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African Pride: 5 Powerful and Inspirational African Women

Africa is not the first continent that comes to mind when you hear the word Gender equality - they do not enjoy the societal right to exerc...

Africa is not the first continent that comes to mind when you hear the word Gender equality - they do not enjoy the societal right to exercise independence and execute ideas.

African societies view women as second fiddle to the husband. They are responsible for the home and taking care of the cosmetic needs of the home.

An African woman who travels the path of equality or independence will find it a road less traveled.

The following African women have traveled this path. They have proved that the true root of achievement lies in the will to become the best that one can become.
Isabel Dos Santos, the Richest Woman in Africa 

Isabel Dos Santos
“I think there’s lots of people with family connections but who are actually nowhere. If you’re hard-working and determined, you will make it, and that’s the bottom line. I don’t believe in an easy way through.” – Isabel dos Santos

Isabel dos Santos is the oldest daughter of Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

Isabel Dos Santos started her first business; the Miami beach club at the age of 24. The night club was was one of the first night clubs and beach restaurant on the Luanda island in the 1990s.

Angolan Isabel dos Santos now owns 25% of Unitel, Angola’s largest mobile phone network, 7% of oil and gas firm Galp Energia and about 19% of the Angola’s fourth-largest bank, Banco BPI.

Forbes puts Isabel dos Santos net worthat $3.4 Billion, which makes her the richest woman in Africa.

Folorunsho Alakija 
“It’s essential to draw up a “things to do” list on a daily basis and set priorities in executing them, making sure that any unfinished task get posted to the next day’s list”. – Folorunsho Alakija

She started her career as a secretary at erstwhile merchant bank of Nigeria and later moved to England to study fashion design, after which she set up supreme stitches. Supreme stitches was a fashion outfit which served the Nigerian elites.

In May 1993, Folorunsho Alakija’s Famfa oil was awarded an oil prospecting license for one of the most lucrative oil blocks in Nigeria thanks to her relationship with one of he biggest clients, the first lady of Nigeria at the time, Maryam Babangida.

Forbes estimates her net worth to be $2.1 Billion, this makes her the richest woman in Nigeria and the second richest in Africa.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala 
“When I became finance minister, they called me Okonjo-Wahala – or ‘Trouble Woman.’ It means ‘I give you hell.’ 

But I don’t care what names they call me. I’m a fighter; I’m very focused on what I’m doing, and relentless in what I want to achieve, almost to a fault. If you get in my way, you get kicked”.- Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

She graduated from prestigious Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts. She earned her PhD in regional economic development from theMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1981.

Okonjo-Iweala has had a two stints with the World Bank Group, first as the vice-president and corporate secretary of the World Bank Group before her first tenure as minister of finance in Nigeria and as managing director in 2007. 

Okonjo-Iweala was reappointed as Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister for the Economy by President Goodluck Jonathan fro 2011-2015. Ngozi Okojo Iweala led the team that negotiated an $18 billion debt write off from the Paris Club in 2005.

Chimanda Ngozi Adiche
“Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanise. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian novelist, nonfiction writer and short story writer.

She has been called “the most prominent” of a “procession of critically acclaimed young anglophone authors [that] is succeeding in attracting a new generation of readers to African literature”.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has received several recognition and awards for her literary work including BBC Short Story Award, The O. Henry prize, the David T. Wong International Short Story Prize, Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book, Orange Prize for Fiction and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award to mention a few.

Dambisa Moyo
“I wish we questioned the aid model as much as we are questioning the capitalism model. Sometimes the most generous thing you can do is just say no.”

Dambisa is a Zambian born international economist and author who analyse the Marco economy and global affairs.

She acquired her post graduate degree in business, public administration and economics from American university Harvard and Oxford. She’s currently serving on the board of Barclays bank, the financial group, SABMiller, the global brewer, and barrack gold. 

She also worked for two years at the World Bank and eight years at Goldman sach before becoming an author and international speaker. - Online Sources 

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