Nana Asantewa Afadzinu, Executive Director of the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI), has worked with and within the civil society sector for the past 19 years and is a passionate advocate for an effective, efficient, influential and sustainable civil society in West Africa.
She is a lawyer by profession and has worked extensively on governance, human rights, philanthropy and capacity building with national, international, continental and regional organisations. Nana obtained an LLB and BL, from the University of Ghana and the Ghana School of Law in 1994 and 1996 respectively.
After practicing with a Commercial Law Firm, Hesse and Larsey, Nana worked as Legal Officer with the Secretariat of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Banjul, the Gambia; and the African Society of International and Comparative Law in Accra. Nana spearheaded the establishment of a legal division for the Women’s Initiative for Self-Empowerment (WISE) and volunteered as WISE legal counsel.
She was the Coordinator of the National Coalition on Domestic Violence Legislation in Ghana and is a member of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA). Nana, previously a visiting scholar at Columbia University’s Human Rights Advocate Training Programme, completed her Masters in Law at New York University and has worked with Media Foundation for West Africa and the Center for the Study of Human Rights, Columbia University, in establishing a West and Central Africa Human Rights Institute.
She joined the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) as Governance Program Officer in 2005 and was OSIWA’s Country Coordinator in Nigeria from 2006 to 2008.
From September 2008 to 2009, Nana was the Regional Policy Advisor for IBIS West Africa before joining the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) in 2010 as the Executive Director. She has served and continues to serve on several public service and non-profit boards, including the Resource Alliance.