Top 10 Most Influential African Women.

We love to celebrate extraordinary women doing great things in their positions. They have received several awards and are recognised worldwide. Below are ten such women and some of their achievements in no particular order.

Agnes Binagwaho

She is a paediatrician from Rwanda. Currently, she the vice-chancellor of the university of global health equity. She has held several government positions. She served as the Permanent Secretary to the Minister of Health between 2008 till 2011. She then became the Minister from 2011 to 2016. She was in the UN body International Advisory Board for Lancet Global Health Journal. Also, she is one of the founding board members of the tropical institute of community health and development Africa, a community-based programme in Kisumu, Kenya.

Currently, she is the vice-chancellor of the university of global health equity. She also still serves in the following positions;

a. an expert panel of the Commonwealth Road Safety Initiative 

b. as the Co-Chair of the steering committee for the Clearly Research Program as the chairman. 

She is influential due to the medical and health impact in Rwanda, Africa, and the world.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

She is notably the first woman and the first Nigerian and African to become the Director-General of the World Trade Organization. She served as Nigerian Financial Minister twice under the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan. She also served as Minister of foreign affairs in Nigeria. Since 2019 she has been part of the UNESCO united commission on the future of education. In 2020, she became appointed by the African Union as a special envoy to solicit international support to help the continent deal with the economic impact of COVID 19. She has received several awards and recognition due to her influence. In 2014, The TIMES named her one of the Top 100 most influential people globally. Also, Forbes recognised her in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 as the top 100 most powerful women globally.

Agnes Matilda Kalibata

She is a Rwandan, an agricultural scientist and a policymaker. She is currently the President of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), an African organisation whose mission is to improve the food security of millions of households in Africa, where she serves as the President.

She served as Rwandan Minister for Agriculture and Animal Resources from 2008 till 2014. The agricultural sector of Rwanda had a great leap during her tenure. The poverty level in Rwanda dropped by more than 50% while she served as the Minister. Briefly, in 2015, she served as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for institutional development at the University of Rwanda.

Also, in 2019, United Nations Secretary-General appointed Agnes as his special envoy for the 2021 food system submission. She is well known for the significant impact she had in the agricultural sector of Africa.

Sahle-Work Zewde

She is Ethiopia’s current President and the first woman to hold such a position. A politician and a diplomat., she started as an ambassador to Senegal from 1989 to 1993. Zewde also served as Ambassador to France. In 2011, she got an appointment as special representative of the united nations Secretary-General, General Ban ki-moon. She became President of Ethiopia on October 25th, 2018, and Ethiopians expect her to serve two tenures of six years each.

FORBES has recognised her as one of the 100 most powerful women globally.

Charity Ngilu HE.

She is a Kenyan politician and the second elected governor of Kitui county in Kenyan. She unsuccessfully vied to be Kenyan President in the year 1997. She served as Minister of health from 2003 to 2007 and as Minister of water and irrigation from 2008 to 2011. She currently serves as Governor of Kitui country. She is well known for her great political strength.

Chimmamnda Adiche Ngozi 

Known for her inspiring work, this Nigerian writer has written novels, short stories, and non-fiction. She is a well-known feminist. Her notable books include Half of the yellow sun, Purple Hibiscus, Why we should all be Feminists, Americanah, and many amazing books.

She has won several awards and got nominations for numerous awards. In 2002, she won the BBC Measuring competition. Her most recent award was in 2018, when she won the pen printer price. She has controversial views that have been an inspiration for debates and new thinking. 

Samia Suluhu Hassan

A Tanzanian politician, she serves as the sixth and current President of Tanzania. She is the first female to hold this position. She is a native of Zanzibar, and she served as a regional minister. She became the first female Vice President of Tanzania alongside President Magufuli in 2015. And they were both reelected in 2020. On March 17th 2021, when President Maghufuli died, the country swore her in as his successor on March 19th 2021. She is known for her political resilience and strength and is undoubtedly one of the most powerful women today.

Sola David-Borha

The chief executive (CEO) of Africa Regions at the Standard Bank Group since 2017 became the CEO of Stanbic IBTC plc in May 2011. She holds several influential positions as she is one of the non-executive directors of Cocacola, a member of the governing council of Redeemers University, non-executive director of CR Services Credit Bureau PLC, and university of Ibadan Business School. The Nigerian is Business Woman of the Year for the West Africa region, 2016 for the All Africa Business Leaders Awards. And she is known for her business initiatives.

Other great women who have appropriately used their influence are Angélique Kidjo and Ellen Johnson.


  • Esther Matthew

    I am an avid reader and a Writer. As a creative writer, I ensure I do absolute research to make my articles enticing and interesting. My hobbies are reading, writing and traveling.

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