Social Entrepreneur, former MP, Minister
Isata Kabia is the Founding Director of Voice of Women Africa (VoW Africa), a network of female leaders which aims to amplify women’s voices and inspire collective action. VoW Africa aims to increase women’s participation in politics by building a cadre of women who believe in themselves and in other women, and by creating a pathway to leadership for girls. Ms. Kabia has served as a government Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs and as the Minister of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Sierra Leone.
In 2015, she established the AFRiLOSOPHY Foundation, a social enterprise which provides young people, particularly young women, with training and job opportunities through the manufacturing of hair and body care products, teas, and oils. Through the AFRiLOSOPHY Foundation, Ms. Kabia has also assisted young people and women in starting their own enterprises.
Having worked in the Office of Diaspora Affairs since 2009, she resigned her position as Special Advisor on Diaspora Affairs in the Office of the President in 2011 to run for office as a Member of Parliament.
In 2012, Ms. Kabia became the first female member of Constituency 050, in Port Loko District. She also represented Sierra Leone in the Pan-African Parliament where she served as Rapporteur for the Committee on Education, Tourism, and Culture.
As an MP, Ms. Kabia was deeply involved in educational issues within her constituency, recognizing education as the foundation upon which development efforts must be built. Currently, her AFRiLOSOPHY Foundation works on a Rural Education Program (REP), building local primary schools.
Ms. Kabia holds an honors degree in Biochemistry and an MBA in Global Business and Impact Entrepreneurship from the University of Milan. She is an Acumen West Africa Fellow and a Vital Voices Engage Fellow.