Dr Nkiru Balonwu is Founder of The Africa Soft Power Group, which includes Africa Soft Power (ASP), ASP Global, and African Women on Board (AWB). She founded the group, having recognised the growing need for – and potential of – the African creative and cultural industries (CCI) to change narratives and improve realities, both on the continent and around the world.
Over the past years, these organisations have worked tirelessly to put modern African discourse on the global map, creating and convening Africa’s highest level gathering of the continent’s CCI – The Africa Soft Power Summit – and taking African soft power to important global events, including the UN General Assembly, World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, and US-Africa Leaders’ Summit.
Prior to her work with ASP Group, Dr Balonwu was CEO for Spinlet, which at the time was Africa’s largest music streaming app with 2m+ subscribers, and has also served as the inaugural Lecturer of Gender & Law at the University of Lagos.
She holds a Doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley; Masters from University College London; a Law Degree from the University of Manchester, and has been called to the bar in England, Nigeria and New York.
Nkiru is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, Harvard Kennedy School, focused on the role of the private sector in influencing and constructing gender policy. In 2019, her work as an innovator and change-maker saw her receive the 2020 Powerlist International Award and in 2022, she was named amongst New African magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential Africans.