TBR Africa Member Spotlight: Bowale Odumade Adeoye

Bowale Odumade Adeoye is a seasoned development finance professional based in Nigeria. In May 2020, she became one of the first African women to receive a certificate in company direction from the Institute of Directors, based in London, after participating in TheBoardroom Africa’s accredited Open Doors board training. In this snapshot, she shares her story and her advice to aspiring executives and board directors.

Can you tell us about your current role and how you get here?

I started my career as a Management Consultant working across three continents. I made a career transition to Development Finance and Investment after obtaining an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. In my current role at a pan-African multilateral finance institution, I lead the development, execution, and management of projects and investments across various sectors, including power and transportation infrastructure. I have had the opportunity to work across the investment value chain, including business development, project development, investment execution, and portfolio operations. My diverse experience and career journey led to invitations to serve as a board member of various companies and non-profit organizations.

When did you join TBR Africa? What’s the best part of being a member? I became a member of TBR Africa in 2017. I am proud to be part of the movement that is shaping the future of leadership in Africa to be more diverse and inclusive while harnessing the full potential of female leaders.

What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve received over the course of your career?

From a young age, my parents encouraged me to never stop learning and to never allow gender biases to limit my goals and aspirations; my mentors reinforced this early in my career.

How did Open Doors help prepare you for this milestone?
During the Open Doors training, there were insights and key takeaways with every module. The combination of lectures, case studies, and board simulations was instrumental in preparing for the certification exams. The interaction with the amazing course facilitators and the cohort of leaders made the training relevant and rewarding.

Can you tell us about any “aha” moments that took place over the course of studying for your certification?
The corporate governance module provided a broad range of risk management considerations, which not only prepared me for the certification exams but also helped in developing structural solutions for better risk management and governance on boards.

How does this certification prepare you for the next stage in your career journey?

The knowledge is proving invaluable in enhancing my board effectiveness, and I am more confident in making strategic decisions that impact the sustainability and financial performance of organizations.

Do you have any advice to other executives striving to achieve certification or embarking on their board director journey?
Seek out opportunities to contribute to and leverage the TBR Africa network, training cohort, as well as IoD resources.

Interested in joining Bowale and 1000+ senior executive women working across Africa? Join TheBoardroom Africa to unlock access to training opportunities like Open Doors and more. You can register for the next Open Doors cohort by emailing

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