Over the past two decades, West Africa has experienced rapid democratization and significant economic progress. Yet it remains among the world’s poorest regions. While rich in natural resources, the vast abundance of the region has not been used to benefit all its people. Poor and rural communities shoulder most of the costs of natural resources extraction (financial and otherwise), but get few benefits in return.

For women, these challenges are compounded by cultural norms, laws, and high rates of violence that inhibit economic opportunity and limit participation. Though they make up about half of West Africa’s population, women are significantly underrepresented in elected positions, and their voices are often missing in decision-making.

We believe there has never been a better or more important time to put women and girls at the center of efforts to address inequality in West Africa.

Grant makers in West Africa

Portrait of Catherine Chinedum (ChiChi) Aniagolu-Okoye

Catherine Chinedum (ChiChi) Aniagolu-Okoye

Director, West Africa Lagos, Nigeria
Portrait Olufunke Baruwa wearing a red top and black frame glasses against a mustard yellow background.

Olufunke Baruwa

Program Officer, West Africa Lagos, Nigeria
Portrait of Joy Ehinor-Esezobor

Joy Ehinor-Esezobor

Program Manager, West Africa Lagos, Nigeria
Portrait of Emmanuel Kuyole

Emmanuel Kuyole

Program Officer, West Africa Lagos, Nigeria
Portrait of Dabesaki Mac-Ikemenjima.

Dabesaki Mac-Ikemenjima

Senior Program Officer, West Africa Lagos, Nigeria
Portrait of Onyinye Onyemobi.

Onyinye Onyemobi

Program Associate, West Africa Lagos, Nigeria
Watermarked Ford Foundation logo against a sand colored background.

Chizulu Uwolloh

Program Assistant, West Africa Lagos, Nigeria