In Africa, as throughout the world, women are proving they can be powerful, and that there are many ways to express power; through intelligence, perseverance and through inspiring others, for instance. Though financial success does grant influence, it often comes as a consequence of doing what one loves and can be used as a facilitator for positive change.
We would like to honour a few of the continent’s women who have achieved all their potential power and now inspire others to find their own.
Folorunsho Alakija – Nigeria
Self-made billionaire Folorunsho is the founder of Supreme Stitches, an upscale tailoring company that boasts many of Nigeria’s high-society personalities as clients. Supreme Stitches found success just when the West African country experienced a boom in its middleclass population and an increase in demand for luxury goods and services that came with it. Also Managing Director of The Rose of Sharon Group and Executive Vice chairman of Famfa Oil, Folorunsho is widely regarded as one of the most powerful women in Africa.
Rebecca Enonchong – Cameroon
Hailed as a leading tech personality by Forbes, Rebecca is the founder and CEO of AppsTech, a global provider of enterprise application solutions with a presence in over 50 countries. She is also Chairperson of Active Spaces, a Cameroonian tech hub and incubator aimed at promoting tech throughout the continent.
Dambisa Moyo – Zambia
A well-respected international economist with post-graduate degrees in Business, Public Administration and Economics from both Harvard and Oxford, the former World Bank consultant is also an author whose work examines macroeconomic trends. Dambisa is currently serving on the boards of several major international companies, including Barclays Bank and SAB Miller.
Tebogo Mashego – South Africa
Tebogo is the founder of Ditsogo Projects, a metal manufacturer and steel-engineering services supplier in Rustenburg, South Africa’s industrial heart. Not only is the young entrepreneur breaking barriers in what is traditionally viewed as a man’s world while inspiring other women to do the same, she’s also looking out for Mother Nature: Tebogo’s work is directly related to the country’s Sustainable Development Goal 9, which includes promoting sustainable industrialisation.
Tabitha Karanja – Kenya
Tabitha is founder and CEO of the only large-scale Kenyan brewery owned by a Kenyan, Keroche Breweries. Launched twenty years ago, Keroche Breweries initially produced only wine, later moving on to spirits and beer. Before Tabitha’s business could move one, however, she had to find distributors in a market monopolised by East African Breweries for almost a century. Through sheer determination, Tabitha found buyers and the market responded positively to her main brand, Summit, allowing a USD29 million expansion.