Theo Sowa

African Women’s Development Fund

Theo Sowa is an independent advisor and consultant, specialising in international social development with a particular emphasis on children’s rights and protection issues. She is currently the CEO of the African Women’s Development Fund.

Born in Ghana, she has lived and worked in many countries in Africa, as well as the UK, Europe, and the USA. Her work includes advisory roles to African and other international women and children’s rights activists and leaders, plus policy development and advocacy with a variety of international agencies and organisations. She was Senior Programme Advisor to the UN Study on Children and Armed Conflict (the Machel Report) and led the five-year review of the report.

Sowa is a board member of various national and international civil society organisations and grant-making foundations, including being a trustee of Comic Relief (a multi-million grant-making foundation) and Chair of Comic Relief’s International Grants Committee; a member of the African Advisory Board of the Stephen Lewis Foundation; a Patron of Evidence for Development; a member of the UBS Optimus Foundation; and a board member of the Graça Machel Trust.

She has authored many publications, including being a contributing editor to “The Impact of War on Children”; a contributing author and co-editor of a Harvard Law School/UNICEF Innocenti publication on “Children and Transitional Justice”; and co-author of “Groupwork and Intermediate Treatment.” She was awarded Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in June 2010.