Hafsat Abiola-Costello

Hafsat Abiola-Costello is an acclaimed human rights and democracy activist. She is currently acting as President of the Woman in Africa initiative, a leading international platform for supporting African women entrepreneurs.

Through her non-profit organisation, the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), Hafsat is building a groundswell of women and youth leaders in Nigeria. Her work is a tribute to her parents, who died in the course of Nigeria’s pro-democracy movement.

Since the age of 19, she has been promoting democracy, gender equality and just global governance through organisations as diverse as the African Women’s Forum, the World Economic Forum, Gucci’s Chime for Change campaign and the World Future Council. She has served as a member of the Ogun State Cabinet, where she advised the Governor on trade and investment. From 2011 to 2015, she was the Special Advisor on MDGs. She was Women in Africa Ambassador for Nigeria in 2017, a member of the Board in 2018 and has served as President of the organisation since May 2018.

She holds a BA (honours) from Harvard College in development economics and a Master’s in international development from Tsinghua University. She is married and has two children.




Gender Equality, Human Rights and Migration


International Organisations




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