Dr. Abena Asomaning Antwi- Founder and Chief Executive of the Angel Zoe Fundation.
Dr Abena Asomaning Antwi, is a health economist and a human rights activist par excellence. She is also imbibed with a heart of gold towards humanitarian causes.
She holds a PhD from the University of Lille in France, specialized in Health Economics. She has recently joined the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) where she hopes to impact the academic community as a policy entrepreneur and a “pracademic” – bridging the exciting gap between industry and academia and cultivate within the students the critical thinking skills needed to make a difference in the world.
Dr Abena is the quintessential role model of a high performing founder and chief executive of the Angel-Zoe Foundation, working mother, community leader and mentor to many who are attracted to her servant leadership, passion, and desire to make a lasting impact.
Dr Abena is a consummate professional in all her administrative duties and then goes above and beyond expectations to support causes such as rehabilitating juvenile prison inmates so that recidivism rates are low, supporting abused women and the destitute in society. For her immeasurable and unique achievements, Dr Abena has been recognized locally and internationally with several awards. Her stellar success story has been hailed globally with awards and panegyrics.
Dr Abena chose a humanitarian career path that was considered unconventional at the time – defying unthinkable odds of moving from the banking sector to set up her own NGO in 2007 called Angel-Zoe Foundation. The foundation catered to the needs of abused children, juveniles, and women in prison. In her estimation, there was a vacuum in that area with little or no focus on the above-mentioned issues.
After a while in there, she initially concluded that her skills set, and passion would be much better used in the civil society space where she could truly undertake advocacy on human rights and other related projects. She is passionate about enabling women, children and support for development, protection, corporal and mental well-being.
Dr Abena has demonstrated the agility and perseverance required not only to survive in this industry but exhibited how to thrive through the turbulence. She is an excellent role model for many professional women in leadership and inspires them through her coaching sessions o be the best they can be and take ownership for their own career growth and performance despite circumstances to impact society in becoming a mouthpiece to the marginalized in society.
Dr Abena is of the opinion and stated that “Not a lot of people were interested in that space. Still, there are not a lot of people in that space because it is not considered glamorous and rewarding. Unlike working in the orphanages and other sub-sectors, this one is a unique area”. One of the obstacles faced by her NGO is the fact that many people have the perception that prison inmates commit offences and/or harm people to get in there, so there is no desire to render support.
She faced funding constraints when she set up the charity. She resorted to offering consultancy services to organizations to raise funds for her charity work. Some of the consultancy assignments have been multifaceted and multisectoral, spanning government ministries, the banking industry, among others. She has gained expertise in the health and other sectors of the Ghanaian economy and remains committed to contribute to the development of her country.