Zainab Haruna is a development practitioner who has worked for the past eight years to initiate and implement projects on youth and women empowerment. In 2012, Zainab founded Decipher Solutions, a youth-focused social enterprise in Nigeria; and, in 2018, she set up Soup N Stew, a community initiative to support poor women in underserved communities.
Zainab is the editor of the “IN HER WORDS” anthology, a collection of essays and stories to document the perspectives and lived experiences of African women on gender equality. She is a One Young World Ambassador, a TEDx speaker, co-founder of IdeaCon Africa, and two–term Deputy President of the Standard Bank Africa Chairman’s Scholarship Alumni Network. She served as a judge for the 2019 Hult Prize Regional and in 2020 she was on the judging panel for the Next Economy Impact Awards hosted by the Network of Incubators and Innovators in Nigeria (NIINE).
She previously served as a member of the Local Organising Committee for the DARE Africa Conference, a pan-African youth conference to promote innovation in young Africans across the continent. In 2020, she was appointed by the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports as a member of the focal group (advisory) for the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund, a N75 Billion Naira fund set up by the Ministry to support youth entrepreneurship in Nigeria. She is the current Programme Director at Step Up Nigeria where she provides technical support and oversees programme implementation spanning multiple states in Nigeria.
Zainab is motivated to build enabling systems for women and youths to thrive and seeks opportunities and platforms to work with highly skilled teams in making valuable contributions towards tackling development issues in sustainable ways.