Hafsat Abiola-Costello: A World Democracy Champion Like Martin Luther King Jr., Corazon Aquino, & Nelson Mandela

16 Aug

Hafsat Abiola-Costello is a human rights, democracy activist and day 4’s hero of  Scott Lazerson’s A Hero A Day.

Mrs. Abiola-Costello comes from a family of dedicated Pan-Africanists in Nigeria. Her father, M.K.O. Abiola, won the Presidential election held in Nigeria in 1993 but served out his term in solitary confinement, incarcerated by the military. He died in prison, on the eve of his release. Her mother, Kudirat, was a democracy leader who organized major strikes, marches, and fought assiduously against the military. In 1996, she was assassinated in the streets of Lagos.

To continue the legacy left by her parents, Ms. Abiola founded and directs an organization called the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), which seeks to strengthen civil society and promote democracy in Nigeria.

Ms. Abiola is also involved in the global movement to empower youth and women and to strengthen democracy. She was a founding member of the State of the World Forum’s Emerging Leaders Program and Global Youth Connect. Currently, she is a Fetzer Fellow and serves on the Boards of Youth Employment Summit, Educate Girls Globally, Women’s Learning Partnership, Hewlett Packard’s World e-Inclusion Project, and the Global Security Institute.

Ms. Abiola holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University. Honors received include the Youth Peace and Justice Award from the Cambridge Peace Commission in 1997, the State of the World Forum Changemaker Award in 1998, the Association for Women’s Rights in Development’s “Woman to Watch for” Award in 1999, the World Economic Forum’s Global Leader of Tomorrow Award in 2000, and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Global Award in 2001.

To learn more about Mrs. Abiola-Costello’s inspiring work please go to www.kind.org

Hafsat Abiola-Costello is Executive Director of the Kudirat Initiative of Democracy, an NGO that works to strengthen & empower women throughout Africa by providing leadership training

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