Cynthia Mbamalu

Director of Programmes


Director of Programs

Cynthia is a dedicated human and gender rights advocate and a development practitioner. A lawyer by profession with an LLM in Comparative Constitutional Law from the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary, she specializes in human and women rights advocacy, youth leadership development, constitution building and elections. She is a founding member of Yiaga Africa and has dedicated the past 15 years to development work specifically targeted at building sustainable democracies, promoting political inclusion and human rights. She manages the Annual Democracy Camp for teenagers with over 2000 beneficiaries and the Youth Organizing School for young people in Nigeria and West Africa on how to organize for Policy Advocacy and Civic Engagement with about 280 beneficiaries. She is also one of the leaders of the Not Too Young to Run movement and the Ready to Run campaign. 

In her current role as the Director of Programs for Yiaga Africa, she leads on the engagement with the Legislature on Electoral Reform and Constitutional review for a gender-sensitive Constitution and Laws that promotes women’s political inclusion and gender equality in Nigeria. She provides mentorship to a cohort of young female politicians and young women under different initiatives. Cynthia has participated in several election observation missions and studies internationally and nationally and currently leads on the #WatchingTheVote project which is a data and tech-driven movement of citizen observers committed to promoting electoral integrity. 

She is an alumnus of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Executive Program on Leadership, Organizing and Action; the Central European University (CEU) on Constitution-Building in Africa; the University of South Africa (UNISA) on Management of Democratic Elections in Africa and the University of Cape Town on Leading in Public Life: Women, Influence Power Programme. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of Amnesty International Nigeria amongst others.