Fellowship Year: 2018
Nationality: Nigeria
Job Title: Co-Founder and CEO
Organisation: RED


Job Title: Co-Founder and CEO

Organisation: RED

Professional History: Adebola Williams is a pioneer at the intersection of media, democracy, and social change. He is Co-Founder and CEO of RED, which owns Africa’s largest portfolio of youth media brands that engage millions of youths on the continent, including Red Media Africa, StateCraft Inc, The Future Awards Africa, and YNaija.com.

Adebola co-founded EnoughisEnough (EiE), one of Nigeria's foremost civic participation groups and a voice for young people on politics. He was Chairman of the Board until resigning to take the lead on the communication and rebranding of the current Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari. He led the team that shaped the national discourse and optimized media engagement to change longstanding perceptions and ushered in a new president. He did the same in Ghana, helping the opposition candidate win the presidency on his third attempt. He has gone on to consult in other regions in the continent.

Adebola is one of the most recognizable young leaders on the continent carrying the message of enterprise and leadership to inspire hope and faith from Africa to the world. In 2017, he spoke at several conferences in Europe and America, including top Ivy League schools from Harvard, Columbia, Yale, and Oxford. He gave a viral address during the Obama summit, where the former president of the United States of America, Barack Obama, gave him a standing ovation. He has almost 200,000 followers on social media and his mantra is building locally to go global. His work and achievements have been celebrated over the years in the international news media, including CNN, Forbes, and CNBC.

He has been named by the UN as one of 100 Most Influential People of African Descent and profiled by Forbes as the man who helped three Presidents win elections consecutively in Africa. He’s been named by Forbes as one of Africa's best entrepreneurs under 30 and is a recipient of the CNBC Young Business Leader of the Year award. Adebola is a member of the African Leadership Network, a British Council global changemaker, and he sits on the boards of Africa Business Brain Trust and chairs the Young Entrepreneurs Network board. In 2019, he was named a 2019 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. In 2022, he was appointed a Patron of Malaria No More, a UK-based non-profit.

Academic and professional credentials: London School of Journalism
Pan African University

Programs: Adebola is a Mandela Washington Fellow.


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About AFLI



The African Leadership Institute (AFLI) focuses on building the capacity and capability of visionary and strategic leadership across the continent. Developing exceptional leaders representing all spheres of society, the Institute’s flagship programme is the prestigious Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship. Offering a multifaceted learning experience and run in partnership with Oxford University, it is awarded annually to 20-25 carefully chosen candidates, nominated from across Africa. Alumni of the African Leadership Institute form a dynamic network of Fellows passionately committed to the continent’s transformation, bridging the divide between nations and ensuring that Africa is set centre-stage in global affairs.