Today, women in Africa are rising to the top in education, businesses, politics, and power. Unlike in the past where men assumed most of the powerful positions, leaving women as homemakers and child raisers. In the present day and age, women have gone against all odds to change the status quo and make the world a better place than they found it. Outlined below, will find a list of influential women in Africa today.
Amina J. Mohammed
She is the Secretary-General of the United Nations since January 2o17. Between November 2015 and December 2016, Amina served as the Minister of Environment in Nigeria, when Muhammad Buhari was the President in office. During this service, she advocated for the protection of natural resources and the environment, to steer sustainable development in Nigeria. She also worked as a Special Advisor to the then UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
She was the first female president in Liberia and Africa at large. Ellen ruled for a 12-year tenure, and always fought hard to; eradicate unemployment, end the Ebola menace, and reduce the national debt. Together with Laymah Gbowee, Ellen Johnson won the Nobel Peace Prize for her emphasis on women’s rights. Currently, she chairs the UN High-Level Panel on Migration in Africa.
She is the present President of Ethiopia from October 2018. Sahle is the first woman to run for office as a president in Africa. Her diplomacy and expertise in the United Nations made her get elected unanimously by the parliament. She pledged to be a voice to the rights of women in her first public address.
She is the Secretary-General of the International Organization of La Francophonie. Her exceptional leadership skills influenced the France president to appoint her for the role, despite Rwanda changing its official language from French to English. She formerly acted as the Foreign Minister of Rwanda where she showcased exceptional leadership skills.
She was the first woman to assume office as a Prime Minister in Namibia in March 2015. On top of that, Saara served in Namibia’s national assembly since 1995. She also fought tirelessly to reduce the national debt when she was the Finance Minister. Her various leadership roles have made her an important icon in Africa.
Isabel dos Santos
She’s among the most influential women in Africa. Isabel is the first daughter of the former president of Angola, Jose Eduardo dos Santos. She inherited some of the stakes from her father. Miss Isabel owns about 19% of a Portuguese bank, Banco BPI, and dominates stakes at the Nos SGPs (a Portugal telecom company). She’s currently working on growing her investments and her net worth is estimated to be $3.4 billion.
She’s the daughter of the former president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Laurent Kabila, and a twin sister to the president Joseph Kabila. Jaynet is diligent in her lawmaking career and also an owner of a radio, TV, and internet company. The French Magazine Jeune Afrique once recognized her as the most influential woman.
She’s a Malian politician, aged 35 years old, who was appointed as the Foreign Minister by the President of Mali Boubacar Keiter. Ms. Kamissa is among the 11 women in the cabinet of 32 members. She’s the youngest and among the most brilliant political leaders in Mali.
She owns a fashion brand called Supreme Stitches in Nigeria, which designs Nigeria’s sophisticated fashions. She also has shareholdings at Famfa Oil, a lucrative oil production firm in Nigeria. Folorunsho is worth $1.6 billion, no wonder Forbes listed her as one of the richest women globally. She’s also a philanthropist and donates to a charity for orphans and widows.
Ngozi Okonjo Iweala
Ngozi was the first woman and black person in history to vie for the presidency in the World Bank Group. She served as a Finance Minister in Nigeria where she stressed on the need for economic growth. As a result, she started the Centre for the Study of Economies in Nigeria. Currently, she is the chairperson at Alliance for Vaccines.
She hails from Zambia and is an internationally recognized Economist. She received her post-graduate degree in Business, Public Administration, and Economics from Harvard University. She’s currently a board member of the Barclays Bank, SAB Miller, and Barrick Gold. She served as a Consultant at the World Bank for two years and as a Research Strategist at Goldman Sachs for eight years.
These are just examples of a few women who have risen to the top and built an empire for themselves. They are great models for young people to emulate and make the world a better place.