Leading social entrepreneurs moving barriers and contributing to 'Everyone A Changemaker' world
For more than 30 years, Ashoka Africa has been fostering Africas' largest network of system-change social entrepreneurs. Ashoka Nigeria is part of the Ashoka Africa Hub and was launched in 1990. Our first and longest running program in Anglophone West Africa to date includes over 110 systems-changing social entrepreneurs, whom we call Ashoka Fellows. The regional office based in Lagos covers Cameroon, Liberia, Nigeria and Ghana.
Our goal is to stimulate and support the most innovative entrepreneurial solutions to the social and environmental challenges we face today. And to foster “Everyone A Changemaker” societies along with other key stakeholders across sectors. This means equipping more people, including young people, with the skillset and a connection to the purpose so that they can contribute ideas and effectively solve problems in their worlds - be it in their family, community, city, workplace, field, industry, country, or beyond. We provide connections to a global network and a platform for people dedicated to changing the world. Ashoka is also ideally positioned to identify patterns in social innovation, convene key decision-makers from the social entrepreneurship, corporate, public and investment sectors to facilitate the emergence of collaborative models that can address the most critical societal challenges at large scale.
While the Ashoka network includes social entrepreneurs working on any critical societal issue - from education, human rights, civic participation, economic development to nutrition and healthcare among others – we are eager to spot and supply solutions that are particularly relevant in the current regional context such as social cohesion, addressing economic inequalities, quality education for all and climate resilience amongst others.
Ashoka Venture and Fellowship
Our longest running and cornerstone program is Venture and Fellowship, through which we select catalytic social entrepreneurs, with the potential to not only achieve impact in their organization but transform systems. Ashoka Fellows are leading social entrepreneurs who are tackling the toughest challenges facing society today. Since launching Ashoka in Anglophone West Africa, we have elected and supported over 110 social innovators.
Ashoka’s Venture program begins with a proactive search and rigorous selection process to find the next Fellows to join the Ashoka community. Each year we receive over 100 nominations and applications in the region.
The Fellowship program offers financial and non-financial strategic support to its members. Our focus is on leveraging our network of peers and supporters, honing in key topics such as systems-change, financial and personal sustainability, and providing strategic opportunities to Fellows throughout their careers and stages of development as the non-financial support is not time bound. A Fellow may be at an inflection point to get an innovative idea off the ground or may have already achieved national impact and made a “scratch on history” with their idea.
Ashoka Young Changemakers
Ashoka Young Changemakers are a carefully selected network of young people between the ages of 12 and 20 years, who have found their power to create change for the good of all, and who are engaging their peers and the entire society in realizing a world where everyone is a changemaker. We hold the belief that one of the most effective ways to improve the lives of young people and the world at large is to empower them to realize their own ability to create positive social change. We are aiming at cultivating and building an eco-system that supports youth to be changemakers. Through their initiatives, Young Changemakers become role models in their community, proving that it is possible to be actively engaged and to Lead Young. Beyond their immediate surrounding, they also convey their message of change by participating in large outreach events or campaigns in Africa.
Ashoka Changemaker Schools
Discover the Changemaker Schools program around the world
Ashoka Africa Builders
Ashoka Africa Builders is a community of successful and innovative leaders from the corporate, investment or public sectors who connect with Ashoka’s leading social entrepreneurs to accelerate positive social change. They support Ashoka financially as well as strategically, offering their network, time and expertise.
Based on the success of the Ashoka Support Network around the world (ASN), Ashoka Africa is in the process of launching a committed and collaborative community of Ashoka Builders who are eager to roll up their sleeves and support Ashoka, Ashoka Fellows, young leaders and Changemaker schools on the continent intensify and scale their impact.
Are you a business leader and do you want to share your expertise?
Join the founding circle of Ashoka Africa Builders Network in Anglophone West Africa. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us to learn more about how members bring value to and benefit from the Ashoka network, and email [email protected] with any questions about the program.
Impact! Africa Social Entrepreneurship Summit
Ashoka West Africa is regularly hosting action-focused events to connect our network of Fellows, young leaders and Changemaker schools to other changemakers from the philanthropy, corporate, investment or public sectors. We believe in the power of sharing, learning from experience and co-creating new solutions to current societal challenges and in the need to provide platforms for greater collaboration across sectors.
The Pan-African Impact! Africa Summit is an annual event hosted in collaboration with the British Council to accelerate innovation and solutions to Africa's most pressing challenges. The summit brings together social entrepreneurs and key ecosystem players across the continent.
The first edition of the Summit took place in Johannesburg - South Africa in June 2018. The second edition was held in East Africa in Nairobi – Kenya in December 2019. The third edition will take place in Nigeria for the first time in West Africa.
Ashoka Africa 2019 Impact Report
The Ashoka Africa’s 2019 Impact Report highlights our work and impact in Africa for 2019. It serves as an overview of all the above mentioned programmes, eco-system building events, Fellows, Young Changemakers and network of supporters.
Pape Samb comes to Ashoka with 20 years of leadership experience and an established record in strategic planning, program development and management, content management, fundraising, proposal writing, training and facilitation. At 13, he started a women’s empowerment and youth economic development organization. At 17, he was president of CAP-Jeunesse, a Senegalese network of youth organizations; and was hired by the Senegalese government to train youth in entrepreneurship, business and grassroots organization management.
Okey is a global Leadership Group Member of Ashoka and currently leads the Youth Years strategy in Africa. In the last year, he has been establishing and co-leading strategic partnerships with government, faculties of education, publishers, education unions and the media, towards a movement that creates an enabling environment for young people to feel, act, and thrive as changemakers. Okey has been a pioneer in justice reform, security reform, and social transformation at the national and regional levels in West Africa for 15 years. Previously, he led the ECOWAS Commission reform program in improving transparency, accountability, effectiveness, and people participation in security decision making. He has supported regional policy formulation, parliamentary capacity building, knowledge sharing, and forging multilateral and multisector partnerships. He is the Founder of EduTrust Foundation and Ofala Publishers Ltd. A lawyer and Master’s degree holder in Conflict, Security and Development from King’s College London, Okey loves to write, to teach, and to capture beautiful moments of joy and wonder through poetry and travel photography.
Angelou’s love for the environment stretches far back to when she was a little girl who had the chance to escape the dense urban streets of Jersey City, New Jersey, to summer in her family’s home in upstate New York. After a brief stint of practicing law, it was through her work as a Legal Specialist for the New Jersey State Agriculture and Development Committee that Angelou embarked upon a career as an environmentalist.
Angelou further honed her skills as a Project Manager for the Trust for Public Land (TPL) in both its New Jersey and Georgia offices. In her position, Angelou acquired land for preservation and worked on the New York/New Jersey Highlands Program, Parks for People-Newark, the New York/New Jersey Harbor Program in New Jersey, the Atlanta Beltline and the 20 County Regional Greenspace Initiative in Georgia.
While at TPL, Angelou realized the disconnect between the land that was being preserved and the education of people about that preservation—particularly as it related to our next generation. This was the impetus for the Greening Youth Foundation. As a woman and minority-founded and led non-profit, Angelou is at the helm of a movement to provide environmental and wellness education and career pathways to a new generation, both in the United States and in countries throughout Africa. Angelou was elected as an Ashoka Fellow in 2016 for her work at the Greening Youth Foundation, where she remains the CEO today. The Greening Youth Foundation is cultivating a generation of youth of color to be stewards of our land and natural resources, ultimately shifting the demographics of the environment conservation movement.
Angelou is a graduate of Spelman College, Georgia. She received her Juris Doctorate in Law from the University of Florida, College of Law. Angelou is a member of the National Center for Civil and Human Right’s Women in Solidarity Society, and Georgia Audubon boards; Advisory Board Member for Outdoor Afro, The Million Mile Greenway, Inc., Keeping It Wild, Inc., and Rachel’s Network; and most recently the author of “Engage, Connect, Protect: Empowering Diverse Youth as Environmental Leaders. Angelou is a lover of cultural dance, hiking and birds and good avocado toast! As recent empty-nesters, Angelou and her husband of 25 years, split their time between Atlanta, GA and Lagos, Nigeria.
Ifeyinwa joined Ashoka as the Venture and Fellowship manager of Anglophone West Africa. Born in Nigeria where women are denied equal opportunities to men she decided to commit her life to creating an environment where women and men have equal opportunities to live quality lives. She started off as an adolescent reproductive health and gender development trainer, positioning young women with information and skills to help them question gender roles and become visible and empowered members of their communities. In 2010 Ifeyinwa became one of the Young Champions of maternal health selected to a fellowship where she learnt how to use a volunteer method to provide practical support to pregnant women during pregnancy until the baby is one year old. Afterwards she went back to Nigeria and started the Birthing Project Nigeria, providing women with access to quality medical care before, during and after deliveries. She holds a Bachelors’ degree in Sociology.
Sarah Mujulizi joined Ashoka in 2019 as the Knowledge and Communications Associate at the Africa Hub in Lagos, Nigeria. She brings on board years of experience providing strategies, community engagement, content management and project management skills. In her previous roles, she delivered strategic media and communication solutions to a niche market of development actors in government, not-for-profit organizations, and international bodies like the United Nations and the African Union. Sarah is currently serving as the Fellowship and Partnership Associate for Ashoka in Africa and the Program Manager for the Accelerating Climate Change Solutions in Africa project. Sarah is working to amplify Ashoka's 'Everyone a Changemaker' vision in Africa.
Paula Ugwu is passionate about food security, poverty alleviation, youth and female empowerment, and has contributed to academic researches that inform knowledge on the role of African women in agriculture and the pricing system of agricultural produce on the Italian Commodity Exchange market.
Moreover, she possesses a Master of Science degree in Agricultural and Food Economics and has over five years of work experience in diverse areas including, but not limited to Program Management, Project Management, Partnerships, Human Resources and Retail Management.
Currently, she leads the Transforming Children and Youth Years program in Anglophone West Africa and supports Partnerships in Africa. In this capacity, she is identifying and supporting young changemakers in the region to increase visibility and social impact of their work while positioning them for success through collaborative partnerships.
Ashoka Anglophone West Africa
Ashoka Anglophone West Africa
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