About us

We are a not for profit organization empowering low income creative African women with information, skills and markets they need to build sustainable micro, small and medium fashion enterprises, so they can earn independent income and create lasting prosperity for themselves, their families and communities while promoting cultural unity. 
Our targets are women and girls.

Our Vision

A world where local creativity ends poverty and promotes cultural unity.

Our Mission

To promote local entrepreneurship and culture of peace using fashion, culture and craft as tools for economic empowerment and cultural unity.

Our Values







Our Commitments

To break the cycle of poverty by empowering women and girls by providing qualitative vocational and entrepreneurship trainings, mentorship, network and funding opportunities in fashion, crafts and related industry, that will increase employment, income generation and livelihood of women, their families and community.

Provide platforms that will stimulate growth of sustainable cottage sized, micro or small enterprises that will provide innovative solutions to problems arising from Cultural Diversity.

Inspire creative improvements of traditional outfits, handcrafts and artisanal culture to stimulate peaceful co-existence, sustainable livelihood and indigenous industry development.

Provide support and platforms to showcase the rich African heritage to the world regardless of our language, religion, ethnic, tribal and political differences.

Advocacy, Research and Development.

Our Story

A young bride to be, was at the brink of a nervous breakdown few days to her wedding, as the perfect wedding gown she purchased some months back now hangs loosely on her body, as she had lost a lot of weight!

Her Best friend and Chief Bridesmaid suggested taking it to a highly rated Nigerian designers’ shop, in the city of Lagos, for adjustments. As expected, she was asked to make an unnecessarily high deposit for express service and was asked to come pick up on the eve of her wedding. Which was pretty risky, but she had very little choice.

On the agreed date, the anxious bride got to the exquisite store only to find her beautiful gown untouched, at the exact same spot she left it. The staff tried to cover up with flimsy excuses that it will be ready in no time. Alas! The gown was ready six hours later as an unfortunate mess, it was way too tight; the alteration was tacky, unprofessionally and hurriedly done, and the finishing horrendous. The staff even had the nerve to ask for the remaining 30% balance payment.

The Bride-to-Be, stormed out of the shop in a teary confusion her perfect gown had been completely ruined, plus, it was dark already! After several hours of search, she and her friend were directed to a meager looking, tacky little tailoring corner shop; with lit candles as its only source of lighting.

The bride walked into the shop explained her dilemma and in less than two hours, the lowly but highly skilled designer named Ada, restored the gown! In fact, she did an impeccable job! She even restored the initial errors with beautiful makeshift designs; regardless of her 3 under-five children’s consistent demands for her attention, apparently, they all lived in the little shop.

Just as you guessed, the marriage ceremony was beautiful, and the newly-wed wife decided to stop over at Ada’s little workplace only to discover from her neighbors that she had been battling with a terminal disease, she took ill briefly some weeks back and couldn’t pay her daily rent, hence she was sent packing. No one knows her whereabouts. The bride was indeed heartbroken and depressed. She really wished she had taken an action to help her earlier.

That bride above is our founder Adeola Ogunkolade. No, she didn’t find ‘Ada’, after several determined search, but she made a resolve to help lift more creative women fashion entrepreneurs out of poverty through her work at AFDEC and build bridges for a more peaceful society.

The result of AFDEC’s first baseline survey in 2015 showed that there are still so many ‘Ada’s in Africa, hence our remarkable journey so far.

Where we work

36 states of Nigeria and across sub-Saharan Africa.

Women and Girls tend to be more vulnerable to extreme poverty compared to Men. Many studies have also confirmed that in a global economic downturn, more women are significantly affected as more of them lose jobs and are forced to manage shrinking household income. Women also have limited access to opportunities for business development, stereotyped by cultural and societal gender-based discriminations, coupled with balancing household and childcare responsibilities.

African Fashion Development and Empowerment Centre (AFDEC), makes fashion functional, by building local creative confidence, providing vital vocational and business skills to inspire and support African women and girls, to earn independent income, while gearing them towards social and economic opportunities available along the fashion value chain.

We believe helping creative women achieve their fullest potential is one of the easiest ways to fight poverty. Hence, we provide skills training, mentoring and support systems that will help indigenous women and girls build sustainable enterprises that will improve their family income and overall well-being of their children thereby advancing their role in job creation, economic advancement, cultural unity and peace building.

Our approach

Our Partners