Only three African women made in Forbes’ list of 100 most powerful women in the world. According to Forbes this a list that gives the smartest and toughest female business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, philanthropists and CEOs making their mark in the world today.
The most powerful woman in Africa and number 80 in the world’s most 100 is Nigeria’s Folorunsho Alakija. Ms. Alakija at the age of 65 is said to have a net worth of 1.73 billion dollars after investing in the oil industry. She is the vice chair of a Nigerian oil exploration company, Famfa oil, that is in one of Nigeria’s largest deep water oil discoveries. Alikija’s net worth has fallen due to the low global oil prices.
Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf comes in second in Africa and 83rd on the global list. The 77 year old formidable leadership in rebuilding Liberia post-civil war and amidst crippling debts landed her on the list and was as well recognized for her efforts by the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. Ms Johnson Sirleaf has been able to negotiate settlements, rebuild infrastructure, lift sanctions and rebuild women‘s rights.
“She (Sirleaf) came under fire for cronyism and corruption, and during the devastating Ebola outbreak of 2014, her decision to use troops to quarantine the heavily infected and poor West Point neighborhood was widely criticized. Despite this, she receives credit for some parts of her leadership, including her final presidential act: Stepping aside to let the country’s democratic process choose its next leader.” Says Forbes
Making it narrowly to the list at number 96 and third in Africa is Mauritius’ President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim. Before she was pulled to politics in 2015, the 56 year old President was immersed in her Research center that was compiling a database of the plants on the Island nation and promoting the importance of biodiversity to an international audience. She became the Island’s President after she was selected as a presidential candidate by the major political party. She has used her power to bring her concerns as scientist to a larger audience.
“She (Ameenah) is working to advance awareness of global warming and to promote new investments in science and technology in Mauritius and greater Africa. She’s already making strides on both fronts, including partnering with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to pilot 10 PhD research grants on the island, with plans expand the program to as many as 10,000 other scientists across Africa in the future.” Said Forbes
The top five most powerful women in the world include Germany’s Angela Merkel, Hillary Clinton Presidential candidate in the United States, Chair at the Federal Reserve in the United States Janet Yellen, Melinda Gates the Cochair at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and fifthly, Mary Barra the CEO of General Motors in the United States.