Profiling 3 of Nigeria’s Leading Female Change Agents: Amina Oyagbola, Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi & Nkem Okocha
Nigeria has always cultivated dynamic, bold and inspirational female leaders and Nigerians have ample reason to be proud of the female change agents of the past. Nigeria has just as much reason to be excited and emboldened by the female change agents of today who are shaping the present, and paving the way to a better, stronger, and more egalitarian society. Three such inspiring female change agents are Amina Oyagbola, Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, and Nkem Okocha.
Amina Oyagbola has spent more than three decades in senior management and executive roles across various industries, including legal, banking and finance, oil and gas, and telecommunications. Most recently, she was Human Resources and Corporate Services Executive at MTN Nigeria Communications, Africa’s leading telecommunications provider. She is currently the CEO of AKMS Consulting Ltd; a business advisory and management consulting firm. On the community side, Ms. Oyagbola is the Founder and Chairperson of WISCAR (Women in Successful Careers), an internationally-renowned non-profit organization that is on a mission to empower, develop and support entry and mid-level professional women in Nigeria and across Africa. To date, WISCAR has trained more than 300 women through its WIN-with-WISCAR program, and more than 6000 women and men have been educated and impacted through its workshops and conferences.
Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi is an internationally-renowned British-Nigerian feminist activist, writer and policy advocate. In 2001, Ms. Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi Co-Founded the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), which was the first-ever pan-African grant-making organization. Her other notable accomplishments include serving as Director of the Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA), a feminist-Pan-African leadership development organization striving for a world in which African women are socially, politically and economically autonomous, and champions of change in society and their lives. Ms. Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi was also First Lady of Nigeria’s Ekiti State in 2010–2014, during which time she championed campaigns to pass three groundbreaking laws: a gender-based violence prohibition bill, an equal opportunities bill, and an anti-HIV stigma bill. Currently, she serves as UN Women Nigeria Senior Advisor, is the Principal Partner of Amandla Consulting, and runs an online community called Abovewhispers.com. In 2017, Ms. Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi collaborated with Amina Oyagbola and WISCAR as a special guest at WISCAR’s 10th anniversary celebration.
After a highly successful career in the banking sector, Nkem Okocha Founded the game-changing social enterprise and fintech startup Mamamoni, which provides women with microloans along with free financial and vocational skills training. Since its inception, Ms. Okocha and her colleagues at Mamamoni have positively impacted more than 5,000 low-income women in rural communities throughout Lagos. Ms. Okocha is also an alumnus of the Young African Leaders Initiative, the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, and the LEAP Social Innovation Programme.
When reflecting on strong and proud female change agents throughout history, Nigerians should feel immensely proud. The future is very bright due to the efforts of incredible women such as Amina Oyagbola, Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, and Nkem Okocha that are dedicated to setting a new standard for change, and we couldn’t be more thankful for their efforts!