Nanko Madu is a seasoned entrepreneur ecosystem builder with ~12 years’ progressive experience in managing programmes on economic development and entrepreneurship on the African continent.
She is the Director of Programmes at AfriLabs, where she leads the design and implementation of the organization’s programmes targeted at strengthening the capacities of technology and innovation hubs, innovators, women, youths and talents within the pan-African innovation ecosystem. Examples of such programmes include; the AfriLabs Capacity Building Programme (ACBP), the African Union Digital and Innovation Fellowship Program, Long Term Joint Research and Innovation Partnership on Renewable Energy (LEAP RE), and Africa Europe Digital Innovation Bridge Network (AEDIB/NET).
She has a professional track record in the deployment of capacity building and improvement strategies targeted at startups, SMEs, MSMEs as well as intermediaries (hubs, enterprise support organisations, etc), and a wealth of experience in the design and implementation of high-profile interventions that are targeted at the African startup ecosystem, human and economic development.
In the past, she has worked for the World Bank, consulting on one of its projects; Youth Enterprise With Innovation In Nigeria (YouWiN!) – where she led the design and deployment of a large-scale training programme for over 40,000 SMEs; and was part of the team that designed and implemented a 12 billion naira (75 Million USD) grant targeted at 4,500 innovative ideas conceptualized by women and youths in Nigeria. These competencies demonstrate her expertise and commitment to empowering African women and youths to champion social and economic advancement on the continent.