Eniola Mafe was named one of the 99 most influential foreign policy leaders under the age of 33 by the by Diplomatic Courier and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy in 2011, as well as 13 Young Africans Business/Economic Leaders to Watch in 2013 by Ventures Africa Magazine.

She was born in the United Kingdom, though her ethnicity can be traced to Western Nigeria and she speaks German and Yoruba fluently.

Mafe is the Program Manager for the Niger Delta Partnership Initiative Foundation (NDPI), established by Chevron Corporation in 2010 to invest in socio-economic development programs in the Niger Delta region. Under this initiative, Chevron established a US$ 50 million fund to support a portfolio of projects and partnerships aimed at reducing poverty in the region.

As a partnership initiative, NDPI generates collaboration among a diverse collection of partners including bilateral and multilateral aid donor agencies, federal and state government agencies in Nigeria, private companies and civil society organisations.

She is passionate about growing economies through youth empowerment. Mafe is a thought leader who believes that empowering youth with skills that companies need and then placing them in sustainable formal sector jobs not only benefits employers and youth but also boosts developing economies as a whole.

“It’s imperative to be able to answer the question of development to be able to answer some of the questions on youth employment,” Mafe says.

“By tapping into other value chains, such as fisheries and cassava farming, as well as giving youth the skills and resources to enter those fields and make informed economic decisions, the regional economy can be strengthened.”

Infograpic by TYI.

She served as Program Manager on Africa at Vital Voices Global Partnership with a special focus on organisational development, entrepreneurship, and economic development in sub-Saharan Africa

It is driven by the need to identify, invest in and bring visibility to extraordinary women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential to transform lives and accelerate peace and prosperity in their communities.

Mafe managed the Africa Businesswomen’s Network (ABWN), a partnership among local African businesswomen’s organisations that enhances the management, business development, and leadership skills of businesswomen.

She also manages other programs focused on the growth of women-led small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Since its formation in 2008 the network has developed member associations in six countries and has served more than 21,000 women.

Prior to joining Vital Voices, she worked with Women’s World Banking Ghana (WWBG), where she developed social impact methodology to quantify the social and community impact of the microfinance institution on its clients, investors, and the wider community. She also worked at APCO Worldwide, where she focused on corporate responsibility research and market analysis. 

Mafe began her career as an Equity Financing Analyst for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. She is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer on the topic of economic development and women’s entrepreneurship development in Africa.

She holds an MA from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, specialising in International Business and Development, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with BA in International Studies from Spelman College.