Who we are

African Fashion Development and Empowerment Centre (AFDEC) is a nonprofit in Nigeria that provides economic empowerment and supports for creative women and girls in Africa, inspiring them to use fashion and crafts as a means to end cultural violence and end poverty.



A world where local creativity ends poverty and promotes peace


To promote local entrepreneurship and cultural unity, using fashion, culture and craft as a tool for economic empowerment and Africa’s Prosperity


Women and Girls

Our Core Values

P- Partnership



C- Creativity



What forms the foundation of how we work together to make a difference and bring real lasting transformation.

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!

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 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 it’s only source of lighting. The bride walked into the shop explained her dilemma and in less than two hours, the lowly 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 toddlers consistent demands for her attention, apparently, they all lived in the little shop.

Just as you guessed, the marriage ceremony was beautiful, and the newlywed wife decided to stop over at Ada’s little workplace only to discover from her neighbours 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 was our founder Adeola Ogunkolade. No she didn’t find ‘Ada’, after several determined search but she made a resolved to help lift more creative women out of poverty through AFDEC and build bridges for a more culturally united society.

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

Our Approach


We believe that when women are given equal opportunity to make their financial, economic, social and professional decisions, it brings their dreams to reality and the whole world benefits, starting from her family and immediate community which invariably lead to sustainable peace. Gender equality is not just moral, it is so crucial it is the Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG 5)


We believe that local economic development is one of the surest ways to decrease poverty. By empowering local indigenes to drive sustainable economic growth, to improve the quality human lives and create employment through micro, small and medium enterprise development.


We believe that a creativity centred community is the best way to promote Africa’s heritage and diverse culture that will encourage ethnic tolerance, respect for individual uniqueness, peaceful co-existence while preventing violence, unnecessary death and unnecessary war