Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation

The hundred African women driving change

Rivista Africa 29.12.2022 Giuseppe Taibi Translated by: Jpic-jp.org

them, they are dreamers with great practical sense, they are the symbolic women of an Africa looking towards the future and challenging the status quo.

Entrepreneurs, activists, journalists, artists, sportswomen, diplomats: heroines chosen by Avance Media, which through its women empowerment project, Be A Girl, has produced this annual publication to highlight and celebrate the 100 most influential African women. Women who have climbed the corporate ladder, started their own businesses or been at the forefront of decision-making both locally and internationally.

In the corporate sector, among the most influential women is Aida Diarra, Visa's African number 2, as of November 2018 she looks after the giant's operations in forty-eight sub-Saharan African markets. Among the confirmations, always present in previous editions of Avance Media, is Ghanaian Angela Kyerematen-Jimoh, regional director responsible for North, East and West Africa at IBM. She is the first woman and the first African to hold the role. Ghanaian also is Dentaa Amoateng Mbe, president and founder of the corporate brand Grow Unite Build Africa (GUBA), a social enterprise organisation dedicated to the advancement of migrant Africans around the world through various socio-economic programmes and initiatives.

Continuing through the list of names one finds Nangula Nelulu Uaandja, managing director of the new Namibian Investment Promotion and Development Committee. Scrolling down the list one comes across the name of former Nigerian Minister of Finance and Foreign Affairs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, currently head of the World Trade Organisation and chairman of the Gavi Vaccine Alliance board of directors, which is committed to ensuring that immunisation programmes are financially viable. Nigerian is also Odunayo Eweniyi, co-founder of PiggyVest, the largest digital savings and micro-investment platform in Nigeria.

Compatriot Owen Omogiafo, chairman and CEO of Transnational corporation of Nigeria Plc, is also in the ranking. In the Horn of Africa region, high regard is placed on Ethiopian Sophia Bekele, CEO of the PanAfrican DotConnect Africa group, who has launched a platform that offers a unique opportunity for women entrepreneurs to sell, process payments and manage their finances online.

Not only successful women entrepreneurs, but also women on the frontline against climate change. Like Elizabeth Wathuti, environmentalist and climate activist from Kenya. She is the founder of the Green Generation Initiative that educates young people to love nature. Or Vanessa Nakate, Ugandan activist, known for her efforts to promote policies against climate change. She was the first Fridays for Future activist in Uganda, when she launched a strike protest against the effects of climate change in her country in January 2019.

Then there is the chapter of the philanthropy’s female champions. This is where women like Agnes Kalibata, president of the Alliance for a green revolution in Africa, an organisation fighting for a prosperous and food-secure Africa through rapid agricultural growth, improving the productivity and livelihoods of millions small farmers, find their place. Or as Aya Chebbi, a Tunisian feminist and diplomat. She became famous as a voice for democracy and political blogger during the Tunisian revolution of 2010-2011, and is the founder of the Nala feminist collective, a multigenerational alliance of African women. From the Ivory Coast comes Edith Yah Brou, blogger and co-founder of Akendewa and Africa Contents Group.

Among the most influential women is former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, already crowned by Newsweek. The list goes on with Cameroonian Françoise Moudouthe, Managing Director of the African Women's Development Fund, Mozambican Graça Machel, widow of South African President Nelson Mandela and of Mozambique’s President Samora Machel, supporter of women's and children's rights, and South African Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. From North Africa comes the name of the Egyptian Rasha Kelej, senator and CEO of the Merck Foundation in support of women's inclusion.

Then there is another chapter, that of diplomacy. Here the role of the Egyptian Amani Abou-Zeid, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission, the Nigerian Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, and the Senegalese Bineta Diop, Special Envoy for Women and Children of the African Union, is recognised. Joining the ranks of successful women are Senegalese Coumba Dieng Sow, head of the FAO in Rwanda, Nigerian Fatima Kyari Mohammed, permanent observer of the African Union to the United Nations and Ugandan Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International.

Then there are women who through their art and creativity are effecting change for the continent’s future. Here are Nigerian music star Tiwa Savag, Ugandan comedian Anne Kansime and Beninese pop star Ayra Starr.

Needless to say, the ranking also includes powerful women heading governments or ministries, such as the President of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia Sahle-Work Zewde, the first woman to hold the post, or her Tanzanian counterpart Samia Suluhu Hassan, or Senegal's Minister of Economy Oulimata Sarr. While from Malawi comes another name, that of Labour Minister Vera Kamtukule.

From the world of the media come also examples of successful women bearers of that girl power hope for the continent. Avance Media includes in its publication the name of Nana Aba Anamoah, a well-known face on Ghanaian TV and compatriot and TV producer Peace Hyde, also powerfully influent in Great Britain.

Finally, the only sportswoman in the special ranking is Nigerian sprinter Tobi Amusan, world record holder in the 100-metre hurdles at the Oregon 2022 World Championships. As fast as she is, it is hoped the change imprinted by women will be.

See, Le cento donne africane che guidano il cambiamento

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