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IWD 2024: DailyAgent unveils 11 women of impact leading change in Nigeria

DailyAgent, (formerly TechnocratMedia) an independent online news with a knack for investigation, data analytics, insights and inclusive reporting, has unveiled its 2024 Women of Impact (WOI) to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD).


Abuja, Nigeria

DailyAgent, (formerly TechnocratMedia) an independent online news with a knack for investigation, data analytics, insights and inclusive reporting, has unveiled its 2024 Women of Impact (WOI) to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD).

The 2024 debut edition of WOI recognizes eleven Nigerian women who are leading change and making an impact in their spheres.

WOI is borne out of the need to recognize and celebrate exceptional women who are navigating the men-dominated world to lead change and drive sustainable impact. At DailyAgent, WOI is our way of recognizing and celebrating exceptional women who are defeating the old order to create lasting impacts in their communities.

How They Were Selected

To ensure the integrity of the process of selection for this prestigious recognition, we conducted deep searches with keywords across multiple credible news and social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) before concluding on the selection of our eleven women of impact for 2024.

Women of Impact 2024

Bukky Shonibare

Bukky Shonibare is the Executive Director of Invictus Africa, a civic organization that promotes human rights and gender equality through data-driven advocacy, technological solutions, and capacity development. Bukky advocates for gender-based violence prevention and response, women’s political representation, women’s health, women’s economic empowerment, and girls’ access to free, safe, and quality education.

Bukky holds a first-class Law (LL.B) degree from Baze University, Nigeria; and a first-class Bachelor’s degree (BSc) in Business Administration from SMC University, Switzerland. She also holds an Executive Master’s degree in Managing Peace and Security in Africa (MPSA) from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia; a Master of Laws (LLM) degree in International Law and Development from the University of Nottingham, UK; and an MSc in International Human Rights Law (IHRL) from the University of Oxford.

Bukky is a Ford Global Fellow, an Oxford-Commonwealth Scholar, a Developing Solutions Scholar, a Mandela Washington Fellow, and a Malala Fund Education Champion.

Cynthia Mbamalu

Cynthia Onyinye Mbamalu is a dedicated human and gender rights advocate and a development practitioner. She has an LLM in Comparative Constitutional Law from the Central European University (CEU). Cynthia is the co-founder of Yiaga Africa, where she leads as the Director of Programs and also the Executive Producer and Host of ‘The Unamplified Podcast’. In the past 17 years, she has worked especially on supporting sustainable democracies, engaging in constitutional review, and promoting political inclusion, electoral integrity, and human rights. 

Ms Mbamalu has participated in different election observation missions including the ECOWAS and Commonwealth Election observation missions. Cynthia leads the #WatchingTheVote project, a data and tech-driven initiative for electoral integrity. She was actively involved in the advocacy that led to the adoption of the Electoral Act 2022 in Nigeria. She is a founding member of the Not Too Young to Run movement which achieved the amendment of Nigeria’s Constitution to reduce the age for contesting elections. Ms Mbamalu also manages the Community Organizing Program for young people in West Africa and provides mentorship to young leaders. 

Cynthia Mbamalu is also an alumna of the; Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Leadership, Organizing and Action Executive Program, Central European University (CEU) Course on Constitution-Building in Africa, the University of South Africa (UNISA) Course on Management of Democratic Elections in Africa, the University of Cape Town on Leading in Public Life; Women, Influence Power Programme and the Cool Czechia Young African Leaders’ Study Program. 

Lola Adekanye

Lola Adekanye has dual responsibility at the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) serving both as the Country Director of CIPE, Nigeria overseeing operations and a diverse portfolio of programs, and in Nigeria; and leading CIPE’s Accountability, Governance, and Integrity (AGI) strategy in the Sub Sahara Africa region as a Program Director. 

Lola is an experienced international development professional with a demonstrated history of conceptualizing and executing innovative ideas even in difficult institutions and environments such as a flagship initiative implemented by CIPE called Ethics 1st. Ethics 1st is a multi-stakeholder tech-enabled solution designed to unlock accountable low-risk investment in Africa while creating an ecosystem of accountable businesses and investors. It is an innovative business and impact-oriented integrated solution platform that provides access to business integrity resources and support for MSMEs and then connects them to accountable investors and multinational partners.

Skilled in institutional reform through collective action, and multi-stakeholder cooperation towards public policy to strengthen transparency, encourage accountable investment, mainstream best practices, and compliance for businesses in diverse contexts, Lola has advised institutional stakeholders in public and private sectors in over five (5) countries. Her thematic expertise ranges from international financial regulations, Illicit financial flows, beneficial ownership transparency, business integrity and accountability in value chains, regulatory efficiency, and the rule of law.

Lola is a member of the Bretton Woods Committee and serves on several committees and boards applying her experience in exploring private sector-led solutions to complex governance challenges. She is passionate about advancing innovative solutions and leveraging technology to strengthen public and private sector accountability and exploring innovative methods of aligning market forces with ethical values. 

She is a licensed attorney and a member of the New York State and the Nigerian Bar Society. She holds two LL.M degrees; in Securities and International Financial Regulations from Georgetown University and in International Economics Law from the University of Warwick, England; as well as an advanced certificate in circular economy from the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge amongst others.

Oladiwura Oladepo

Oladiwura Oladepo is the Executive Director and Co-Founder at Technology for Social Change and Development Initiative (DBA Tech4Dev), a non-profit that creates access to decent work and entrepreneurship opportunities and platforms for Africans through digital skills empowerment and advocacy. And has directly impacted over 120,000 Africans.

She is championing gender equality and contribution to change for Women through her initiative Women Techsters which aims to empower 5 million women across Africa by 2030 with digital and technology skills for increased economic power. The initiative has reached over 100,000 women across 22 African countries through digital skilling and advocacy.

Oladiwura has a Master of Advanced Management from Yale School of Management. She is a Waislitz Global Citizen Prize Awardee 2022, JCI Top Ten Outstanding Young Persons of Nigeria 2022, Female Innovator of the Year 2023, AfriTech Awards, and United Nations Solutions Summit Solution Maker 2019.

Oluwafunke Adeoye

‘Funke Adeoye is a  Lawyer and Social Entrepreneur She is the founder of Hope Behind Bars Africa, a social impact organisation working to close the justice and reoffending gap in Nigeria through legal support, diversionary measures, policy advocacy and technology. 

A graduate of law from the University of Benin, Funke is a Fellow of Cornell University Makwanyane Institute for Capital Defenders. She has an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from Lagos Business School and is currently a Commonwealth Scholar at the University of Oxford. 

A Mandela Washington Fellow and an Acumen West Africa Fellow. In 2020, she was listed by Attic London as one of the lawyers changing the world for the better and in 2023, she won the Global Citizen Prize. 

Oluwafunmilayo Ladepo

Oluwafunmilayo Ladepo is a graduate of Architecture from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and completed her Master’s in 2001. She has since worked in Abuja in a wide range of industries.

She began her career in the design and construction industry and worked as an architect for various firms as a Project Architect until she joined the British High Commission in April 2006.

At the BHC, she worked with the UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) for 13 years and during that time she managed different teams for over 7 years.

In July 2019, she joined the Chevening programme where she has had the opportunity to manage a large portfolio of activities ranging from the selection process of Chevening Scholars, creating opportunities for alumni engagement, and targeted opportunities for promotions and partnerships to date.

Omowumi Ogunrotimi

Omowumi  Ogunrotimi is a systems leader and feminist lawyer with an academic background in gender and development studies. She is the founder of Gender Mobile Initiative, an organization working at the intersection of gender, technology and education to advance intersectional gender equality and eliminate gender-based violence through the pillars of intersectionality, women’s leadership, accountability, learning and measurement.

Her work is focused on driving system-wide changes to promote equitable, safe, healthy, and inclusive access to education by combating sexual violence in environments of learning through technology adoption and high-impact policy advocacy. She is a recipient of the  Commonwealth Youth Award of Excellence in Development Work and was announced by the Institute of Justice and Reconciliation as one of the top 10 young gender justice advocates in Africa. She is an Ashoka Fellow and was recently announced by the African Visionary Fund as one of her portfolio leaders.

Osasuyi Dirisu, PhD

Osasuyi Dirisu is the Executive Director of the Policy Innovation Centre and Senior Fellow of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group where she oversees behavioural and policy interventions in health, governance, gender and social inclusion in Nigeria. She was formerly Research Director at the Population Council and in that role led research and interventions in Maternal Newborn and Child Health, Family Planning, Female Genital Mutilation, HIV and Gender-Based Violence. 

She led the development of the National Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Dashboard (, an innovative data visualization platform for the collation of validated, real-time GBV data in Nigeria. In 2022, she pioneered the Gender and Development certificate course and led the convening of the first National Gender and Inclusion Summit which has now been institutionalized as an annual event. 

She holds an MBBS degree from the University of Ibadan; an MPH from the University of Lagos, an MBA from the Pan-Atlantic University and a PhD from the University of Leeds. She is also an alumnus of the Harvard Kennedy School, the Blavatnik School of Government, and the University of Oxford. Osasuyi is a widely sought-after speaker and is listed as one of the top 100 career women in Africa.

Tengi George-Ikoli

Tengi George-Ikoli is a lawyer and economic by training and an energy policy analyst by profession. She is a Global Member representative on the Global Council of Publish What You Pay (PWYP), an international coalition of more than 1000 organizations. She is a former Program Coordinator of the Nigeria Natural Resource Charter (NNRC) in Nigeria, a policy think tank committed to good governance of Nigeria’s extractive sector for the benefit of citizens. 

In her current role, she serves as Senior Officer at the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) leading the Nigeria program with a focus on achieving a just energy transition that ensures the transition-led risks are managed effectively and energy transition processes are inclusive, participatory and responsive to the needs of Nigerians. 

Through her decades-long experience working in the extractive sector, she has facilitated extractive resource governance reforms in Nigeria and her efforts contributed to the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021. Tengi holds a joint honors LLB in law and economics from the University of Wales, Swansea and an LLM from the University of Bristol.

Yemi Adamolekun

‘Yemi currently serves as the Executive Director of Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE), a non-partisan network of individuals and organizations committed to building a culture of good governance & public accountability in Nigeria through active citizenship.

EiE has led various advocacy campaigns including its flagship #RSVP: Register to vote | Select credible candidates | Vote not fight | Protect your vote Campaign promoting voter education and participation. It is Nigeria’s longest-running get-out-the-vote campaign. With the “Select” component, EiE has hosted / c0-hosted the most debates of different formats in Nigeria.  

EiE is also involved in the #OpenNASS campaign calling for accountability and transparency in the National Assembly. To mark its 5th anniversary in 2015, it started the ‘Office of the Citizen’ Campaign, which is focused on teaching citizens their rights & responsibilities as they occupy the highest office in the land. 

EiE continues to be actively involved in the #BringBackOurGirls campaign calling for the government to find and rescue the Chibok girls, and by extension protect Nigerian citizens and account for those missing and displaced.   

‘Yemi has a 23-year diverse career spanning the public and private sectors in the US and Nigeria. She volunteers for Kaleyewa House, an NGO founded by her late mother focused on the elderly. In 2018, she was named as one of the Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD), endorsed by the United Nations in the Humanitarian & Religious category. In 2019, she joined the Africa Program of the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) in the US as a non-resident Senior Associate. In May 2022, she won the Global Citizen Prize.

‘Yemi grew up on the campus of the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) but started her university education at the University of Lagos. She has a first degree in Mathematics & Economics from the University of Virginia; an MSc in Development Studies from The London School of Economics (LSE) and an MBA from Oxford University’s Said Business School. 

‘Yemi cares deeply about educating and empowering Nigerians to know their rights and responsibilities as she believes that until we consistently hold our elected officials accountable, Nigeria will continue to be underdeveloped and unjust. This is summarised in one of her favourite quotes: 

Zaliha A. Lawal

Zaliha A. Lawal is a community development practitioner, an advocate of social equality, and a conflict management researcher. She works with Connected Development as Deputy Director of Programs and Sustainable Development Goals coordinator in FollowtheMoney countries. She designs interventions, supervises implementation, manages stakeholders, monitors results, composes implementation teams and manages risks. 

She is a fellow of the Kashim Ibrahim Fellowship, Ban Ki-Moon Center and Population Reference Bureau (PRB). She is a member of the advisory board of TransparencIT and chairs the board of Spotlight Transparency and Accountability Initiative, amongst others.

Zaliha is a member of the Youth Advisory Group for the United Nations Population Fund and Open Government Partnership. She was also a committee member of the first Ban Ki-Moon Center Accelerator Fund program. She holds a BSc and MSc in Public Administration and is a certified Project Manager from Project Management Institute.  Her goal is to have a Nigerian system where meritocracy comes first, where people in the most remote part of the country can access social amenities and hold the government accountable. Her dedication to serving marginalised communities gave her the Young Impact Maker Award 2019 and a Global Juror for the 5th Global Entreps Awards on the SDGs. She enjoys travelling, negotiating and event planning.

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