Okonjo-Iweala, Samia Suluhu, and Mo Abudu have been named three most powerful women in Africa.
These women were honoured for scripting history in their respective fields of work and overcoming the gender barrier to occupy positions previously dominated by the male gender.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: Director-General, World Trade Organization
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has more than 30 years of experience working in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America.
In March 2021, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala became the first woman and the first African to serve as Director-General of the World Trade Organization. She has said she believes in the power of trade to lift developing countries out of poverty and help them achieve sustainable development.
Prior to this role, Okonjo-Iweala had two terms as Nigeria’s Finance Minister, from 2003-2006 and 2011-2015; she also briefly acted as Foreign Minister in 2006. She was also Chair of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance that has immunised 760 million children globally.
Samia Suluhu Hassan, Tanzania President
Samia Suluhu Hassan became Tanzania’s sixth president and first-ever female leader in March 2021, following the death of President John Magufuli. She rose to the position of vice-president, a role to which she was first elected in 2015.
In September, she became just the fifth-ever female African leader to address the U.N. General Assembly. She used her remarks to criticise Covid vaccine inequality.
Samia Suluhu Hassan has been instrumental in implementing Covid protocols in her country. She has differentiated her leadership from her predecessor by implementing stricter Covid protocols, including mandatory quarantines for travellers coming from countries with new variants.
Mo Abudu: CEO, Ebonylife Group
Nigerian media mogul Mo Abudu is one of the most powerful women in global media. In 2006, Abudu started Ebonylife TV, a network that now airs in more than 49 countries across Africa, as well as in the UK and the Caribbean.
Over the years, EbonylifeTV has struck major partnership deals with Sony Pictures Television, AMC Networks and Netflix. The deal with Netflix marked the first time an African media company signed a multi-title film and TV agreement with the streaming giant.