Celebrating 50 Inspiring Nigerian Women
1, OLAITAN MARTINS
Group Executive, Transaction Banking, First Bank Of Nigeria Limited
Olaitan Martins was appointed Group Executive, Transaction Banking on 21 October 2021. Until this appointment, she served as the Group Head, Transaction Banking and prior to that, Group Head, Manufacturing Sector, Corporate Banking Group. She has over 20 years’ work experience in various financial institutions including Investment Banking & Trust Limited, Intercontinental Bank Limited, IBTC Asset Management Limited and Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, where she held various leadership positions.
Since joining FirstBank in 2014, Olaitan has recorded remarkable achievements instrumental to the re-positioning of FirstBank’s Corporate Banking business as a credible industry player. She also led the digitization and automation of the Client interface processes and the Wholesale business processes for Trade transactions which has led to an increased adoption of industry platforms for collections, increased volume of transactions and increased customer base, amongst others.
Olaitan has a wealth of experience across Cash Management, Trade Services and Supplier Finance, Payments and Collections, Product Development, Relationship Management, Business Development, Risk Management, Wealth and Portfolio Management, Investment Banking, Treasury and Foreign Exchange Management, amongst others and she brings her deep market-facing experience to bear on the Corporate Banking Group.
Olaitan is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and currently finalizing her Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) at the University of Durham, United Kingdom. She holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Manchester Business School, United Kingdom and a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from University of Lagos, Nigeria.
Olaitan enjoys reading, cooking, and dancing. She is happily married with children.
2, Funke Feyisetan-Ladimeji
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/EXECUTIVE COMPLIANCE OFFICER, Coronation Merchant Bank
Funke has over 30 years’ experience in banking and finance. She has managed a variety of Banking businesses across Markets and Corporate Finance Businesses, across multiple jurisdictions in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), North America and Asia, and across multiple functional areas, including Financial Control, Complex Product Accounting, Technology, Business Operations and Human Capital.
She spent 14 years in JP Morgan Chase where she was the Executive Director/COO with global responsibilities in managing businesses and leading the development of an African investment bank. Prior to joining Coronation Merchant Bank, she was the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer at FBNQuest Merchant Bank Group where she oversaw a period of radical revolution that grew the balance sheet and massively increased revenues with two key acquisitions and evolution in technology and business culture.
Funke is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales and holds a Master’s degree in Globalisation and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Queen Mary and Brunel Universities respectively.
As Executive Director/Executive Compliance Officer at Coronation Merchant Bank, she is responsible for the management of Compliance, Information Technology, Centralised Operations, Customer Service, Administration and Global Trade.
3, Dorothy Jeff-Nnamani
MD/CEO Novo Health Africa Ltd
Dorothy is the MD/CEO of Novo Health Africa Ltd. Novo Health Africa is a National Health Maintenance Organisation providing health care across Nigeria and accredited by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), with the objective to provide health care delivery solutions through the continuum of care.
They are committed to creating value through excellent coordination and efficient delivery of health care services, better client experience during hospital visits, enhanced client engagement in their own health care, reduction in medical errors, and improved clinical outcomes.
Dorothy has technical and administrative expertise in managing large and complex health programmes spanning over 20 years with an in-depth knowledge of the Nigerian health sector acquired through research, programming, and managerial experience.
Her areas of expertise are healthcare financing, public health specialist, project management/ healthcare quality/ strategic leadership and health advocacy. She was the former MD/CEO PHB Healthcare limited, a subsidiary of Bank PHB (HMO).
4, Furera Isma Jumare
The Jigawa State Investment Promotion Agency (InvestJigawa)
Furera Isma Jumare holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Botany and three Master’s degrees; in Crop Physiology, in Rural Development and in International Development Management. She also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Management and is a Centre for Management Development – accredited management trainer. Furera is a member of the Institute of Directors, Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered) and Fellow, Institute of Management Consultants. Before going into private business, Furera had worked with the Central Bank of Nigeria for 21 years, retiring in 2009 to found her consulting firm, MicroDevelopment Consulting Limited, where she led the firm’s research, project management and capacity development activities. She has at various times also served as Member of the Kaduna State Council on Agriculture, Member, Editorial Board, Leadership Newspaper and an independent consultant with ENABLE2, an FCDO (then DFID) programme. Furera Jumare has been a member of the Board of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. until her appointment as Director General of InvestJigawa in September 2020.
5, Tinuola Akinbolagbe
CEO at Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PSHAN)
Akinbolagbe is an experienced, highly collaborative team player with relevant board level experience, superior business acumen and a demonstrable track record in the health and allied sectors. A healthcare administrator with over two decades of experience in the health services, financial and ICT sectors, her experience spans across strategic planning, operational and risk management particularly in the private sector, having worked at Lagoon and St. Nicholas Hospitals before veering into mainstream insurance at Healthcare International Ltd, and later Oceanic Health Management Ltd as one of three pioneer staff.
She moved to GlobeMed Healthcare Solutions, a multinational Third-Party Administrator (TPA) as the Medical Director before leaving to join Health Assur Ltd, as the pioneer MD/CEO and then later to the health diagnostics sector at Synlab Nigeria, a member of Synlab Group, Europe’s leading provider of laboratory diagnostic services, where she served as the Chief Executive Officer before joining the PSHAN team.
She holds a degree in Medicine & Surgery, graduating from the College of Medicine, University of Lagos in 1999. She also has a post-graduate diploma and Masters in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University of London.
She is actively involved in mentoring students and young professionals and works with several charities and non-profits to raise funds for community health initiatives. She is happily married with children.
6, Hon Nkeiruka Chidubem Onyejeocha (PhD)
Member of the Nigeria Federal House of Representatives
Nkeiruka Chidubem Onyejeocha is a Nigerian politician and a ranking lawmaker in Nigeria’s Federal House of Representatives. She represents Isuikwato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency of Abia State. Onyejoecha is an active member of the Nigeria federal parliament and often contributes brilliantly to debates on critical national issues in the house. She has sponsored several bills and moved motions that have improved the lives of ordinary citizens and help safeguard their rights.
Onyejocha was first elected in 2007 on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP then Nigeria’s ruling party. She defected to All Progressives Congress, APC in 2018 after coming under intense pressure from her former party leaders to drop her ambition for a return ticket to the house. In 2019, she won her re-election bid for a fourth term in the Nigeria’s Green Chamber. She is one of the longest serving members of the house.
During the 7th assembly she was awarded the most vibrant female legislator in Nigeria by Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASSAN). Onyejocha was the pioneer Chairman of Women in Parliament committee that was created during the 6th assembly between 2007 and 2011. She led female legislators in efforts in tackling gender inequality and improving the living conditions of children and the less fortunate people.
7 Hon Aishatu Jubril Dukku
Member of the Nigeria Federal House of Representatives
Aishatu Jibril Dukku is a Nigerian educationist and politician from Gombe state. She served as Federal Minister of State for Education during the presidency of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua. Since then, she served as a parliamentarian in the Nigerian National Assembly. She is currently an Honourable Member of Nigerian House of Representatives representing Dukku and Nafada Federal constituency, Gombe State, Nigeria.
She chaired the House of Representatives Committee on Electoral Matters and Political Parties Affairs. She was a member of the board of trustees of the All Progressive Congress (APC). The All Progressive Congress (APC) in Gombe State was declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to have won all the National Assembly seats. Hajiya Aishatu Jibril Dukku won the election in Dukku/Nafada Federal Constituency. She focuses her legislative interest on the education of the girl child, women and youth empowerment, and poverty alleviation and skills acquisition. She is committed to the establishment of schools, skills acquisition centres, scholarship programs for the youth and other similar projects.
8 Modupe Elebute-Odunsi
Founder & CEO, The Marcelle Ruth Cancer Centre and Specialist Hospital
After qualifying in medicine from the College of Medicine, University of Lagos in 1986, Dr. Elebute completed postgraduate training in medicine and haemato-oncology at centres of excellence in London, including St Bartholomew’s Hospital, St George’s Hospital and The Royal Marsden. With vast experience of treating patients with cancer, she also received a prestigious research fellowship from the Leukaemia Research Fund and gained a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from the University of London for her ground-breaking work. In the UK, Dr. Elebute has held Consultant and Honorary Senior Lecturer posts at St George’s Hospital, the National Blood Service and King’s College Hospital, and has a well-established private practice at the Spire and Lister Hospitals. In Nigeria, she has worked at the Lagoon Hospitals, where she was instrumental in developing a pathology laboratory and a sickle cell clinic. Elebute is widely published in scientific journals and textbooks. Involved in the development of the undergraduate haematology curriculum at St George’s University of London, she was also Postgraduate Director and Educational Supervisor for University of London’s Haematology Postgraduate Training Programme for several years. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists and a member of the British Society of Haematology and the American Society of Haematology. Passionate about giving back, Elebute helped set up the Sickle Cell Club of Lagos while still at medical school. She is Patron of Build Africa and a past Trustee of The Walkabout Foundation. She is married with children.
9 Mary Aderinola Ojulari
Deputy Managing Director at Weststar Associates Limited
Mary Ojulari is the Deputy Managing Director/ Chief Finance Officer at Weststar Associates Limited (Weststar). Weststar is the sole authorised general distributor for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars’ and commercial vehicles in Nigeria.
She is an enterprising and versatile professional with broad experience in leading all aspects of finance. She currently oversees the management of Weststar’s budget, fund investments, manage company policies with regards to capital requirements, risk and cash management and supervises raising of project funding to execute the company’s various expansion projects.
Mary is a strategically focused and result oriented Finance Executive with over 20 years’ experience of which she spent 12 years working in the diaspora. Mary has worked in a range of senior and director level roles in media and service sectors. She has a reputation for strong communication and establishing robust working relationships with relevant stakeholders and parties. Her specialties are continuous improvement, financial management, financial reporting, leadership, networking, project management, strategy, production management and due diligence.
10 Adaeze Udensi (PhD)
Executive Director at Titan Trust Bank Nigeria
Adaeze Udensi (PhD), has over 23 years of banking experience across retail, commercial, public sector, E-business, private wealth management, business development, credit & marketing. She brings to the table a deep knowledge of the market and business fundamentals relevant to the financial services industry.
Prior to joining TITAN, she was the Executive Director in charge of the South-South/South-East Directorate and Executive Compliance Officer for Heritage Bank. She also acted as the Managing Director in the absence of the CEO and was responsible for driving the retail business at Heritage Bank across the entire 160 branches in Nigeria.
Her sector experience includes 16 years working in different capacities at Zenith Bank where she oversaw the growth of its Oil & Gas, public sector, commercial and retail businesses, taking it to the second-largest portfolio in the bank before leaving as a General Manager in 2014.
Adaeze Udensi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Banking and Finance from the Enugu State University of Science and Technology and MBAs from the Rivers State University of Science and Technology and Bangor University, UK, as well as a PhD in Credit Management from the University of Panama. She has also attended several executive management programs in Wharton Business School, Kellogg School of Management, Harvard Business School, and INSEAD.
She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Scotland, a member of the Strategy and Advocacy Committee of the Governing Council of The Chartered Institute of Nigeria (CIBN), Fellow of the Institute of Credit Administration and an Honorary Senior Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.
11 Fola Laoye
CO-FOUNDER/CEO Iwosan Investments Ltd.
Fola Laoye is co-Founder and CEO of Iwosan Investments Limited, a Health Investments Holding Company, dedicated to investing in Healthcare Infrastructure across Nigeria. Having been an Operator and Investor in the space over the past 22 years, she is leveraging her experience to bring together long-term capital and significant clinical and operational skills to achieve the impact of a patient-first experience across multiple specialties while ensuring strong bottom lines.
She was also the Founder and CEO of Health Markets Africa, a healthcare advisory and investment company, and was Director at Investment Fund for Health in Africa (IFHA), a pioneer private equity fund focused on Healthcare in Africa.
Fola is a founding board member of Hygeia Group Nigeria, promoters of Hygeia HMO and Lagoon Hospital where she held various leadership roles over 18 years including CEO (2002-2012) and Chairperson (2012-2015).
She is Chairperson of the boards of and Old Mutual Life Assurance and FSDH Asset Management. Her philanthropic roles include being Chair of the Elebute-LUTH Welfare Board, member of Harvard Business School Africa Advisory Board and she is also a member of the Africa Regional Board of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO).
She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School (class of 1999) and a Bachelors’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. She is a Chartered Accountant having trained with Ernst & Young, Lagos and Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC), London, and is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.
12 Kai Orga
MD, ARM Investment Managers
Kai is a financial planner, wealth advisor, youth development specialist, human capital development specialist, personal and business development trainer and coach.
ARM Investment Managers provide professional global asset management services across a wide range of traditional and alternative investment options, including equities, fixed income securities, cash and real estate. They offer optimum investment opportunities to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, high-net worth individuals, and small savers.
Kai is also the Executive Director, CORE Development Initiative. CORE development Initiative is a Non for profit organisation that assists the young generation to discover their strengths, focus their energies appropriately and awaken the hidden talents that reside in them.
13 Adefunke Adeyemi
Regional Director, Advocacy and Strategic Relations, Africa, IATA
A lawyer and aviation expert, she is currently the Regional Director, Advocacy and Strategic Relations, Africa for the International Air Transport Association (IATA), advocating for the overall sustainability and growth of the aviation industry in the region and the intermediary between airlines, the wider aviation community and the general public. She conceptualised and is responsible for an on-going campaign to promote Africa’s socio-economic prospects through enhanced air connectivity across the continent.
She obtained her Master of Laws (LL.M.) in International Commercial Law from University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, read Law at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, both with high honors and qualified as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Nigerian Supreme Court in 1999.
She recently completed her Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Nanyang Business School, NTU, Singapore, during which she simultaneously completed a collaborative Advanced Management Program in Aviation, Leadership and Innovation between the Nanyang Business School, Berkeley Haas School of Business, University of California and the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania.
Funke is also the founder of a business and legal advisory service, Africa Advocacy (Consulting) Services, a pan-African one-stop shop for Advocacy and Implementation across specific sectors outside of aviation.
14 Cecilia Akintomide
Chairperson, The Sanitation and Hygiene Fund
Cecilia is an experienced Non-Executive Director with a demonstrated history of working in the financial services industry and development finance. Africa expert, skilled in strategy, development finance, international law, project finance, and corporate governance. She is a champion of women and girls empowerment and a member of the Nigerian Bar and the New York Bar.
Cecilia Akintomide is an independent director on the Boards of CcHUB Growth Capital, Nigeria’s first social innovation fund, supporting high potential early-stage businesses, SWAgCo, an agricultural sector investment company; and Ondo State Development and Investment Promotion Agency (ONDIPA), a state government agency, focused on promoting development and investments.
She is a member of the Board of Regents of Covenant University, one of Nigeria’s leading universities, and the Board of Trustees of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL). She was also an Independent Non-Executive Director on the Board of FBN Holdings Plc., one of Africa’s leading financial services holding companies, headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, and operating in various African countries and the United Kingdom. Cecilia is also a member of the Institute of Directors, Nigeria.
She has served in senior roles including Vice President Secretary General of the African Development Bank (AfDB). In that role, she provided leadership for the dynamic relationship between the AfDB and its then 80 member states, and served as Secretary to the 80-member Ministerial Boards of Governors and 20-member resident Boards of Directors. Cecilia also served as Head of Public and Private Sector Projects and Policy, in the General Counsel & Legal Department of the AfDB, leading a brilliant team in the legal aspects of design, documentation, negotiation, closing and management of projects and policy-based financing transactions all over Africa, as well as in the formulation of operations policies and compliance monitoring.
15 Hadiza Adukonu
Vice President, Corporate Development for West Titan Energy
As Vice President, Hadiza has the ultimate responsibility for the structure of the corporate organisation including corporate policies and processes, strategy definition and implementation, finance, business development, commercial contracts and strategic partnerships.
Hadiza is an Oil and Gas industry professional with a career spanning over 13 years’ in the commercial field, consulting for and working with companies in the oil and gas industry. She has expertise in incubating, managing and implementing complex projects as well as strategies for business growth and development.
She began her career as a Tax Advisor in KPMG Professional Services, where she worked in the Energy and Natural Resources unit handling tax compliance and advisory cases for Oil and Gas service companies and exploration and production companies.
Following this, she moved to Petrofac International Nigeria Limited to establish the Nigerian subsidiary of the International Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) company, Petrofac Limited. She worked with the global sales and marketing team in the UAE and UK as Business Development Manager. She was responsible for developing the EPC business in Nigeria and Ghana, while establishing new and managing existing local partnerships.
She holds a BSc. Economics from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and an MSc. Oil and Gas Enterprise Management from University of Aberdeen, Scotland. She is an Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA), Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), a member of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC), a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and an Associate of Women in Management and Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ). She is also a Project Management Professional (PMP) and PRINCE2 Foundation certified.
16 Nkiru Olumide-Ojo
Africa Regions Executive Head, Marketing Corporate Communication & CSI Standard Bank Group
Nkiru runs a social impact agency focused on market place readiness, covering the value chain of capacity building.
Seperately, she leads a diverse team across African countries to deliver business objectives through brand marketing, corporate communications and corporate social investment.
She has over 20 years of corporate reputation building with a range of branding and rebranding experience from various sectors and various African markets. An expert reputation Manager, she brings additional pure marketing experience that helps stimulate demands for brands.
Olumide-Ojo has delivered projects with international impact organisations such as the United Nations world food programme and Global Fund across various African countries.
With experience from two boards, she is adept at building positive, productive relationships with a variety of stakeholders as a certified coach and published author.
17 Nabila (Isa-Odidi) Aguele
Special Adviser to Nigeria’s Minister of Finance
Nabila Aguele is a lawyer and public policy advisor, with an interest in sustainable development work at the intersection of human capital development and public financial management.
She currently serves as a Special Adviser to Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, and supports on international development cooperation; and performance monitoring and evaluation for data-driven policy formulation and implementation. A strong advocate for women’s rights and gender equality, Nabila is supporting the Ministry and its Agencies on interventions to make public financial management systems more gender responsive. In 2020, she joined an international panel of distinguished Judges for the Girl Rising #MyStory Challenge, co-sponsored by HP and aimed at raising awareness on gender, racial, and economic inequalities through storytelling.
Nabila previously served as a Special Adviser to the Nigerian Minister of Finance, and as a Technical/Special Adviser to the Nigerian Minister of State for Budget & National Planning. Before that she practiced law in the United States, representing Fortune 500 companies in complex civil litigations at international law firms Morrison & Foerster LLP and Sonnenschein Nath and Rosenthal LLP (now “Dentons”). She was also a Special Assistant Attorney General (on secondment) with the District of Columbia Office of the Attorney General. Her passion for impact-driven-lawyering and leadership development led her to complete a two-year term as a Practitioner-in-Residence in the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic and Professor with the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at her alma mater, the American University Washington College of Law.
Nabila has been a member of the INSEAD Campaign Board since 2019, and a member of the INSEAD Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Taskforce since 2020. A firm believer in the power of film to drive change, she also sits on the Advisory Board for Talentx Africa, a media and entertainment investment platform aimed at empowering African filmmakers and investors. Nabila received her BSc. in Human Biology from the University of Toronto, her Juris Doctor (JD) from the American University Washington College of Law, and her MBA from INSEAD. She is an acrylic artist and has exhibited and sold her work in the United States.
18 Eneni Oduwole
CEO, Alter-Ed Limited
Eneni is a seasoned risk, operations management and environmental, social & governance risk strategist and implementer with over 20 years’ experience in developing and implementing frameworks for enterprise risk management, environmental, social & governance risk management, business continuity management, process improvement, change management and project management alongside oversight on policy development and security administration. She prepared and managed the budgets and P&L of relevant business units and projects responsible for.
She has presented at various workshops locally and internationally including the BCI Annual Conference, UK; IQPC ERM Africa Conference, South Africa; NiFEX Conference, USA; IBM/TWC Risk Seminar, Nigeria; and RIMAN Conferences, Nigeria.
Eneni has taught at various university and corporate training programmes as guest lecturer since 2011; some of these programmes were at the University of Lagos, Postgraduate Risk Management Class, Financial Institutions Training Centre, and Abax-OOSA Training Institute. She is a faculty member of the Risk Management Academy of Nigeria and award winner of Information Security Person of the Month.
Oduwole is an Associate Member BCI UK (and Pioneer Country Rep., Nigeria); British Computer Society Certified Information Risk Manager; Prosci Certified Change Management Expert; Member of Institute of Internal Auditors, GARP, PRMIA, ACAMS; and Fellow, Association of Sustainable Professionals of Nigeria.
19 Amina Sambo-Magaji (PhD)
National Coordinator, Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE)
In this role, she is responsible for coordinating the activities of the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship ecosystems through driving policy recommendations, initiatives and programs that will create a thriving and sustainable ecosystem. Under her stewardship at OIIE, NITDA has restructured the office to serve as an agile facilitator in the tech innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Prior to her joining NITDA, she started her career as a lecturer and later moved to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) where she spent over 14 years. As a pioneer staff, she had the opportunity to be part of the team that setup the entire IT infrastructure of the Commission through a 4 years project with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). There, she worked as a software development lead, IT project manager, network administrator and mail administrator. She also represented the commission at some public institution boards.
Dr Sambo-Magaji has an all distinction academic record. She holds a first class degree in Computer Science from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi (ATBU) and a Masters with Distinction in Information Engineering with Network Management from Robert Gordon University (RGU), Aberdeen. Her PhD, also from RGU, is in the field of Artificial Intelligence specifically on developing algorithms for optimizing distributed problems and data analytics. Her research work has been published in reputable national and international platforms with several outstanding awards.
20 Kemi DaSilva-Ibru
Kemi DaSilva-Ibru is a specialist healthcare physician who is dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls through medical practice, social activism and wider public advocacy against gender-based violence.
Professionally, Dr DaSilva-Ibru is a consultant specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology, as well as a public health physician, with over 20 years’ experience in private practice. She is also the founder of the Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), a non-profit organisation that addresses the prevalence of gender-based violence, rape and the trafficking of young girls and women across Nigeria. Through this work, she has become a recognised thought leader in the field of women’s health internationally, and her 2020 TED talk on the ‘shadow pandemic’ has gained a global audience.
DaSilva-Ibru’s medical and academic career has spanned across three decades and three continents. She graduated from the College of Medicine, University of Lagos before completing her postgraduate training in OBGYN at Howard University, Washington DC and obtaining a Master’s from the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. She has also taken other postgraduate medical courses in various specialties, and is an alumna of the Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos. She is currently undertaking a PhD in gender-based violence at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
WARIF is one of Nigeria’s foremost organisation tackling sexual violence. In addition to drawing the world’s attention to rape and gender-based violence, WARIF takes a holistic and survivor centred approach to helping affected girls and women, as well as launching preventative initiatives to successfully tackle the issue’s root causes. Dr DaSilva-Ibru’s goal is to bring about a world in which all women and girls can live their lives free from gender-based violence.
21 Kari Tukur
Vice President, Mastercard, Sub Saharan Africa
Kari Tukur is the Divisional Lead and Vice President of Products, at Mastercard, responsible for core and digital payments solutions for the Sub Sahara African markets.
As a seasoned professional with more than 16 years’ experience in banking and payment tech, Kari is known for driving business growth, maximising operational excellence and delivering financial performance. Before Mastercard, she held various senior and executive management positions at Stanbic IBTC, Standard Bank Group Johannesburg, Standard Chartered bank, Diamond Bank and Access bank. She graduated with a 1st class in Business Information Systems and Technology from Sheffield Hallam University and also holds an MSc and MBA from University of Birmingham.
She is passionate about building product and solutions that makes life easier for the average person.
22 Anino Emuwa (PhD)
Founder/MD Avandis Consulting
Anino Emuwa is the Founder and Managing Director of Avandis Consulting, a strategy and financial advisory firm in France. A former corporate banker with Citibank, she sits on the board of several organisations including Nottingham Trent University, U.K and advises on Franco-Nigerian business.
She is an expert in gender diversity in leadership and is a member of the Institute of Directors’ Expert Advisory Group on Diversity and Inclusion. She convenes communities for women in business leadership notably 100 Women@Davos.
An award-winning international speaker on D&I, entrepreneurship, and emerging technologies, her articles have been published in Forbes, Entrepreneur and Global Banking and Finance Review.
Anino has been a mentor for Cartier Women’s Initiative, Cambridge Judge Business School’s EnterpriseWOMEN and the Women’s Development Programme at the Nottingham Trent University.
She received her Doctorate in Business Administration on financing entrepreneurship from Nottingham Business School, holds an MBA from Cranfield School of Management and a BSc Economics from the London School of Economics.
23 Busola Tejumola (PhD)
Executive Head of Content & West Africa Channels, MultiChoice Nigeria Limited
As the Executive Head of Content & West Africa Channels at MultiChoice Nigeria Limited, Busola Tejumola (Ph.D) has led the content strategy, planning, resource allocation, and execution to drive the organisation’s top-line and bottom-line growth. Content strategy has firmly secured MultiChoice Nigeria’s growing market share and continues to reinforce the brand as Africa’s most loved storyteller. She is passionate about creating, identifying and maximising opportunities in shaping the future of content creation, distribution and television. She understands and has devised new models that work, with proven results in converting insights into strategy and communicating complex ideas clearly and logically to stakeholders’ on varying levels.
In her current role, she has mastered building and managing relationships with senior-level leaders and content providers, establishing key genres that directly increase customer value management, acquisitions and customer experience that contribute significantly to the bottom line of the organisation. Prior to her current role, Busola grew from Head of Strategy and Insights in 2014 to GM Production in 2017 where she led the team that re-birthed Big Brother Naija, the award winning AMVCA’s, along with original productions from the Africa Magic stables like Battleground, Jemeji and Ajoche. She holds a Masters’ degree in Management information Systems, and a Ph.D in Management Information Systems & Computing from the University of Surrey and Brunel University respectively. Her passion, strategic track record of leading effective teams and drive for results, has translated into the success of key projects at MultiChoice. She is very passionate about child education, especially the girl child and her future role in the society. She currently volunteers at a charity organisation that facilitates the education of under-privileged kids. She mentors a few University/secondary school ladies, in the hopes that they will remain focused and pursue mutually rewarding careers.
24 Temitope Iluyemi
Senior Director, Global Government Relations for Africa region at P&G
Temitope Iluyemi, is the Senior Director, Global Government Relations for Africa region at P&G. Temitope, a qualified pharmacist, joined P&G Nigeria in 1998.
In her over 22years career with P&G, she has distinguished herself with a breadth of roles spanning across commercial and corporate functions (Sales, market strategy and planning, supply network operations, external relations and government relations).
In this timeframe, Iluyemi has lived and worked from Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana,Togo and the United States of America delivering significant value to her company across various business disciplines.
Following her assignment in Washington D.C in 2017, she relocated back to Nigeria and her Government Relations role was expanded and spans across the 53 countries in Africa.
Temitope is a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, sits on several boards & advisory boards including P&G Nigeria, Montserrado B.V, Corporate Council on Africa, Taskforce Chairman on Trade facilitation, US Chamber of commerce and involved in various local community projects. Mrs Iluyemi is a keen advocate of the African regional integration and has contributed over several global platforms for the implementation of the AfCFTA.
She was recognised among the Top 50 Leading ladies in Corporate Nigeria 2019, Top50 Leading African Corporate Women in 2021, Women who made impact in 2019 by the Guardian publication and recognised with a Honoris causa doctorate in 2019 and selected in the Top 10 Strategic African women in leadership – SAWIL in 2021.
Iluyemi spends her spare time mentoring young professional women and is involvd in various local community projects. She currently lives in Johannesburg with her family.
25 Bunmi Adeniba
Marketing Director at The Coca-Cola Company
Bunmi Adeniba is an experienced marketing professional and commercial operator with a strong bias for using consumer insights and her understanding of an end to end manufacturing process to harness value for multiple stakeholders. Her over two decades experience spans across brand building, innovation design, and quality management system.
She recently joined the Coca-Cola Company as the Marketing Director, after her exit from Unilever where she was responsible for HomeCare Division of Unilever Nigeria, as a member of the Unilever HomeCare Leadership Team for Africa.
Adeniba has a non-liner career journey across different industries, with multi-varied experiences in different roles. She started off in hospitality industry as a Food and Beverage manager in Enugu in Eastern Nigeria, from where she proceeded to join the management trainee scheme of Cadbury Nigeria, a robust cross functional training programme to groom business generalists.
Her first stint after training school was in Quality Management across different brands. After a decade stint, she did a career switch into marketing, restarting her journey into marketing at an entry level as an assistant brand manager. She has gone on to build her marketing journey across different renowned multinational companies.
She has an MBA from Hult Business School, Boston and holds a certificate of Strategic Marketing Management from Harvard Business School, Massachusetts, USA.
A 2018 CSC Leader, a global programme for exceptional senior leaders selected from government, businesses and NGOs across 53 countries.
Bunmi is passionate about women empowerment and raising phenomenal leaders in the marketplace.
She has been recognised as one of the fifty Ladies in corporate Nigeria by Leading Ladies Africa, Brand communicator’s top 50 women in marketing and communication in Nigeria, 9to5Chick top 100 women, and the Most Innovative Woman In Marketing by Brandessenceng.
She is a fellow of the National institute of Marketing (NIMN) and holds membership with the Institute of Directors (IOD), Chartered institute of Marketing UK (MCIM), Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), American Society of Quality (ASQ) and is a Certified Digital Marketing Professional (CDMP) from the Digital Marketing Institute.
26 Ada Osademey Udechukwu
Gender & Economic Inclusion Specialist at IFC
Adaorie is a finance and gender specialist with 17 years of experience in the private sector.
She has expertise in banking, women’s economic empowerment & inclusion, and strategy. In her current role, she manages gender projects and mainstreaming in IFC, Africa with an objective to reduce gender gaps across employment and entrepreneurship in the private sector.
Her experience in the financial services sector, spans bank operations, consumer and SME finance, products & segments management with a focus on women’s financial inclusion and their participation in entrepreneurship & the workplace.
In her previous role as Head, Women Banking at Access Bank, she supported women sub-segments in Nigeria and key African markets (Ghana, Rwanda, Zambia, Gambia and Sierra Leone) through the women’s market program – the W Initiative. The initiative won several local and international awards including a three-year consecutive Central Bank’s award for Excellence in Women’s Economic Empowerment.
She has contributed to reducing gender gaps in access to finance for WSMEs in Nigeria with over four thousand WSMEs supported in accessing loans and more than fifty thousand women benefiting from the non-financial services offerings of the program at Access Bank – one of which is a mini-MBA developed in partnership with the IFC. In the course of her work, she has also worked with companies who were clients of Access Bank, to advocate for gender inclusive policies.
She is a graduate of the prestigious Lancaster University, UK, where she obtained a Master’s in Business Administration (Summa Cum Laude). Her professional development includes the management program at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
She is an Advisory Board member at Shecluded and a mentor for the Cherie Blaire Foundation for Women.
27 Ife Fashola
Group CEO, Kedari Capital Limited
Ife is the Group Chief Executive Officer of Kedari Capital Limited, and a member of the executive management team. She has extensive commercial experience covering legal practice, strategic management and corporate finance especially within business development, change management and Information Technology across industry sectors such as investment banking, financial regulation, insurance, mortgages, education, retail and aviation.
She was engaged as a Consultant with the Financial Services Authority (The UK Financial regulator), analysing control deficiencies in systems and business processes. Prior to that, she worked at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBOS), where she supported the implementation of Wall Street Systems for the RBOS FX and Money Markets division. Ife was also with Lehman Brothers, leading a technology team in loan and mortgage products and services.
Ife is an erudite lawyer with focus on investment services, risk management, regulatory compliance and corporate services. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Law from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, and a Masters in Law specialising in International Trade and Transport from the University of Wales, Cardiff.
She sits on the boards of Kedari Capital Limited, First Atlantic Asset Management and Kedari Ghana Limited.
28 Khadijah Abu
Head of Product at Paystack
Khadijah is a professional with over 10 years of experience in the Fintech and Payments space working in Product Management, Operations and Business Process Re-engineering. In that time, she has managed a variety of products and led the design and implementation of several business automation projects.
She founded ProductTank Lagos, a non-profit community of Product Managers, and she volunteers across a variety of advocacy and learning institutions. She hopes to continue to help businesses grow through the efficient use of technology while participating in other ventures promoting education and community development.
29 Amaka Nsofor
ED, Debt Capital Markets at Standard Chartered Bank
Amaka is one of the leading debt capital markets professionals in Africa with global experience spanning Africa, Central and Eastern Europe and Middle East and has executed numerous transactions for clients across several countries and sectors. In particular, she has contributed significantly to the development of the capital markets in Sub-Saharan Africa, through various groundbreaking initiatives, working with regulators in various countries to develop their domestic capital markets and most importantly, facilitating access to the international capital markets for sovereigns and corporate institutions.
She is also at the forefront of driving sustainable growth in Africa, in line with Standard Chartered’ s priorities, having recently led the US$350m 10NC5 year Tier 2 Sustainability Notes by Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, which represents the first ever Tier 2 Sustainability Notes by a financial institution in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as other social and climate bond initiatives.
Amaka is very passionate about societal and industry transformation. In addition to her role as a debt capital market executive, she is also the Director of Finance for Association of Issuing Houses in Nigeria, where she works with regulators and trade bodies to build the Nigerian investment banking industry. She is also the Founder of Female Scholars Foundation, a non-for profit organization set up to provide tertiary education, guidance and mentorship to young women in the rural areas, in order to adequately equip them to integrate into the modern society and obtain reputable professional jobs across the globe.
30 Ugoma Ebilah
Founding director and chief curator at BLOOM Art
Ugoma Ebilah is a veritable multi-hyphenate. Trained in economics, business and finance, Ugoma has made a career out of pivoting. After graduating with a B.Sc Economics degree (Second Class Upper) from the University of Ibadan she continued her academic pursuits at the University of Manchester where she took an MSc in Business Economics (Merit) She started her career as an analyst in oil and gas with stints at Schlumberger and Ocean and Oil before gaining some work experience in real estate and principal investments.
Her next venture was in fashion and design and using The Life House as base, Ugoma launched Zebra Living, which she described as a Fast Fashion and Ready-to-wear clothing and accent interiors brand. It was a rapid success with over 20 collections in 6 years and quickly became one of Nigeria’s most recognisable and emotive fashion brands.
Deploying artistic expression for social impact has been a key weapon in Ugoma’s arsenal and it doesn’t matter whether it is music or books or movies. For 10 full years, she has been Festival Director for the Lights, Camera, Africa…film festival which provided a platform for independent and off kilter films and film makers to reach and interact with a discerning audience of cinephiles in Nigeria and in the process made the festival a fixture on Nigeria’s culture calendar.
In her new incarnation as founding director and chief curator at BLOOM Art, Ugoma has made some great strides; she has curated and produced art exhibitions with some of the most exciting and accomplished modern and contemporary artists.
In February 2021, despite the rampaging Covid-19 pandemic and sluggish global economy Ugoma and Bloom Art originated, advised and executed the biggest private secondary market art sale and placement yet in Nigeria; the sale of an early 1960s painting by Ben Enwonwu MBE, valued at approximately $1,000,000, thus making her the first Nigerian curator and dealer to successfully sell and place a modern art piece of such repute and value – a feat only previously achieved by international auction houses.
31 Risikatu Ladi Ahmed
MD/CEO Aso Savings & Loans Plc
Risikatu holds a law degree from the University of Maiduguri in 1989 and attended Nigerian Law School, Lagos between 1989 and 1990. She was enrolled and called to Nigeria Bar in December 1990. In 1998, she obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi and in 2006; she obtained her master’s degree in law from the University of Jos.
She has over two decades of banking experience. Her exposure in the banking industry spanned through a number of job functions including Credit and Marketing, Banking Operations, Recovery, Audit and Regional Business in the Northeast.
Prior to her appointment as the Executive Director, Corporate Services Directorate, she was the Executive Director, Institutional Banking and Public Sector. Risikatu was the Regional Manager, Northeast at Diamond Bank Plc. She has a track record of excellent performance which has earned her several commendations and awards.
She is currently the Managing Director/CEO of ASO Savings and Loans Plc and the first appointed female Managing Director of the Bank.
She is an active member of Governing Council of Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, having served as a member of the 12th and 13th Annual Banking Conference committees and currently a member of the 14th Annual Banking Conference committee.
Risikatu Ahmed is also a Fellow, Institute of Credit Administration (ICA), Honorary Fellow, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (FCIB), and a member of the following professional bodies amongst others.
She is an alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton Advanced Management Program, Harvard Business School and has also gone through leadership courses in Lagos Business School (SMP).
32 Deborah Nicole-Omeruah
Real Estate Professional & Business Transformation Expert
Deborah is an accomplished C-Level Executive and Director with 20 years’ experience in real estate and banking with specialisation in Property Development, Finance & Acquisitions; Mortgages; Private Banking and Investment Planning in the United Kingdom and across Africa. Previous leadership roles include Africa Account Director for Broll Property Group; Chief Operating Officer for Landmark Africa, and Head, Property Finance and Acquisitions for Stanbic IBTC Bank.
She is a Certified Mortgage and Financial Adviser (CeFA, CeMAP) by the Institute of Financial Services (UK) with over 10 years’ experience in the wealth management environment in the United Kingdom. She possesses sound understanding of UK and Nigerian financial markets and asset management, and good knowledge of portfolio management, and identifying attractive investment opportunities.
33 Esther Longe (PhD)
Marketing Strategist & Founder, The Alternative Business School
Esther Longe (PhD) is a transformative leader, pioneering the new movement of the 7000 audaciously. She is committed to providing the necessary structures and motivation to liberate individuals, families and nations from the strongholds of their past, the limitations of their present so that they can be launched into the future that God has scripted for them.
She is a speaker, author, teacher, encourager, coach and a Unicorn leader. As the Unicorn leader, she works with people to embrace their uniqueness as well as discover their strength, joy, calling and anointing in God. She is committed to reconnecting people with God and empowering them to embrace and shine their God given light.
She is the founder of God in Real Life Outreach, a ministry committed to helping people experience intimacy with God and encounter Him in their everyday life. The ministry has several expressions including Broken, God in Real Life, The Alternative Business School (TABS) and the G.O fellowship.
Esther Longe is a trained marketing strategist. She has a BSc. in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. A Masters in Marketing from the University of South Wales, UK. A Masters in Research and a PhD in Marketing both from the University of Bath, UK.
She has worked with some of the biggest global brands such as PwC, GT Bank, Pizza Express, Wrigleys to mention a few. She has also served as a Super Mentor for the FCMB Sheventures Programme and is a facilitator for the Africa Green Grant award. She is happily married with 2 children.
34 Rosario Osobase
Head, Commercial, Business Development & Institutional Relations, Tenaris
Rosario is a well-rounded professional with close to two decades of experience across several industries including Banking, FMCG and Oil & Gas, where she has over the years developed expertise in energy, leadership, commercial and business strategies, operations, public relations and so on.
She heads Tenaris Nigeria’s Commercial & Institutional businesses and is responsible for their strategic, commercial, and institutional agenda for Nigeria. This role enables her manage their commercial agenda, define engagement with government and industry stakeholders, and execute strategies to guarantee Tenaris’ long-term sustainability in Nigeria. She has been instrumental to enabling Tenaris increase its human capacity development and local infrastructural deployment in Nigeria for economic advancement.
Rosario is a Director on the board of the Petroleum Contractors Trade Section (PCTS) and serves as the association’s Executive Secretary to drive industry level synergies and advocacy that enables the strengthening of the Nigerian economy.
She proudly holds a first class degree in Computing from the University of Bradford, graduating with the overall best performance award. She has attended several leadership and executive management courses at Lagos Business School, Rice University, and is an Executive-MBA graduate at IMD in Switzerland class of December 2021.
35 Tokunboh Ishmael
Managing Partner at Alitheia Capital
Tokunboh Ishmael is an accomplished and experienced private equity investor. She is MD and co-founder of Alitheia Capital – a Nigerian-based investment management and advisory business channelling private equity investments to transform businesses in West Africa where funding gaps create unique opportunities. In 2015, she co-founded Alitheia IDF to scale investing across Sub-Saharan women-led SMEs.
Tokunboh is a CFA Charterholder, corporate financier and M&A banker historically, having worked on over $5.6 billion M&A deals across the US, UK and Africa. Exceptionally experienced in the energy, oil, gas, technology and financial services sectors, she is now focussed on helping to invest and build sustainable SME growth businesses across attractive, consumer-led sectors including Agribusiness, Financial Services, Healthcare & Pharma, Infrastructure, Transport, Retail and Tech / Telecoms mainly on behalf of discerning institutions, development organisations and corporates looking for a mix of responsible investing, economic impact and social responsibility.
She is a Yale World Fellow, a member of the inaugural class of the Aspen Institute’s Finance Leaders Fellowship. She sits on a number of boards and is the current chair of the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA)
36 Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes
Founding Partner & CEO Aruwa Capital Management
Adesuwa is an experienced finance professional with a demonstrated track record over the last 13 years in investment banking, leveraged finance and private equity from global institutions such as J.P Morgan. She is the Founder of Aruwa Capital Management, one of the few women owned and led early stage growth equity funds in Africa investing into untapped investment opportunities in West Africa in the small to lower mid-market.
She is an entrepreneur, CEO, mother, investor and women’s empowerment advocate. She founded Aruwa Capital in order to make an impact in society with her skills and track record and change the narrative for women and small businesses across Africa. She is one of the youngest female private equity fund managers in Africa having launched Aruwa Capital at 29 years old. Adesuwa is a big believer that investing in women is not only the moral thing to do given the role women play in society and the multiplier it can have in terms of poverty alleviation for families, but also because investing in women and for women, has been proven to deliver outsized and superior returns.
She is focused on using Aruwa Capital Management’s investments as a case study to illustrate the business case to invest in women as fund managers, entrepreneurs, consumers and stakeholders in society.
37 Ichechi Chinarhu Okonkwo
CEO Victoria Crest Homes
Ichechi Chinarhu Okonkwo is the CEO of Victoria Crest Homes, Deputy Managing Director Nedcomoaks Ltd, a leading player in the real estate industry in Nigeria providing affordable luxury home developments for over a decade.
Chinaru is a member of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria and has been recognised with several awards including; Most Innovative Enterprising Real Estate Company, Inside Business Africa Corporate Excellence Award 2016, Best Enterprise, Best Managers Socrates Oxford UK Award 2017, Nigeria Entrepreneurs Award Real Estate Company of the Year 2016, Distinguished Customer Award Fidelity Bank 2015 amongst others.
She is the MD/CEO of Laundry King; a leading laundry and dry cleaning company with its headquarters located in Lekki Lagos Nigeria, and a graduate of the notable Igbinedion University Okada where she acquired a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Chemistry.
Okonkwo worked at Guaranty Trust Bank Plc at the E- Business and Cards Services Group and then Systems and Control Group as an Internal Auditor for several years before her resignation. She’s experienced in all aspects of business formation, process, structure, operation, management and sustainability.
She is an accomplished business woman who has attended diverse management courses within and outside the country in entrepreneurship, sustainability, business strategy including Metropolitan School of Business and Management United Kingdom, Special Executive Master’s Programme in Global Business Strategy and Women on Boards IE Business School, Madrid Spain. She is an associate member of Women in Management Business & Public Service (WIMBIZ).
She is happily married to Kennedy Okonkwo and a mother of Nicole, Ryan and Ivan Okonkwo.
38 Charlotte Essiet
Director, Corporate & Regulatory Affairs, AOS Orwell Limited
Charlotte Essiet is the Director in charge of Corporate and Regulatory (Government) Relations at AOS Orwell Limited. A highly motivated and knowledgeable professional with several years of experience.
Essiet has a successful track record for taking on cross-functional leadership roles in global conglomerates like Baker Hughes, Halliburton and a few others. Her professional experience spans business strategy, project and process management, supply chain management, and business consultancy and analysis.
Her problem-solving skills fuel her result-driven orientation and constant willingness to learn. With over 16 years’ experience in the Oil and Gas Industry, she brings professionalism and extensive experience to the AOS Orwell Limited organization.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, from the Lagos State University, an MBA in Engineering Business Management from Manchester Business School, and executive certificates in Strategic Marketing Management from Stanford Business School and Achieving Leadership Excellence from London School of Economics.
39 Imomoemi Ibisiki (PhD)
Company Secretary/Legal Adviser to the Board of Directors of Heritage Bank Plc.
Prior to her appointment as Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, she had served as Divisional Head, Human Capital Management Division where she was responsible for the strategic management and development of the Human Capital of the Bank for 2 years. Prior to becoming the Divisional Head of Human Capital Management, she was Divisional Head of the Legal Services Division in Heritage Bank Plc for about 5years, from the post official commencement of the business of the Bank in the year 2012.
As a pioneer Legal Adviser of the Bank, she formed a bespoke legal team who provided tailor-made legal advisory services to the Board and management of Heritage Bank. She successfully led the legal team that advised the Board of Directors and Shareholders of the Bank in the year 2015, in a unique business combination between its majority shareholder and a bridge Bank, and eventually obtained an order of Court for the merger between Heritage Bank and the Bridge Bank; a transaction valued in excess of USD400, 000, 000 (Four Hundred Million United States Dollars) and which positioned the New Heritage Bank to offer unparalleled banking services across over 200 branches, 177 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), 57 cash centres and over 2,000 Points of Sale (PoS) terminals in 26 out of the 36 States of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Imomoemi is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (Lagos Branch), a Fellow of the International Bar Association, a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, United Kingdom (Scotland branch), an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Nigeria, a Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers Scotland, United Kingdom, and a Fellow of the Institute of Credit Administrators, Nigeria.
She holds a research-based doctorate degree (PhD) in Credit and Financial Risk Management, with in-depth research knowledge on the structures and implementation of Credit Guarantee Schemes for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises across Africa.
40 Adaeze Odili Oreh
Country Director of Planning, Research & Statistics at National Blood Service Commission, Nigeria
Adaeze Oreh is a Consultant Family Physician, Country Director of Planning, Research and Statistics for Nigeria’s National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) and Senior Health Policy Advisor with the Department of Hospital Services in Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health. She has over 18 years of private and public healthcare experience and sits on the Governing Council of Pamo University of Medical Sciences – Nigeria’s first private university of Medical Sciences. She is a Fellow of the West African College of Physicians, the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and the Royal Society of Public Health and is a Member of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood Global Strategy Advisory Group.
Dr Oreh holds an MBBS degree from University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Master of Science (MSc) degrees in International Health Management from Imperial College and Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; in addition to Leadership, Management and Public Policy certifications from Harvard Kennedy School of Government, University of Oxford Saïd Business School, Harvard Chan School of Public Health, University of Bath, and the University of Washington.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Oreh has employed her risk communications expertise, taking part in nearly 40 interviews, and publishing over 60 editorials to help educate the public on the pandemic.
She regularly conducts voluntary community medical outreach and advocacy campaigns through her foundation, Kaibeya Care Foundation Africa, providing medical and educational support to under-served communities in Northern Nigeria.
She is a recipient of numerous local and international awards.
41 Maria Rotilu
Principal, Octopus Ventures
Maria is an Operator Turned Investor. Her 10-year professional experience spans Venture Capital, Startup Operations and Management Consulting. She is currently working on building First Cheque Fund at Octopus Ventures, a pre-seed fund focused on finding and funding European start-ups at their earliest stages.
Prior to this, Maria spent time at Hustle Fund where she invested in early stage technology ventures in North America, Latin America and Africa. She also was the Managing Director of the Oxford Seed Fund, a student led fund that invests £50k in two oxford-affiliated start-ups every year.
In the recent past, Maria has helped technology start-ups scale to millions of users, and did this position at Uber as the Country Manager and also as General Manager, West Africa at Branch.co. Branch is a neo-bank that uses Machine Learning to credit-score smartphone data and offer world-class financial services via mobile phones. Branch operates in four countries across three continents.
Under Maria’s leadership she built the Nigeria business to over 2 million users, $100m in loans disbursed, and a team of ~40 across Operations, Finance, Legal, Marketing and Product Operations. She also raised funds for an unsecured commercial paper of over $10m.
Rotilu has scaled technology businesses and teams and loves to help entrepreneurs thrive with early stage investments and strategic & operational support. She believes great founders should not struggle to raise capital, because building a venture is hard enough already.
She has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Covenant University and is a Chartered Accountant with ACCA in the United Kingdom. She has an MBA from the University of Oxford and an Eni-Oxford Africa Scholar.
42 Debola Deji-Kurunmi
Founder, IMMERSE Coaching Company & Ideation Hub Africa
Debola Deji-Kurunmi’s is a transformational catalyst, equipping a new breed of African visionaries to rise and enthrone the continent into global prominence.
At IMMERSE Coaching Company, Debola leads a 20,000+ strong community of female change makers who are using her breakthrough coaching and courses to create new powerful mind-sets for a life of purpose, contribution and influence.
Her clients have cut across social innovators, entrepreneurs, career professionals, thought-leaders, faith-based voices and women seeking exponential growth.
Through Ideation Hub Africa, she runs a social profit accelerator, which supports non-profits, innovators, civil society organisations and public sector agencies, through executive education, collaborative platforms, funding opportunities and advisory.
Debola has been severally recognised for her outstanding leadership impact and has received Awards including 2014 New Leader for Tomorrow in the order of business, government, and parliaments at the Crans Montana Forum in Geneva; an award conferred before several Presidents and world leaders.
She served twice as a Mentor Jury of the Queen’s Young Leader Awards (a UK Government fellowship that honors exceptional young leaders in the Common Wealth).
In 2018, she was selected by the US Government as one of Africa’s most promising young leaders and a Mandela Washington Fellow.
She is joyfully married to her lover, Ayodeji and they are blessed with children
43 Adia Sowho
Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Nigeria
Adia is an experienced global executive who synthesises her background in engineering, consulting, and product development to build and operate leading category-defining businesses. With deep expertise spanning technology, telecommunications, and finance, she has successfully designed, built, and scaled tech-driven platform companies in emerging markets valued at over USD $100+ million.
She is interim CEO at Thrive Agric, one of Nigeria’s largest agri-tech start-ups. Prior to her current role, she was the VP of Growth and Managing Director, Nigeria for Migo, a machine learning-powered instant credit platform. At Migo, she grew the company’s user base to one million users and led its expansion to Brazil. Prior to that, she was the Director of Digital Business at 9mobile (formerly Etisalat Nigeria) where she partnered with start-ups to deliver mobile content, advertising, financial, and API services to the company’s 23 million users.
She also supports Africa’s tech ecosystems as a start-up mentor and speaker, working with various Africa-focused VC firms to better prepare their portfolios for scale.
Adia currently serves on the board of Hover and Sankore Investments. She holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Sheffield.
44 Amanda Obidike
STEMi Makers Africa
Amanda is an accomplished Non-profit Leader and Board Member with extensive experience in directing social enterprises, start-ups and complex organisations in Africa, Europe and MENA Nations. She is a driven and ambitious sustainability leader who excels in building effective and high functioning teams, growing revenue through strong partnerships, managing change and streamlining community service operations.
Her role also entails managing bilateral and multilateral partners, representing organisations and policy issues in national and media outlets.
She has led strategy development and execution, humanitarian responses and has served as the African Union CESASTEM Cluster for driving educator reforms, policies and instructional pedagogy in STEM.
45 Chinyere Almona (PhD)
DG/Chief Executive, LCCI
Chinyere is a renowned corporate governance and leadership development expert, an impactful business leader with strong client orientation and people management capability, contributing to economic growth and development. She has successfully created solutions and enabled positive impacts in challenging terrains, applying my academic research skills and expertise to address problems practically. She is referred to as the “Coaches’ Coach.”
She led the implementation of a multi-million dollars corporate governance advisory portfolio to promote best practices and standards across Sub-Saharan Africa. As part of this initiative, she led the effort to create a regional network of CG practitioners to support CG advocacy across Africa.
Chinyere also directed the effort to build capacity for over 360 SMEs on SME governance and Family Business Governance. Led the adaptation of IFC SME CG framework and training materials for Africa and conducted training for SME owners and business managers across Africa.
She led a large, multicultural team, which developed academic CG curricula for 4 business schools and supported 6 regulators across Africa to promulgate 4 regulatory policies and building CG supervisory capacity.
Almona enabled clients to adopt acceptable CG practices, enabling access to finance of about US$42 million to allow private sector firms to grow and expand their operations. Built strategic relationships and engagement with stakeholders across 12 African countries, gaining support and buy-in for reforms.
46 Abimbola Odedeyi
Country Manager Nigeria, Unlimint
Abimbola Odedeyi is a seasoned professional with over 11 years’ experience in the financial services industry and her expertise cuts across sales, business development, strategic partnerships, key account management, customer service in the commercial and retail banking as well as in the payment space.
She has worked in two of the top 5 banks in Nigeria (Guaranty Trust Bank, United Bank for Africa) before progressing to Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System where she strategically partnered with stakeholders in the financial services industry (federal and state governments, deposit money banks, microfinance banks, mobile money operators, payment service operators and fintech companies) in facilitating quite a number of digital payment projects worth over $1billion in value.
She is currently Unlimint’s Country Manager in Nigeria and works with stakeholders in the financial services industry in identifying and aggregating local and international alternative payment methods.
Founded in 2009, Unlimint is a global fintech company that offers a large portfolio of financial services – from acquiring (payment processing) to banking and banking as a service.
Odedeyi holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Ibadan and a Master of Business Administration from Bradford University School of Management. She is a member of the TGIC Board.
47 Ifeyinwa Maureen Okafor
CEO, International Packaging Industries Of Nigeria Ltd
A former Adviser, Imo State Government and an Amujae Leader (2021), Ifeyinwa is among 15 African women of which 3 are Nigerian mentored and coached by presidents and world leaders so they can unleash their potential as emerging global leaders.
Okafor, a multiple local and international award winner attended the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom, where she graduated with a first-class degree in Law. She is also an Alumnus of The Johnson Institute of Responsible Leadership, University of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.
A Chartered Accountant and Governance Professional, she spent the first 15 years of her career in banking and financial services.
48 Vivian Nwakah
Founder at Medsaf
Vivian Nwakah is the CEO of Medsaf. She is a serial entrepreneur and strategist that has created and innovated around execution in the healthcare, pharmaceutical and energy space. She is an award-winning Founder having received recognition from Forbes, the British Royal Family, Women in Africa, Seedstars and many more, as a high impact entrepreneur.
She brings an innovative approach learned from earlier moments in her career. She has won a myriad of awards for being a leader in sales. She was one of the youngest in her region to manage a multimillion dollar per year Wells Fargo Mortgage branch.
Also, she led a political campaign in Chicago’s south side and gained endorsements and funding from powerful unions. She has been covered in Reuters, CNN, Forbes, Financial Times, and AFP. Vivian attended University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a BA in Psychology and Sociology. She also attended the Global Partners program and studied business in the United States, France, and Brazil.
49 Benedicta Oyiana (PhD)
Partner, Chief People Officer at Platform Capital Investment
Benedicta Oyiana is an organisational Psychologist and HR leader. She brings almost two decades of experience spanning the FMCG, Oil & Gas, Banking and Management Consulting industries focusing on business process review and development, from providing business advisory services to SMEs.
Her expertise spans business transformation, performance and talent management, Learning & Development, change management, cultural transformation, Organisational Development and Merger & Aquisition to mention a few.
She is actively involved in the youth mentoring and women empowerment space and has several youth and gender developmental initiatives under her belt. She is a published researcher with focus on gender mainstreaming. She is passionate about human motivation, personal reengineering, coaching, mentoring and peak performance, having identified these as key ingredients to social development.
Benedicta obtained a PhD in Psychology from Walden University. She is an alumni of the prestigious Lagos Business School having obtained an MBA in General management (2010). She holds a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Delta state university. A Member of the Chartered Institute of personnel management (MCIPM), and a Life time member of Psi Chi in recognition of her outstanding scholastic achievements. She is a Mentor on both the Lagos Business School Alumni and WIMBIZ Mentoring Programs.
She currently volunteers as Deputy Director for Education on the LEAF Initiative, a Pan Nigerian development group of young technocrats.
50 Oremeyi Adeola Akah
Chief Customer Success Officer, Interswitch
As the Chief Customer Success Officer for Interswitch, she has thoroughly defined and delivered a customer centric experience blueprint across all customer touch points aligned with corporate core values and quality standards in line with their brand and business strategy for each of the six business lines in Nigeria, Germany, Kenya and Uganda- whilst, partnering with customers in their growth journey to unlock shareholder value.
Oremeyi has over two-decade hands-on customer success lead with proven experience working with multi-disciplinary professionals in Fintech, Payment & Processing Operations, Payment Consulting, Payment Card Products & Customer Centricity across emerging markets for the purpose of scaling to meet growing business demands.
She holds an MBA from Judge Business School University of Cambridge, UK with a concentration in International Business, and she is a certified E-payment trainer.