hafsat not only because of her vision of the role of women in the economy but majorly because of her personality and career as an activist for civil rights, democracy and human rights.

Addressing her goal, Hafsat said her first-year tenure is dedicated to learning how the organisation currently operates to meet its partners, listen to their vision and interests, also to know how to engage with ‘WIA’ members across the continent.

My goals for 2018 are understandably modest. It is primarily to learn. To learn how the organisation currently operates, to meet our partners and listen to their vision and interests, to engage with our members across the continent and learn what they see as the biggest opportunities and the toughest challenges.

She will also be responsible for the “vision” for Women in Africa (WIA) Initiative. As such, she will be in charge of the summits programs organized by the Initiative, whether they are global or regional, and of the digital platform’s contents.

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