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Who is Abir Ibrahim

Abir Ibrahim is a Sudanese-American development practitioner, currently Associate Director of Africa at the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland.


Previously, Abir headed the Private Sector portfolio at UNICEF in Sudan. 


She is a recognized organizer and thought leader on social and economic development, African Affairs, gender mainstreaming and global health. Her mission-driven approach has helped promote national and global dialogue on youth civil engagement, diaspora in development and gender economic strengthening plans.

In 2014, Abir served as Peace Corps Health Advisor in rural Tanzania where she worked closely with national and local government to design interventions aimed at health sector reform to create an inclusive space for women focusing on social and economic empowerment. In response to the extreme gender gap in poverty in her village, Abir founded Inua Naturals Inc., a for-profit that uses agribusiness and tech innovation to create new markets and economies for over 154+ marginalized women farmers and artisans who otherwise do not have access to the global marketplace through sustainable supply chain practices.


In 2016, Tanzania held its first Bridge to Success Conference. The event was organized by American Chamber of Commerce to showcase most innovative companies promoting social impact in Tanzania. Abir was featured as a guest panelist, where she demonstrated the role of Inua Naturals in the nation’s social and economic development process. She also led a variety of major grassroots educational training and workshops for vulnerable members of society, and designed and implemented various projects to strengthen livelihood and food security plans in Africa for women and young people.

Beyond her duties at Inua Naturals, Abir has served as UNICEF USA’s Community Engagement Fellow where she inspired and mobilized 55,000+ influencers, constituents, diaspora groups, donors and youth through grassroots and high-level campaigns on movements and causes advocating for the world’s most vulnerable children.

Abir continued her work with a variety of public and private institutions including Institute of Economics & Peace and the United Nations Global Compact and led major grassroots and national-level projects including forging partnerships and fundraisers to rehabilitate improvised health centers and schools for underprivileged children in Sudan; building a secondary school library and improving WASH infrastructures by constructing various water irrigation systems in rural Tanzania that serves 2000+ students; launching various social change campaigns such as an Annual HIV/AIDS Prevention Campaign and End Violence Against Children in collaboration with Tanzania Ministry of Health, United Nations and USAID.

Abir additionally serves on the Board of Directors for Partners for Development, a implementing NGO improving conditions for rural communities that are vulnerable due to poverty, inaccessibility, recent conflict or other forms of upheaval; is a Global Innovation Expert of the United Nations Global Compact; is an Ambassador of the Institute of Economics and Peace, and a strategic advisory group member on women economic empowerment area of responsibility.

She served as a Young Global Changer of the G20 Global Solutions in Germany; selected as World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions in China and in the same year nominated for Most Influential People of African Decent and 120 Under 40 New Generation of Family Planning Leaders.

Abir briefed the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2018. Later, she briefed heads of government at the United Nations General Assembly Commonwealth Africa Summit on gender inclusion and good governance; it was the first time a Sudanese civil representative was invited to speak on this issue before the Commonwealth.

Abir was recognized as GivingTuesday: Women Making a Difference and was honored with a Literary Award from her Alma Mater, University of Mary Washington. Abir has an academic grounding in Psychology and a Master's Degree in Public Health. A Sudanese born global citizen with a commitment to create sustainable solutions for gender-based inequalities through the combined efforts of grassroots interventions and global advocacy. Her work has been featured in the Daily News, 21Ninety, Voice of America, CGTN, AllAfrica, The Guardian and other media outlets.


African companies invest in China, changing China-Africa equilibrium

“A lot of people don't understand Africa the way Africa really is, except from extreme poverty and disease that are being projected in the media. There is so much more to African history and culture, and beauty secrets, we would like to have an opportunity to showcase that," said Abir Ibrahim, founder and CEO of Inua Naturals, a skincare product brand from Tanzania... Read more

Cushioning Rural Women Farmers Against Poverty

Inua initiative works closely with small-scale farmers and artisans every day to build their businesses, improve production capacity, sustainable increase income, and provide community-driven solutions to improve healthcare services and education... Read more

Through challenges, bright future awaits: Win-Win Cooperation

When talking about China-Africa economic cooperation, the first thing that comes to people's minds are the large amount of investment from China to Africa to support the infrastructure connectivity in the continent, or that China has been Africa's largest trading partner for 10 years, exporting a variety of finished products to Africa... Read more

Why is Africa so Important to China? And what does this mean for trade?

Development Reimagined, with the support of 5 key partners - the China Africa Business Council, the British Chamber of Commerce, the World Economic Forum and Ethiopian Airlines, as well as the Hunan Province Department of Commerce... Read more

These Tanzanian Women are Redefining What Luxury Body Care Looks Like

Inua Naturals main focus is having natural products while creating a meaningful impact. All of these products give global consumers the opportunity to make a direct impact on marginalized communities. All of Inua Naturals products are organic and handcrafted, free of preservatives and harmful chemicals. Read more

How Shopping Consciously Can Positively Impact The Lives Of Women Across Africa

I am the first to admit that there are times where shopping compulsively is the only way I know how to shop. Mindlessly scrolling countless of online shopping sites, only to see my cart total reach the triple digits, and asking myself how I got there in the first place. But after looking into being more aware of the items I buy, I wanted to to make sure some of the products I use could perhaps... Read more→

Social Capital, Income Inequality and Mortality

“Economic inequality” refers to the disparity of wealth or income between different groups or within a society. Usually characterized by the aphorism “the rich get richer while the poor get poorer,” the phrase often refers more specifically to the gap in income or assets between the poorest and richest segments of an... Read more

Lessons from Tanzania’s Policy on Addressing HIV Transmission

There are over 28 million people living with HIV in Sub Saharan Africa, and two million are infected with the virus in Tanzania. The first case of HIV in Tanzania was discovered in 19831. In 2001, the Tanzanian government formed the Tanzanian AIDS Commission... Read more

From Sudan to Capitol Hill

Washington DC, September 2017— UNICEF Sudan Representative, Abdullah Fadil accompanied by WFP Country Director, Matthew Hollingworth (pictured above) took the time to come to Washington, D.C. last week to advocate for the 3.24 million children in Sudan who do not have access to basic services in the areas of education, health, nutrition, water, sanitation, and protection of their rights. Read more

Becoming Bond Fundraiser in Support of UNICEF 

Last month UNICEF USA was honored to be the recipient of donations collected at an event that brought the host Elliot Berke’s two loves together, James Bond and supporting the world’s children. The black-tie reception was in celebration of ‘Becoming Bond’ and the life of George Lazenby who played Bond in the series. Read more

UNICEF USA Joins DC Sororities to Discuss the Global Refugee Crisis

Ms. Abir emphasized the important role youth play in the current refugee and humanitarian crisis in the United States and worldwide. Through UNICEF USA's grassroots campaigns and initiatives, children and youth everywhere can use their voices to advocate for the world's most vulnerable children. Read more

Fashion For A Cause: Washington, D.C. Youth Supports Hurricane Relief

Imagine your house flooded in a matter of seconds, leaving you with little time to react to save your life. Water up to your knees, unable to find your children in the darkness of the room, the noise of the rain, strong winds and downpour outside was deafening, but you are determined to get... Read more→


Youtube Vlogs

I believe in the power of storytelling. The power to advocate for the people, movement and causes most important to us, using our voices..  Read more→

2015 - 2017

Master of Public Health, Focus in Health Policy

and Economics - University of New England

Summer 2012

Semester Abroad at University of Dar Es Salaam, Focus in Economics, African Affairs,

Public Policy  Studies and Intensive Kiswahili - Georgetown University

2008 - 2012

Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Focus in Social,

Gender and Child Development - University of Mary Washington

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