Safiya Ibn Garba, DTRF

Senior Director for Global Programmes and Learning 

Safiya Ibn Garba DTRF is a multi-award-winning practitioner with over 23 years’ work experience with expertise in project and event management, girls/women’s empowerment, gender, peacebuilding, facilitation and learning. Starting off in her home country Nigeria, Safiya worked extensively within civil society to advance causes for girls and women at both the national and state levels.  

Safiya founded Empowering Women for Excellence Initiative (EWEI), a non-profit organisation with a mission to provide multisectoral interventions for the empowerment and enlightenment of girls and women in 2008, where she is known for her dynamic interpersonal skill and unmatched expertise in mentoring. At EWEI, more than 305,957 girls, women, boys and men have been engaged as at December 2021, and EWEI’s diverse portfolio of programming continues to gain traction among local communities.  

She led a state-level coalition on gender, been a member of the Civil Society Liaison Office (CSOLO) Advisory Committee of the National Assembly (Nigeria’s highest-level law-making body), advocated and worked extensively with state and non-state actors to promote girl-child education in northern Nigeria through the development of multi-year sector strategies with development partners and continues to champion the fight for equal rights and opportunities in her home country. She also has more than ten years of experience working in the business sector, specifically in events management and information technology alongside her work in the non-profit sector. 

Safiya’s work internationally spans the support of peacebuilding programming across 53 countries, with 49 of those countries in the global south. Programming varies from inter-identity tension and violence to gender equality, and Empowerment For Peace Programmes which specifically engage and build capacity among women in income generation, peacebuilding and advocacy skills.  She started volunteering with GFP in 2008 and has previously served in various capacities. She is now the Senior Director of Global Programmes and Learning at Generations For Peace (GFP), Amman Jordan with the responsibility of leading the Programmes and Institutional Learning Department.   

Safiya is an awardee of, Desmond Tutu Reconciliation Fellowship Award 2020, CSR-in-Action Apostle Hayford Elile Humanitarian Award 2020, FemiList100 2021, Amazon of the Week, Amazons of Arewa 2021, Outstanding Citizen Honour Award 2021, The International Alliance for Women World of Difference Award Non-Profit and NGO Category 2022, Jordan Global Changemaker by Startups and Funds 2022

She is a member of: The International Association of Facilitators (IAF), is an IAF Endorsed Facilitator and member of the Regional Leadership Team of IAF Europe and Middle East region, The International Society of Female Professionals, TheBoardRoom Africa, OnFrontiers as an Expert, The eMPOWERED Series as a Host, 2022 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders as a Reader, The Women Experts Network Foreign and Security Policy as an Expert, Scientific Committee member of the Tomorrow People Organization’s 9th Peace and Conflict Resolution Conference (PCRC)

Safiya is engaged in her doctoral studies with the UN Mandated University of Peace, Costa Rica where her research focusses on peacebuilding efforts exploring the narratives and interactions of women from different sides of the conflict divides in violence affected north-west Nigeria via participatory arts. She holds a master’s degree in Sustainable Peace in the Contemporary World from University for Peace, and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from University of Benin, Nigeria.   

Safiya is a globally sought after speaker with features in PeaceCon 2020  as part of the panel on Women Building Inclusive Peace Innovative Approaches from Nigeria and the United States; EWEI’s Developing Resilience and Growing from Setbacks for Women Leaders, Galaxy4Peace launch of the Teach Peace Early Modules, 10,000 Swamp Leaders Multi-tasking-Master: Safiya Ibn Garba: Leading in Two Organizations for Social Change. She is also the convenor of the Kabilun Africa Think Tank.

In 2022, Safiya convened a month-long virtual conference hosted by EWEI with the theme: Increasing Women’s Participation in Addressing Local and Global Challenges with over 500 registered participants and 70 speakers from around the world. 

Safiya is a speaker at the World Education Summit 2023 and has presented and published academic articles including “Tending To The Devastating Wounds Of Nigerian Girls And Women,”“Women in the Limelight: Strides and Paradigm Shifts, ”“Wicked Problems: Threats and Opportunities, and “Citizen Resilience and Accountability in Governance:

Why No, Why Yes,” at two Peace and Conflict Resolution Conferences, the 2022 Women’s Leadership and Empowerment Conference and the 2023 Poverty and Social Protection Conference all organized by Tomorrow People Organization.

In February 2023, the Rule of Law and Empowerment Initiative also known Partners West Africa recognised Safiya as the week’s WCW and the National Association of Northern Nigerian Students (NANNS) consisting of more than five million members globally, also recognised Safiya as an Epitome of Societal Development in March 2023.

Safiya delivered a Keynote Address at Outstanding Schools Middle East October 2023 on “The Building Blocks of Resilient School Communities.” exploring best practice guidance for establishing inclusive, diverse, and equitable learning communities that leverage the agency of all key stakeholders, including voices that have been historically marginalised.

In September 2023, Safiya was bestowed the Oby Ezekwesili Award for Women Advocacy (for Women) 2023 by BudgIT September 2023 and thenWomen Virtual Mentor and Facilitator of the Year 2023 in the Global Business Awards 2023 by Corporate Vision.
To cap the year, Safiya was certified as a Learning and Development Professional by Global Skill Development Council (GSDC) in December 2023.