Meet Africa’s 50 Most Powerful Women of 2020 according to Forbes

This is a first-of-its-kind Pan-African compilation of the continent’s leading women, drawn from business, politics, media, science, sports and public life, who are challenging the status quo and creating a trail on terrain where there was none.

They are reshaping history, closing inequalities and pioneering new avenues of wealth creation and in turn, lifting others with them.

Africa’s 50 Most Powerful Women

Forbes Africa “sifted through several recognition lists, conducted our own research in coming up with new names, and short-listed nominations that came in from our editorial teams across Africa, applying our own metrics of leadership, influence, consistency, and most importantly, impact.”

These women are all doing excellently well in their fields, breaking records, boundaries and being pacesetters for the womenfolk. There are 18 South African women and 10 Nigerians, for the full list of the women spread across Africa see below.

To read the full feature, download the issue here.

NAME COUNTRY TITLE SECTOR
GRACA MACHEL SOUTH AFRICA FOUNDER, GRACA MACHEL TRUST SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
CLARE AKAMANZI RWANDA CEO, RWANDA DEVELOPMENT BOARD SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT/GOVERNANCE
FOLORUNSO ALAKIJA NIGERIA EXECUTIVE VICE CHAIR, FAMFA OIL OIL SECTOR
JENNIFER RIRIA KENYA GROUP CEO, ECHO NETWORK AFRICA (ENA); FOUNDING MEMBER, KENYA WOMEN FINANCE TRUST FINANCE
LOUISE MUSHIKIWABO RWANDA SECRETARY GENERAL, ORGANISATION INTERNATIONALE DE LA FRANCOPHONIE (OIF)  
AYA CHEBBI TUNISIA BLOGGER AND AFRICA UNION YOUTH ENVOY MEDIA
ELSIE KANZA TANZANIA HEAD OF AFRICA AND MEMBER OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM FINANCE
IBUKUN AWOSIKA NIGERIA FOUNDER AND CEO, THE CHAIR CENTRE GROUP MANUFACTURING
DR JUDY DLAMINI SOUTH AFRICA FOUNDER, MBEKANI GROUP SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
CHARLIZE THERON SOUTH AFRICA HOLLYWOOD ACTRESS ENTERTAINMENT
CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE NIGERIA AUTHOR, PUBLIC SPEAKER PUBLISHING
PHUTI MAHANYELE-DABENGWA SOUTH AFRICA CEO, NASPERS SOUTH AFRICA TECHNOLOGY
OBIAGELI ‘OBY’ EZEKWESILI NIGERIA SENIOR ECONOMIC ADVISOR, AFRICA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT POLICY INITIATIVE (AEDPI) SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
GLENDA GRAY SOUTH AFRICA PRESIDENT AND CEO, SOUTH AFRICAN MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (SAMRC) HEALTHCARE
THULI MADONSELA SOUTH AFRICA LAW TRUST CHAIR, SOCIAL JUSTICE RESEARCH AT STELLENBOSCH UNIVERSITY LAW
WENDY LUHABE SOUTH AFRICA SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR & CO-FOUNDER, WIPHOLD FINANCE
ANGÉLIQUE KIDJO BENIN FOUR-TIME GRAMMY AWARD WINNER ENTERTAINMENT
MANAL ROSTOM EGYPT FOUNDER, SURVIVING HIJAB AND FACE OF NIKE PRO HIJAB HEALTH AND FITNESS
LYDIA NSEKERA BURUNDI PRESIDENT, NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (NOC) OF BURUNDI AND MEMBER OF FIFA COUNCIL SPORT/GOVERNANCE
WINNIE BYANYIMA UGANDA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, UNAIDS SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
NGOZI OKONJO-IWEALA NIGERIA CHAIR, BOARD OF THE GLOBAL ALLIANCE FOR VACCINES AND IMMUNISATION (GAVI) HEALTHCARE
PHUMZILE MLAMBO-NGCUKA SOUTH AFRICA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, UNITED NATIONS (UN) WOMEN SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
WARIS DIRIE SOMALIA PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER, DESERT FLOWER FOUNDATION SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
ELLEN JOHNSON SIRLEAF LIBERIA FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT OF LIBERIA, NOBEL PEACE LAUREATE GOVERNANCE
YVONNE CHAKA CHAKA SOUTH AFRICA AWARD-WINNING MUSICIAN ENTERTAINMENT
SAHLE-WORK ZEWDE ETHIOPIA PRESIDENT OF ETHIOPIA GOVERNANCE
MAMOKGETHI (KGETHI) PHAKENG SOUTH AFRICA VICE-CHANCELLOR, UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN (UCT) EDUCATION
REBECCA ENONCHONG CAMEROON FOUNDER & CEO, APPSTECH TECHNOLOGY
BONANG MATHEBA SOUTH AFRICA MEDIA PERSONALITY, ENTREPRENEUR ENTERTAINMENT
FATMA SAMOURA SENEGAL SECRETARY-GENERAL, FIFA SPORT
IRENE CHARNLEY SOUTH AFRICA FOUNDER, SMILE COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY
UCHENNA ‘UCHE’ PEDRO NIGERIA FOUNDER AND CEO, BELLANAIJA MEDIA
ILWAD ELMAN SOMALIA FOUNDER, ELMAN PEACE CENTRE ACTIVISM
WENDY APPELBAUM SOUTH AFRICA FOUNDER AND CHAIRPERSON, DE MORGENZON WINE ESTATE ENTREPRENEUR
OLAJUMOKE ADENOWO NIGERIA FOUNDER, AD CONSULTING ADVERTISING
BETHLEHEM TILAHUN ALEMU ETHIOPIA FOUNDER AND CEO, SOLEREBELS FOOTWEAR, GARDEN OF COFFEE, TEFFTASTIC ENTREPRENEUR
NKOSAZANA DLAMINI-ZUMA SOUTH AFRICA MINISTER OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS, SOUTH AFRICA GOVERNANCE
WENDY ACKERMAN SOUTH AFRICA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PICK ‘N PAY RETAIL
CASTER SEMENYA SOUTH AFRICA OLYMPIC CHAMPION SPORT
RAWYA MANSOUR EGYPT FOUNDER AND CEO, RAMSCO AGRICULTURE
ARUNMA OTEH NIGERIA ACADEMIC SCHOLAR, UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD FORMER TREASURER AND VICE PRESIDENT, WORLD BANK LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE AFRICA ADVISORY GROUP MEMBER FINANCE
FATOU BENSOUDA GAMBIA PROSECUTOR, INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT (ICC) LAW
HAJER SHARIEF LIBYA HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATE ACTIVISM
AMINA J. MOHAMMED NIGERIA DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL, UNITED NATIONS SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
PRECIOUS MOTSEPE SOUTH AFRICA FOUNDER, AFRICAN FASHION INTERNATIONAL FASHION
LUPITA NYONG’O KENYA OSCAR-WINNING ACTOR ENTERTAINMENT
VERA SONGWE CAMEROON EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, UNITED NATIONS ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR AFRICA SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
MAGDA WIERZYCKA SOUTH AFRICA FOUNDER, SYGNIA FINANCE
TARA FELA-DUROTOYE NIGERIA FOUNDER, HOUSE OF TARA INTERNATIONAL BEAUTY
THERESA KACHINDAMOTO MALAWI CHIEF OF DEDZA DISTRICT

Source: Forbes Africa

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