About SIPA

The Social Innovators Program and Awards (SIPA) is LEAP Africa’s platform for showcasing young change makers; equipping and empowering them with requisite skills and effective tools for building sustainable social enterprises. Since 2013, LEAP Africa, in collaboration with its partners, has supported about a hundred talented young social innovators across various communities in Nigeria on the path to sustainability.

About 2022 Theme

As LEAP Africa reflects on 20 years of influence in the youth development space, it is imperative to rethink the future of leadership as we position ourselves as thought leaders within the youth ecosystem. The theme for this year’s SIPA Conference Redefining The Future of Leadership for Sustainable Innovations will initiate conversations pertinent to a reimagined approach to leadership and innovation on the African continent. As more young people and youth led organizations emerge in solving youth related issues, there is a need for increased transgenerational partnerships through mentoring, coaching and other activities. The LEGACY edition of SIPA will foster such collaborations at various levels.

2021 Keynote Speakers

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Jude Abaga

CEO & Founder, TASCK Creative Company

Jude Abaga, known by his stage name M.I Abaga, was born in Jos Plateau State. He is widely heralded as Africa’s most commercially successful rapper. He first tasted mainstream success in 2008 with his debut, ‘Talk About It’, which sold 30,000 copies in the first 30 minutes; the largest sales recorded at that time.

The album was a watershed moment for Nigeria’s hip-hop community, laying out the much-needed blueprint for commercial success selling rap in Africa. His music was largely based on his experience as a kid from war-torn Jos and his immersive experience while earning a business degree from Calvin College, Michigan.

His love for melody and understanding of music at his high school choir was infused with the heavy beats and poetic delivery of American rappers like Jay-Z and DMX; crafting the early parts of his trademark punchline-heavy musical style. M.I. is widely known for his commitment to innovation in producing and marketing his music, as well as showcasing young talent.

His ‘MI2’ album remains Nigeria’s best-selling hip-hop album. After taking a 4-year hiatus from music, he returned with the ‘Chairman’ Album, and did over 25 million streams in less than a month. His 2018 release ‘Rendezvous’ featured a mishmash of burgeoning young talent, and members of the country’s ‘alte’ community. He also holds the record for the most albums (5) charting simultaneously on Apple Music in Nigeria. Beyond his music, M.I. is a brand favourite, holding Ambassadorship positions with brands like Globacom Limited, Martell, and Henessy.

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Co-founder, we Farm Africa

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Founder, Pathfinders Justice Initiative

R. Evon Benson-Idahosa, the founder and Executive Director of Pathfinders Justice Initiative is a Nigerian native, a thought leader and leading expert on the
subjects of modern day slavery and gender based violence in sub-Saharan Africa. She is also a trained English Barrister and American lawyer who, when her passion and compassion called her to address these pressing issues in her home country, resigned from her partnership at a New York law firm to a full time advocate on behalf of women and girls.

Her commitment is to structural transformation of both the narrative and the economic landscape for African women, with a focus that extends beyond ending generational poverty and seeks wealth creation for a generation of women who are confident in who they are and in the transformative power of their voices. She is a firm believer that if you empower women and engage men as allies for gender justice, you can transform any society. Ms. Benson-Idahosa lends her expertise as an advisor/consultant to organizations as well as state, national and international governments and has served as a consultant to the Government of Nigeria (Parliament), the UN Rapporteur on Trafficking, UNODC, the UK Home and Cabinet Offices, Nigeria’s federal anti-trafficking agency as well as to the government of her home state in Nigeria, Edo, an internationally recognized hub of sex trafficking.

In her role as an innovative facilitator/trainer, she has organized and led multiple high level stakeholders’ national and international conferences/roundtables, including Nigeria’s first ever Gap Analysis on human trafficking and unsafe migration, trains Parliamentarians and serves as a legislative drafter. Her work has culminated in the production of Nigeria’s first national Guidelines for rehabilitation service providers and law enforcement officers, judges and prosecutors on human trafficking.

In August 2021, along with her team, Ms. Benson-Idahosa launched HERS Africa, the continent’s first online Hub of Economic Resources for Survivors, a platform for survivors of sexual exploitation that will provide them with access to tailored resources, regardless of where they are in the world. Under her leadership, Pathfinders has provided holistic PATH (Personalized Action to Healing) Plans for over 2, 500 survivors, maintains a thriving shelter, has conducted ground-breaking research on recruiters of sex trafficking in Nigeria and engages in outreaches that reach millions of people daily.

As an activist, published writer and speaker, Ms. Benson-Idahosa’s work has been featured on multiple radio and television news outlets, including CNN, CNNi, BBC, Al Jazeera and she has been named one of New York’s New Abolitionists. She is also the recipient of multiple fellowships/awards and has been nationally and internationally recognized for her efforts in seeking an end to gender based violence. For more information, please visit ( or email

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Co-founder, Catalyst 2030

Jeroo Billimoria is the founder of several innovative and award-winning NGOs and has over twenty years’ experience running systems change organizations as a Skoll awardee, an Ashoka and Schwab Fellow. Among her previous organisations are Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI), Aflatoun International, Childline India and Child Helpline International, which have facilitated meaningful change in financial inclusion of youth in over 160 countries and created a global movement for protection of children and youth active in more than 181 countries.

Jeroo is now founder of One Family Foundation which incubates social innovations and applies the systems change methodology to help organizations scale. One Family Foundation is currently anchoring Catalyst 2030, initiated by leading social entrepreneurs from Ashoka, Echoing Green, the Schwab Foundation, the Skoll Foundation and other global networks of social entrepreneurs. It aims to accelerate progress towards the SDGs by radically transforming social innovation ecosystems and driving systems change interventions at the country level.


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Dinma Nwobi

Founder, Happily Humanity Project

Dinma Nwobi fondly called the Queen of Happiness and Human Flourishing is the Founder of Happily Humanity Project with an audacious vision to make the tools for Optimal Mental and Emotional Wellbeing, Human Flourishing and Meaningful Living accessible and affordable to at least one billion humans by 2031.

As a certified Applied Positive Psychology Coach, a Practitioner of Applied Positive Psychology, a Six Seconds Certified Emotional Intelligence Assessor, a Master Trainer of Family Systems Engineering and a Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming,

Dinma deploys her expertise and leverages research-proven tools to support her growing clientele develop growth mindsets, self-efficacy, and resilience skills to navigate daily challenges and enjoy more meaningful lives. 

She is the Creator of The Architecture of Intentional Happiness framework, Happily Your Life Experience, and several other transformative solutions such as Get Your Power Back Project, The Harmonious Living Process Course and The Intentional Parenting on the GO Self-paced Audio Parenting Program.

She is married to her partner-in-bliss Nedum Nwobi and they are raising four amazing kids, with whom we are living their family legacy of raising other happier families. Together they authored “The ABC of Intentional Parenting: How to Love, Lead and Influence Your Child with Ease” which many of its readers call the parenting bible.

Dinma serves as the Director of Studies at the Institute of Family Engineering and Development and is committed to raising competent Family Life Practitioners for Africa.

She is a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF), Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Network, USA, Life Coaches Association of Nigeria (LCAN) and the Family Life Coaching Association (FLCA). When she is not coaching, mentoring, speaking, or training people to maximise their personal power and potentials towards achieving their desired goals and enjoying happier, more meaningful lives,

Dinma will be found learning new things, acquiring new skills, exploring new bodies of knowledge, or playing with her family and building her positivity portfolio through taking pictures, recording TikTok videos and dancing even though some haters say she is stiff and cannot dance, But who cares, to her, she is simply living her own kind of happiness freely, and fully.

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Ehiremen Evans

Executive director, Rarduja development organisation

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Ayo Lawrence

Co-Founder, EL-CUBED International Limited

Ayo Lawrence is an organized being, graced to solve complex problems with ease such that every encounter with her takes you to a place of clarity, promoting your personal bliss. Her Tribe knows her as the Queen of Premium Family Life Practice.

She is a Professional Counsellor and Coach who uses the Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Family Systems Engineering tools to help her clients attain clarity, healing, wholeness and balanced living.

She coordinates and provides several professional counselling, coaching, therapy and intervention programmes with her team for individuals young and old, intending couples, couples and Corporate Organizations.

Ayo is Co-Founder, Managing Director and Lead Consultant at EL-CUBED International Limited. The company launched the Balanced ME Toolbox App which contains tools that help simplify, bring clarity and balance to life, it is available on both Playstore and Appstore. She is also the Convener of Hannah’s Conference, and the Founder of GrandCoeur Empowerment Initiative.

She is a dynamic, result-oriented leader with over 15 years of experience in Operations and Administration Management, Process Improvement, Financial Stewardship, Customer Relationship, Team Leadership and Development with both sole proprietorship and corporate organizations within and outside Nigeria.

A member of the Network of Family Systems Engineering Practitioners, Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) and a Life member of Enterprise Development Centre Pan-Atlantic University.

She is passionate about the home front and the family unit, and believes in preparing the next generation for life and leadership in their spheres of influence.

Her personal philosophy is to live an impactful life in as many ways possible – leaving her mark on the sands of time.

She is married to Oluwafemi Bernard and they are blessed with three lovely trailblazers.

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Blessing Alagbe

Professional Adviser

Blessing Alagbe is a trained Advisor with many years of experience. A graduate of Religious Studies and Post Graduate Diploma in Education from the prestigious University of Ibadan; University of Lagos – Master’s in Guidance and Counseling; the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria – Gender Matters; International Project Management Academy; Life Ministry Kenya – Trauma Healing and Counseling and Academy for International Cooperation (AIZ) Germany – Consultancy in Migration and Reintegration.

Blessing has a broad range of experience covering Capacity Development, Shelter Management, Empowerment, Psychosocial Support, Conflict Resolution and many more. She is passionate about supporting vulnerable and disenfranchised people especially youths, women and children and has a track record of working successfully with individuals, families, groups and communities. She currently sits on the Board of AWYO (African Women and Youth Organization) and also coordinates the Humanitarian unit of Supernatural Life Centre, Lagos.


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Samson Itodo

Executive Director, Yiaga Africa

Samson Itodo is an experienced community organizer and development practitioner with over a decade of experience in constitution building, governance reform, electoral governance, civic engagement, and political organizing. He is highly skilled in legislative advocacy, political party development, NGO management, social movements, and youth development.

Samson is invested in building strong democratic institutions; promoting people-centered legislation and policies and building communities of active citizens to drive social change. He currently serves as the Executive Director, Yiaga Africa and the Convener of the Not Too Young To Run movement. He has a background in Law and postgraduate degrees in Law and Public Policy.


Organizing Effectively to influence Governance at all Levels

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Femi Abraham

Programme Manager, UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Abraham works as a programme manager with the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), where he delivers Economic.

Development Programmes in Nigeria. He has previously managed programmes sponsored by the Citi Foundation, Ford Foundation & Chinese Embassy; in his previous role as a programmes coordinator with LEAP Africa.

Abraham has led development strategy for various organizations working across issues such as energy transitions , youth mobility, natural resource governance , and local economic development. He is a TEDx speaker and often writes opinion editorials on a range of development themes.

Abraham believes in the potential of African youths to drive development agenda across the continent, and he speaks on platforms that helps young people achieve personal & community transformation. He holds a First class degree in physics electronics and is currently a research fellow at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

He has professional certifications in Impact Evaluation, Energy Economics, and Local Economic Development, from the Erasmus University Rotterdam, Georgetown University and Sciences Po Paris.


Adopting Systems Thinking in Designing Impactful Interventions

Photos From Previous Years

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Core Partners

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C.T.I.P Partners

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