Dr. Marcia Mandiyanike serves as the Executive Director and the driving force behind the Habeeb Okunola Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to catalysing social and economic transformation in underserved communities across Nigeria and the Republic of Benin.
She is a staunch advocate for women and girls, gender equality, and youth empowerment, as well as a dedicated proponent of quality education, poverty alleviation, and sustainable development. With over a decade of leadership experience at the grassroots, national, regional, and international levels, Dr. Mandiyanike leverages her extensive knowledge and expertise to drive impactful programs addressing multifaceted challenges faced by marginalized populations.
At the core of Dr. Mandiyanike’s leadership lies an unwavering commitment to accelerating the realization of SDG 1 – No Poverty. She firmly believes that sustainable progress hinges on building shared prosperity and addressing the root causes of poverty in Nigeria and across Africa. Under her guidance, the foundation has strategically designed need-based interventions that encompass healthcare, quality education, rural livelihood enhancement, financial inclusion, and access to clean water.
She has championed comprehensive humanitarian support, providing relief to those affected by emergencies, conflict, and displacement. Furthermore, Dr. Mandiyanike has played a pivotal role in pioneering significant prison reforms, advocating for humane treatment and rehabilitation of incarcerated individuals, thereby contributing to a more just and equitable society. These initiatives have not only improved the lives of thousands but have also served as a beacon of hope for countless communities.
She is particularly passionate about empowering women and youth, firmly believing that unlocking the potential of these demographics is a key driver of progress. Dr. Mandiyanike envisions a future where poverty is vanquished, communities thrive, and individuals are equipped with the tools to lead fulfilling lives. Her dynamic and innovative leadership continues to inspire hope and transformation, both locally and abroad.
Dr Marcia Mandiyanike holds a PhD in Gender Studies from University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, a Master of Arts in Development Studies from University of Botswana, and a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies from University of Botswana.