50 Inspiring Women in Northern Nigeria

50 Inspiring women in Northern Nigeria

Written by Ummu-Salma Ahmad

Ummu-Salma Ahmad is a student and a freelance writer mainly working on entertainment and news reports. A bibliophile who loves to eat.

March 30, 2021

The Women Founder’s Group, an initiative of StartUp Kano marks International Women’s Day by organizing conferences and programs that celebrate phenomenal women who have made remarkable contributions to society. In 2021, they celebrated 50 inspiring women who have stood out and built businesses and work that is motivating despite the pandemic which has kept people at home.

The theme for this year’s conference is #SheForProgress and will focus on these women who have beat the odds.

Here Is The List of 50 Inspiring Northern Women In No Particular Order

1. Amina Abdulrahman

Amina Abdulrahman is the founder of Almajira Inspire Initiative, an Initiative working on inspiring, educating, and encouraging young women from Northern Nigeria to aspire to achieve more for the development of the region.

She is also a communication strategist, Women, Girl Child, and Youth Advocate and a Motivator.

2. Aisha Augie

Aisha Augie is a Nigerian photographer and filmmaker who won the award for the Creative Artist of the year at the 2011 The Future Awards. She’s also the Special Adviser (Digital Communications Strategy) to the Federal Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning.

She leads various development initiatives for the advocacy of youth and women empowerment across Nigeria.

3. Maryam Lemu

Maryam Lemu is an international speaker and an adept seminar and workshop facilitator. She one of the Directors of ProStart Consultants, a capacity-building consultancy firm based in Nigeria. She is passionate about human development and character building and helps her audience identifying a sense of purpose and direction in life and the positive impact it exerts on both work and personal life.

4. Sa’adat Aliyu

Saadat Aliyu, also known as Soosy Amoora is the Founder of Shamrock Innovations, A women and youth Centric Tech Hub in Kano State, Nigeria. She is a Women In tech Advocate where she supports women especially in Northern Nigeria on software development and entrepreneurship skills.  She is a passionate Android Application Developer and a community builder.

She recently built a mobile app that helps report rape cases and was recently honored by The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami.

5. Hadiza Bala Usman

Hadiza Bala Usman is a Nigerian politician who since 2016 is serving as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority. She co-founded the Bring Back Our Girls campaign group to advocate the rescue of the Chibok abducted schoolgirls. She is also a founding member of the ruling All Progressives Congress.

6. Amal Hassan

Amal Hassan is a Nigerian technopreneur with diverse interests across different technology verticals. She is the Chief Executive Officer at Outsource Global Technologies Ltd., Abuja. Her current passion is in harnessing the creative potentials of women and young people to foster sustainable partnerships, digital solutions, and innovative models in Nigeria, Africa, and beyond.

7. Amina J. Muhammad

Amina J. Muhammad is a Nigerian diplomat and politician who is serving as the fifth Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. She coordinated the Task Force on Gender and Education for the United Nations Millennium Project. Before then, she served as Nigeria’s Minister of Environment in 2015 until her appointment.

8. Amina Sambo

Dr. Amina Sambo Magaji is the National Coordinator, Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE), Nigeria. Under her stewardship at OIIE, NITDA she has restructured the office to serve as an agile facilitator in the tech innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. She is an Artificial Intelligence researcher with practical skills for innovation and design thinking.

9. Fatima Askira

Fatima Askira is the Founder and Executive Director of Borno Women Development Initiative, an organization that aims to empower women and youth to play a constructive role in promoting peace and tolerance.

Fatima is a member of the African Women Leadership Network (AWLN), and the Secretary of AWLN Nigeria Chapter as well as FEMWISE-Africa, promoting the participation of young women in peace processes.

10. Azeeza Idris

Azeeza Idris is a bilingual writer who has to her credit fourteen novels, two cookbooks, and two English novels. Azizah is currently, the secretary of, Gombe State Writers’ Association and a member of the Mace Mutum writers’ Association.

Azeeza is also a continental chef who runs her culinary school in Gombe.

11. Hauwa Lamino

Dr. Hauwa Lamino is a Lecturer at Nasarawa State University, Keffi. Dr. Hauwa specializes in vast areas of Management which includes; corporate governance, human resource management, marketing, organizational behavior, strategic management, and Entrepreneurship.

She is a certified trainer of the Centre for Management and Development (CMD). She is currently the Initiator; Chairperson, Board of Trustees, and Co-Founder of Emerging Young Entrepreneur Initiative.

12. Dr. Zainab Yaro

Dr. Zainab Yaro is Deputy Head of Clinic at O.A.G.F|| Infant/Child CPR & a First-aid Trainer. She is skilled in Conducting Deliveries & Neonatal Resuscitation and possesses vast knowledge in Nutrition and Lactation Therapy.

She is a member Medical Women Association Of Nigeria (MWAN) and Red Cross Society. She is also Certified In Health Safety and Environment at Clemads Global Consulting Ltd.

13. Dr. Zainab Bagudu

Dr. Zainab Bagudu is a Paediatric Consultant, a loud voice in the fight against cancer, and has a longstanding interest in advocating for the rights of women and children. She is the Founder of the Medicaid Cancer Foundation (MCF) and the MD/CEO of Medicaid radio-diagnostics Limited, which was established in 2009 in response to the paucity of diagnostic services in Nigeria.

She is also the First Lady of Kebbi State.

14. Hadiza Abba

Hadiza Abba is an accomplished human rights and gender expert with over 10 years of legal experience in promoting international human rights within criminal justice and the development context. She is a senior legal officer at INEC.

She has facilitated the provision of career guidance to several female students some of which have gone to secure admissions in challenging courses at top Nigerian universities.

15. Dr. Salamat Aliyu

Dr. Salamat Aliyu is the first female neurosurgeon in West Africa. She is also the first indigenous-trained female neurosurgeon in Nigeria. She currently works at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital. She was listed in the top 100 persons of the year by Arewa socio-political group in 2016.

16. Farida Kabir

Farida Kabir is a Nigerian epidemiologist, software developer, and technology entrepreneur. She is the team lead for Google Women TechMakers and co-organizer for Google Developer Group, Abuja. She is also the founder/CEO of OTRAC, a health technology company that develops enterprise software systems for the healthcare sector in Nigeria.

17. Fati Abubakar

Fati Abubakar is a Nigerian photojournalist and documentary photographer. Her work has been published in The New York Times, CNN Africa, BBC, and the Voice of America. She works primarily to document the travails of Borno, including the Boko Haram insurgency.

She has a project called Bits of Borno.

18. Intissar Kurfi

Intissar Kurfi is Managing Partner at Ifrique Eco Solutions. She is an advocate of Environmental Sustainability. She works to promote SDG 6, which is providing clean water and sanitation through Sustainovation Solutions.

The company now produces interlocking tiles and eco-friendly toilets using wastes from pep bottles and used sachet water plastics.

Related: How Nigerian Man Built House Using 14,800 Plastic Bottles

19. Hauwa Elyakub

Hauwa Elyakub is Chief Executive Officer INEDI tech solutions and consulting firm Kano, an IT and Management & Development Consulting firm. She’s also the Executive Director of Ilman Nafi’an Education and Development Initiative INEDI. She was honored with the award of the most outstanding humanitarian service to rural communities by the Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered) in 2018.

20. Huwaila Ibrahim

Dr. Huwaila Ibrahim is a legal practitioner in Kano state, an activist and advocate of women and girls’ rights. She is the Chairperson of the Observatory Committee on Violence against women and girls (OBSTEC), a member of the Coalition against Rape and Violence (CARAV).

She is involved in cases of child rape, domestic abuse, violence, and peacebuilding as well as a lot of humanitarian and public enlightenment activities.

21. Aisha Falke

Aisha Falke is a business strategist, blogger, and social media marketing expert who is an amazing team lead. She spearheads online marketing initiatives like paid advertising and affiliate programming and has aided in the development and implementation of online marketing strategies for launches, re-branding campaigns, and other strategic initiatives.

22. Maryam Abbas

Maryam Abbas is a Digital Marketer with a specialization in Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing & E-commerce.  She coaches and consults people on how to run and manage their businesses on social media in Hausa.

She is also Certified Ecommerce Marketing Specialist.

23. Laila Othman

Laila Othman is a Nigerian interior designer, writer, and reality TV presenter. She is the founder of the Non-profit organization, Layla Initiative for the Boy and Girl Child Charity Foundation (LIBGC), a TV Host, Presenter of Voices of the Youth, the owner of L Magazine, and also a chef.

Through her Reality TV Show, Laylah’s Way, she has reached out to the masses and the general public. She uses the TV show to aid people who can’t afford a luxury lifestyle or earn a decent living by giving them a complete home makeover.

24. Maryam Hassan

Maryam Hassan is Business Analyst at ProvidusBank who has vast experience in Product Development and Project Management, Payments and Collections, Fintech Business, Digital Platforms, and Virtual Channels. She is an associate member of the Chartered Institute of personnel management with good knowledge in psychology, people management, and customer service.

25. Samira Sanusi

Samira Sanusi is a Nigerian writer and Sickle Cell awareness advocate. Samira is the President of the Samira Sanusi Sickle Cell Foundation, an Abuja-based NGO. She is also the author of “S is for Survivor”, a memoir about her personal experiences with Sickle Cell Anemia and getting cured.

Read: I’d Rather Be HIV Positive Than Continue Living With Sickle Cell

She also wrote a book to be published this year titled “I Wrote This For You”, a collection of prose, poetry, philosophical quotes, and short essays.

26. Surayya Ahmad

Surayya Ahmad is the Chief Executive Officer of Daily Store Online (YDS) a newly established e-commerce company in Nigeria. She’s an entrepreneur and a product manager.

Her role in providing aid to the victims of the Oyo massacre in 2021 was instrumental in getting the victims to safety.

27. Ummahani Amin

Ummahani Amin is an experienced Managing Partner with a demonstrated history of working in the law practice industry. She is skilled in Negotiation, Business Planning, International Law, Risk Management, and Criminal Law.

She’s the CEO of Metropolitan Skills Ltd and founder of The Metropolitan Law Firm.

28. Halima Zawiya

Halima Zawiya is a farmer who specializes in rice and vegetable cultivation. She is also a TED UK speaker, culinary expert, and Maggi Seasoning model.

She has a great passion for food and you’ll find her around it always. She started her farm at the age of 24 in Kano and has been going strong ever since.

29. Sabiqa Bello

Sabiqa Bello is a certified youth trainer, a teenage writer, and a spoken word artist. She conveys important messages to the public through her reminders as well as poetry.

Read: These Tips Helped Me Improve My Leadership Skills

She also gives children leadership training classes.

30. Maryam Uwais

Maryam Uwais is a founding Partner of Primera Africa Legal. She is an experienced commercial lawyer and arbitrator with a broad practice that spans over 30 years. Her area of expertise includes Banking & Insurance Law, Islamic Banking, Mergers & Acquisition, Capital Market Operations, Human Rights Law, Justice Sector Reform, Legislative Drafting, Arbitration, and Alternative Dispute Resolution.

She is currently the Special Advisor to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Investments.

31. Fatima Salis

Fatima Salis is an Rnb singer currently signed to yaran Northside . She has worked and collaborated with artists like DJ Ab, Nazifi Asnanic among others.

Her hit singles are Muna Nan (we are here) and Africa. She’s quite known for her smooth voice and her loving texture of the music.

32. Aisha Halliru

Aisha Halliru is an Independent Nonprofit Organization Management Professional. She has 30 years of experience in developing, managing, and giving technical support on public and health education.

She’s also the State Project Officer of the Expanded Social Marketing Project in Nigeria (ESMPIN) in Jigawa.

33. Ruqayya Tofa

Ruqayya Tofa is an Architect with a Master of Science – MSC. in Architecture, Energy and Sustainability from London Metropolitan University, and specializing In Rammed Earth Structures.

She’s also a business owner and founder of RAW Foods & Beauty Resources Ltd. Based in Kano, Nigeria, a Plantbased, Natural Company that promotes clean beauty through beauty products (both skincare, haircare, and ingestible).

34. Fauziyya Sulaiman

Fauziyya Sulaiman is an author, scriptwriter and presenter at Arewa24. She’s the founder of Creative Helping Needy Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting orphans and the needy, especially in the areas of education and health care.

She was instrumental in helping veteran Kannywood actor Ashiru Nagoma who was suffering from mental health issues.

35. Masturah Baba

Masturah Baba is a Social Development Specialist. She is the Programme Officer of Women & Young Person’s Empowerment at Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative. She’s passionate about seeing girls live a happy life, free from discrimination, violence, and harassment.

She provides technical support to the Kano State Government on a project “Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment” funded by the World Bank.

36. Hauwa Liman

Hauwa Liman is a Business & Social Entrepreneur. She is the founder and program director of Inspire for Impact Initiative. She’s the British Council Future Leaders Connect Winner in 2017, the Mandela Washington Fellow, and TEF Awardee.

37. Hapsy Ibrahim

Hapsy Ibrahim is a chef and a caterer. She’s the owner of Saffron Events, a Kano-based company that provides Catering services and Event management. She also works for Clear Impressions Ltd as the Administrative/ Personnel Manager.

38. Ruqayya Elrufai

Ruqayya Elrufai is a Partner, Sustainability & Climate Change and Public Sector Risk Assurance Services (RAS). She was a Special Advisor to Honourable Minister of Finance, Revenue from 2018-2019 and the Associate Director, Risk Advisory/ Head of Sustainability Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) from 2019-2020. She was the first female Northerner to partner with the firm.

39. Hajara Kabeer

Hajara Kabeer is a Petroleum and Gas Engineer by profession who is passionate about building capacity in energy, environmental sustainability, and low carbon future.

She founded the Girl in STEM Initiative to encourage, inspire and coach young girls to pursue and develop an interest in STEM careers.

40. Farida Yahya

Farida Yahya is the founder of Lumo Naturals, an Abuja-based natural haircare solutions brand. She is also a startup tutor and the founder of The Brief Academy, a learning hub for female startup owners.

She’s also the Editor-in-chief at NorthernLife.ng – an online media platform that showcases the diversity of the people of Northern Nigeria.

41. Sabeeha Hussain

Sabeeha Hussain is a medical doctor, poet, and motivational speaker. She’s the author of SoulUnraveled: Rising From The Ashes.

Related: 20 Quotes About Personal Growth You Need To Hear

She reaches out to people through her motivational videos and poems to encourage them to be better versions of themselves.

42. Jamila Kabiru Fagge

Jamila Kabiru Fagge is a multimedia maven, who is professionally qualified as an On-Air Personality, and Communication Specialist, Journalist.

She is a well-rounded and proactive media professional. She is currently the Press and Public Affairs Specialist at the Foreign Commonwealth Office where she handles diplomacy between Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

43. Munnira Sule

Munnira Sule is the founder and president of Green Heart Impact Foundation (GHIF), a non-governmental organization that caters for the less privileged across Nigeria. The organization gives charity to the needy and business grants to empower the most vulnerable, particularly women and children.

She holds a certificate in Leadership Communication from Harvard University, Cambridge USA. She’s also the CEO of The Glam Professional Limited.

44. Zainab Nasir Ahmad

Zainab Nasir Ahmad is the president of the Girl Child Initiative and Community Engagement, a nonprofit organization that works to protect the health and right of adolescent girls through access to sexual and reproductive health services. Zainab is a girl activist who believes in an equal world for all. She uses her social media platforms to promote messages of gender equality.

She also led a #NorthNormal rally in 2020.

45. Surayya Kofar Mata

Surayya Kofar Mata is the owner of SKM Communication, a media agency in Kano that manages weddings, corporate events, naming ceremonies, etc. She also hosts events as an MC.

46. Hajarah Alhassan

Hajarah Alhassan is the founder of Women Entrepreneurs Fair, an initiative inspired by women to support upcoming entrepreneurs. She’s also the founder and Editor-in-Chief/Publisher of The Airmingle magazine, a general interest lifestyle publication poised to combine traditional and contemporary media in a novel fashion to showcase florid ideas to enhance societal communication through print and online publications. She is an intelligent female entrepreneur.

47. Amina Abubakar

Amina Abubakar is the CEO of Taskira Heritage Media where they offer media services, general contract/supply and event management as well as planning. She’s the Director Amzasuk Travels and Tour Limited and a member of the population media centre Abuja. She also has an Integrated professional diploma in information technology.

48. Sadiya Aliyu

49. Aisha Labaran

50. Afiya Dalhatu

You May Also Like…


Leave a Reply

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest