Gwen Zino Abiola-Oloke  – 2021 WIA54 Marraine – Anglophone West Africa

Gwen is a cross-sector multi-faceted executive with over 27 years experience in banking and development finance across Francophone and Anglophone West Africa.

She is the Founder/CEO of DI Africa, a Consulting and Advisory firm in Nigeria, with presence in the Republic of Benin, focusing on – trade and investment facilitation, capital raising, and SME partnership advisory services.

After a successful banking career, Gwen pivoted from her role as CEO of a pan-African bank in the Republic of Benin to join GroFin as Regional Investment Director. This role saw her drive SME development in West Africa, managing five funds, focused on high-impact sectors including Agribusiness, Power (Renewable Energy), Healthcare, Education, Light Manufacturing, key services and leading the gender-lens investing initiative. She has built expertise in business strategy, start-ups and business transformation, global partnerships, business development, fundraising, gender advocacy and foreign direct investment facilitation, managing key relationships of 17 Southern States and some Federal government portfolios in Nigeria as well as hundreds of private sector portfolio clients in Nigeria, Republic of Benin, Ghana, Senegal, and Cote D’Ivoire.

Gwen is an active advocate for female empowerment and entrepreneurship. She spearheaded the launch of GroFin’s #GroWoman initiative and has forged key partnerships with development organizations which support women led businesses.

She is a member of the Institute of Directors and has served on Federal committees in Nigeria and the Republic of Benin as well as various company boards in West Africa. She serves on the judging panel of the Shell International LiveWire Top Ten Innovators Award and has served on the advisory committee for the consultative workshops on the “USAID Global Food Security Strategy” (GFSS) for Nigeria in 2017. She is a steering committee member of Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) West Africa. She is also a USA accredited SME consultant.

Gwen holds an MBA from the Obafemi Awolowo University, an M.Sc. in Marketing from the University of Lagos and a B.Sc. in Economics from the University of Benin.

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