Tuesday, 16 June 2015

5 most influential women in Africa

Across the African continent, highly educated and intelligent women are making their presence felt in a wide range of professions and industries, from law to politics, and logistics to fashion. Here is a selection of just five of the most influential women

Ory Okolloh  (Africa Top Success)

Ory Okolloh
37-year-old Ory Okolloh was born in Kenya and, though her parents had little money to spend on her education, she went on to study at theUniversity of Pittsburgh, where she gained a high school diploma in political sciences, before studying law at Harvard, where she graduated from in 2005.

Rather than following a career in the US, Ory returned to Africa where she began working as a lawyer and becoming Policy Manager forGoogle Africa. She also began to make a name for herself as a political activist, co-founding the parliamentary watchdog website, Mzalendo (Patriot). Following the hotly disputed Kenyan elections of 2007, she set up another website, Ushahidi (Witness), which used a combination of Google Maps and eyewitness text messages to report and co-ordinate incidences of violence.

Dr. Jennifer Jamilah Douglas-Abubakar  (The Elites Nigeria)
Dr. Jennifer Jamilah Douglas-Abubakar
Born in Nigeria, Jennifer Douglas gained a PhD at Washington University before going on to become a journalist. She met and married former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, while living in Maryland.

In 2002, while residing in the US, Jennifer formed the Gede Foundation, which became the first organization in Nigeria to offer assistance to HIV/AIDS sufferers. Since then, it has opened hundreds of clinics and a number of laboratories. Today, the foundation is at the forefront of making the wider population more aware of the effects the disease has on life expectancy and mental health.

Obiageli Ezekwesili  (Youtube)
Obiageli Ezekwesili
You will all be aware of the atrocities carried out by Boko Haram, but few have done as much to raise global awareness of the issues as Obiageli Ezekwesili, thanks to the#BringBackOurGirls movement.

The former Minister of Education has continued to fight to ensure no one forgets these girls, who have now been held captive for over a year. The organization stands ready to offer compassion and care to all those who manage to escape their captors or who are freed by the military.

Afua Osei and Yasmin Belo-Osagie  (Konnect Africa)
Afua Osei and Yasmin Belo-Osagie
The co-founders of 'She leads Africa', who are aged just 27 and 25, respectively, aim to provide young female entrepreneurs with advice on how best to access information, finance and business contacts.

In their first year, Afua and Yasmin received some 400 applications for assistance from women based in 27 countries around the continent. By the end of 2015, they aim to have helped a minimum of 10,000 budding businesswomen, a figure that has already resulted in a significant number of African VC funds taking an interest in investing in 'She Leads Africa.”

Africa is starting to recognize the important role women have to play in all aspects of the continent’s development. While some regions still have issues with their rights and education, the vast majority of countries have shaken off these outdated views and traditions and are moving rapidly to ensure men and women have access to the same opportunities.

No comments: