Be the change. Be Inspired. Be you.
Recognizing (40) African women with powerful, inspiring and influential voices.
Introducing Africa’s leading women!
At the AWP Network, we aim to encourage more African women with powerful voices who will continue to create programs and policies that support the development and growth of African women and girls.
(1) Ameenah Gurib-Fakim (Mauritius): Biodiversity Scientist and President of Mauritius is AWP Network woman of the year. Gurib-Fakim is the first woman elected president of the Republic. She is also managing director of CIDP Research & Innovation where she devotes her time to research the medical and nutritive implications of indigenous plants in Mauritius. In addition to all of her responsibilities, she is focused on helping Africa to develop as well as increase its science, research and development ecosystem.
(2) Catherine Samba-Panza (Central African Republic): lawyer and businesswoman, is the interim president of the Central African Republic. Samba-Panza is the first woman to hold the position.
(3) Saara Kuugongelwa – Amadhila (Namibia): is the prime minister of Namibia. Prior to becoming prime minister, she served as minister of finance.
(4) Inonge Wina (Zambia): is vice president of Zambia and is the highest ranking female in the history of the country.
(5) Rebecca Alitwala-Kadaga (Uganda): lawyer and politician, is the first woman elected speaker in the history of the parliament in Uganda.
(6) Oley Dibba-Wadda (The Gambia): is executive secretary of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa, an organization focused on education for leadership and change.
(7) Hanna Tetteh (Ghana): is Ghana’s minister of foreign affairs. Tetteh is responsible for overseeing the country’s foreign policy and international diplomacy.
(8) Amina J. Mohammed (Nigeria): is Nigeria’s minister of the environment. Prior to this role, Mohammed served as special adviser to UN Secretary-General on post – 2015 development planning. She is also Founder of the Center for Development Policy Solutions.
(9) Ibukun Awosika (Nigeria): is the first female chairperson of First Bank Nigeria. Awosika is also founder of The Chair Centre Ltd., a market leader in office furniture manufacturing. She also sits on the Board of Trustees of Women in Management and Business.
(10) Jennifer Riria (Kenya): serves as chair and board member of Women’s World Banking. She is winner of the 2015 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award and CEO of Kenya Women Holdings – a microfinance, banking and insurance group that works with 900,000 women and employs 2,800 people. Since its inception, Kenya Women Holdings has disbursed $1.3billion of loans.
(11) Gina Din Kariuki (Kenya): is 2015 winner of the CNBC Business Woman of the Year award and CEO of Gina Din Group, an indigenous strategic communications agency, helping companies to develop their brands and tell their stories.
(12) Leticia Osafo-Addo (Ghana): is founder of Samba Foods, a manufacturing company created to commercialize the production of pepper sauce popularly known as “Shito.”
(13) Mimi Alemayehou (Ethiopia): is managing director at Black Rhino Group and chair of Blackstone Africa Infrastructure LP. Prior to these roles, Alemayehou was appointed by President Obama as Executive Vice President of OPIC – the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
(14) Natasha Sideris (South Africa): is founder of tashas restaurant. Sideris opened the first tashas restaurant in Atholl, Johannesburg. Since partnering with Famous Brands, another twelve tashas restaurants have opened countrywide and more recently, one in Dubai.
(15) Tara Fela-Durotoye (Nigeria): is founder of House of Tara International, a leading beauty and skin-care consulting firm. Durotoye is also founder of 14 schools that teach makeup as the key to business success.
(16) Monica Musunda (Zambia): is chief executive of Java Foods, a manufacturing company created to help change the eating habits of young Africans by offering affordable and nutritious food options made from local products.
(17) Bisila Bokoko (Spain): is founder of BBES, a business development agency that represents and promotes brands internationally. Prior to this, Bokoko was executive director of the Spain-US Chamber of Commerce.
(18) Iza Irame (Rwanda): investment banker and corporate leader, is CEO of African Alliance, a company focused on developing solutions in asset management and corporate finance.
(19) Blessing Okagbare- Ighoteguonor (Nigeria): made the Guinness Book of World record as the athlete with the most diamond league appearances.
(20) Chinwe Ohajuruka (Nigeria): is winner of the 2015 Cartier Women’s Initiative award and founder of Comprehensive Design Services, a company focused on building affordable, energy and resource efficient houses in Nigeria.
(21) Gail Mawocha (Zimbabwe): is founding director of Mustard Seed Africa, an organization whose focus is for the economic and social empowerment of rural women in Africa.
(22) Netumbo Nandi – Ndaitwah (Namibia): is Namibia’s deputy prime minister. Nandi–Ndaitwah also serves as Minister of International Relations and Cooperation.
(23) Nigest Haile (Ethiopia): is founder and executive director of the Center for Accelerated Women’s Economic Empowerment, the only organization in Ethiopia working to provide capacity building support services targeting women exporters.
(24) Nneka Isaac-Moses (Nigeria): is co-founder and leading producer at Goge Africa, a pioneer brand in travels, tours, culture and African exploration. Goge Africa began as a pan-African culture travel program anchored by Isaac-Moses and her partner.
(25) Sandra Aguebor-Ekperuoh (Nigeria): is the first lady mechanic in Nigeria and founder of The Lady Mechanic. The Lady Mechanic Initiative empowers and trains former sex workers, orphans, and victims of trafficking to become mechanics.
(26) Henrietta Onwuegbuzie (Nigeria): is one of the leading voices on entrepreneurship at the Lagos Business School. Onwuegbuzie is a member of the governing council of the African Forum in Brussels and sits on the board of a number of Nigerian companies.
(27) Adenike Adeyemi (Nigeria): is the executive director at the Fate Foundation, an organization focused on providing business education and support services to entrepreneurs. Adeyemi is a member of the human capital development commission of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and a mentor for the Cherie Blair Foundation’s Women in Business Program.
(28) Tope Oshin-Ogun (Nigeria): is a multiple award-winning director and producer. Oshin-Ogun has worked on numerous projects to include, “The Apprentice Africa,” “Tinsel,” and “Fifty” to name a few.
(29) Itoro Eze-Anaba (Nigeria): founded the Mirabel Center, an initiative of Partnership for Justice, which supports victims of rape and sexual assault. The center provides survivors an opportunity to gain access to free forensic medical, legal and counseling services.
(30) Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu (Ethiopia): is founder of Sole Rebels, a footwear company showcasing indigenous Eco-sensible crafts and artisan talents. She is also founder of ‘The Republic of Leather,’ a company focused on custom-design sustainable luxury leather goods.
(31) Adesuwa Onyenokwe (Nigeria): is an award-winning publisher of Today’s Woman magazine. Onyenokwe recently launched the talk show, “Seriously Speaking,” an interactive platform established to discuss and provide solutions to development issues facing Nigeria.
(32) Olufunke Baruwa (Nigeria): leads the Nigerian Women Fund, aimed at increasing the representation of women in governance. The organization also addresses the growing concerns of gender imbalance in elective and appointive positions.
(33) Suzana Moreira (South Africa): is founder of moWoza, a company providing informal cross-border trades in Southern Africa with a mobile information service on pricing and access to goods.
(34) Clarisse Iribagiza (Rwanda): is founder of HeHe Limited, a leading mobile technologies company that connects businesses to customers.
(35) Thato Kgatlhanye (South Africa): Anzisha Prize fellow and founder of Rethaka Trading, which repurposes plastic bags making them durable and environmentally friendly. The company recycles plastic shopping bags into solar powered schoolbags, which charge up during the day and provides light at night.
(36) Solome Lemma (Ethiopia): is a White House Champion of Change, co-founder of Africans in the Diaspora (AiD) – an organization created to unleash the philanthropic and intellectual capital of the Diaspora to advance sustainable development in Africa, and HornLight, a platform promoting dignified narratives on the Horn of Africa.
(37) Elizabeth Patterson (Ghana): is founder of Girls Education Initiative of Ghana, an organization providing educational access for girls with seen and unseen disabilities.
(38) Divine Muragijimana (Burundi): is co-founder of the Council of Young African Leaders, an organization focused on increasing the visibility, voices and public participation of young Africans in the Diaspora.
(39) Alice Aluoch (Kenya) – is a Vital Voices Leadership fellow and founder of Mfariji Africa, an organization providing sanitary towels and menstrual hygiene training to marginalized girls in Kenya to help them stay in school and complete their education. Aluoch also received the Startup Africa Social Entrepreneur of the year award.
(40) Tope Egbetokun (Nigeria) – is a Vital Voices Leadership fellow and founder of Business without Boundaries, an organization created to provide the leadership needed to jump-start, re-invent and transform every aspect of business and human capacity development. Business without Boundaries helps communities pay it forward through training, mentoring and leadership development for women, youth and girls.