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About Us

Brief History

DEC is a non-governmental, non-discriminating, not-for-profit, women-focused organisation improving the wellbeing of women groups and communities in Nigeria through socio-economic interventions for sustainable development. DEC is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as an entity incorporated by trust with number (IT-10826).
The establishment of Development Exchange Centre (DEC) in 1987 was inspired by research conducted by a group of volunteers from the Canadian University Services Overseas (CUSO) with support from the Adult and Non-Formal Education Agency (ANFEA), Bauchi state which highlighted various ways and areas in which women were disadvantaged and marginalized, particularly in northern Nigeria. DEC was conceived as a social enterprise to empower women and improve their living conditions and status through integrated development services and initiatives.
DEC started as a forum to exchange development ideas among practitioners in the industry and women groups, and it emerged with the mission to deliver both social and economic development services to identified target populations. Over the years DEC has pursued its mission through various capacity-building programmes including functional adult education; vocational skills development; livelihood & resilience; sexual and reproductive health education; water, sanitation & sustainable environment; democracy and good governance; and microfinance for which DEC is most known. Currently, DEC is present in 24 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Nigeria, operating through 32 Area Offices that oversee 130 business units. 


  • To empower women through project funding and capacity building.
  • To provide an effective information network among women groups and other relevant development organisations.
  • To improve the living conditions of women by providing access to microservices and promoting entrepreneurial development to women groups.
  • To improve the skills of governmental and non-governmental agencies, organisations, and workers by providing appropriate training and workshops.
  • To support community development efforts and initiatives through integrated and participatory approaches for sustainable development at the grassroots.
  • Facilitate the provision of appropriate extension services to women through governmental and non-governmental channels and agents.

Core Values

  • Transparency: Being open and accountable in the use of resources and in the ways decisions are made on matters of interest to the organization and its stakeholders.
  • Teamwork: Complementing each other’s ideas and expertise towards achieving both individuals as well as organizational goals.
  • Accountability: Willing and ready to perform in a manner that shows the organization is responsible and answerable to all its stakeholders, both internal and external.
  • Integrity: Ensuring credibility, trustworthiness and projecting a positive image of individual and organization at all times and in all things.
  • Inclusion: Ensuring social inclusion and respect for human dignity and creating an environment where everyone counts.
  • Partnership: DEC values relationship, rights, responsibilities and mutual sharing of resources for the achievement of common goals.
  • Innovation/Creativity: Valuing and encouraging the ability to bring out new and great ideas that bring unique insights into DEC’s work, giving it a competitive advantage or resulting in lowering the cost of operations for the organization.



Empowering women to improve their living conditions and status through partnerships and integrated development services and initiatives.

A society with equitable opportunities for sustainable development.

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