Aisha Yesufu

Promoting Active Engagement in Politics and Governance in Nigeria

Ms. Aisha Yesufu is co-founder of Citizens Hub, a Nigerian nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting women’s financial literacy and the increased civic participation of women and youth. Previously a businesswoman, Ms. Yesufu first gained international recognition for her activism in 2014 as a leader of the #BringBackOurGirls movement, which harnesses social media to raise awareness of the plight of young Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram and to call for justice. In 2020, Ms. Yesufu played a prominent role in the #EndSARS protests against police brutality in Nigeria. An iconic photo of her leading an #EndSARS protest with a fist raised in the air went viral, with many Nigerians calling her image the “Nigerian Statue of Liberty.” She is the recipient of numerous awards for her human rights activism, including the Guardian’s Voice of Humanity award (2020). She was named to New African magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential Africans in 2020 and included in the BBC’s list of 100 Women of 2020. During her fellowship, Ms. Yesufu examined the factors impeding Nigerians’ civic participation and developed a program to promote greater engagement by women and youth in political and civic life.