Rinu Oduala, Deloris P. Jordan, Roberta Annan | The 31 women taking charge in Africa #54DegreesAcrossAfrica

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Thinking about this year and how women were represented in all aspects of the society? This article from NBC Washington is what is needed to make it all worth it.

Enjoy!

The public service sector is an essential one, in which women need to be at the table, but progress has been slow. According to U.N., throughout the world, only 11 women serve as Heads of State and 12 as Heads of Government—just 5 to 6 percent of the world’s highest offices.

Still, worldwide, more women have stepped up into roles as Heads of Governments, Heads of State, and Parliamentarians. On a parliamentarian level, women hold 24.3 percent of all national parliamentarians, up from 11.3 percent in 1995. In fact, Rwanda boasts the highest number of women in parliament worldwide with 61.3 percent holding seats in the lower house. And, of course, in the United States, Kamala Harris steps up next year as the country’s first female vice president.

While government still needs to welcome more women, there are still plenty who are rising in many other sectors. In Africa in particular, we’re seeing plenty of high-profile women moving the continent forward. Here, Global Group Media celebrates 31 of these women.

Deloris P. Jordan

Deloris P. Jordan, Founder, the James R. Foundation; Co-Founder, Michael Jordan Foundation; Founder, The Kenya Women & Children’s Wellness Centre, Kenya and USA: Jordan has established multiple charities and has served the James R. Jordan Foundation for almost two decades.

Morin Desalu, M.D., Riskwatch Insurance Brokers, Nigeria: Desalu co-founded the non-profit Women in Management, Business and Public Service, a non-profit group which, over 18 years, has worked to create programs that inspire, empower, and advocate for greater representation of women in leadership positions in the public sector.

Loza Maleombho, Founder and Creative Director, ATELIER Loza Maleombho, Cote d’Ivoire: In the Ivory Coast, Maleombho creates a modern aesthetic honouring her history with traditional craftsmanship and fabrications, leading projects that create jobs for local artisans.

Diane Okoko, Principal Partner, Marcus-Okoko & Co. Nigeria:  A fellow and approved faculty member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (U.K.) Nigeria branch, as well as a fellow of the Society of Construction Arbitration, Okoko is a Corporate Governance Practitioner and facilitator with vast expertise in Corporate and Company law and practice. 

Hansatu Adegbite, Executive Director Women in Management and Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ), Nigeria: On a mission to positively inspire, impact, and invest in lives, Adegbite has utilised her entrepreneurial background while pursuing her passion. She has spent over 25 years volunteering in professional associations, NGOs, and faith-based organisations that are gender-focused and provide development opportunities for youth.

Ier Jonathan-Ichaver, Executive Director Sesor Empowerment Foundation, Nigeria: Sesor is celebrating 10 years in providing finance, accommodation, and training to displaced women and Nigerians. This year, Sesor was still able to give micro-loans to 85 displaced women and support about 259 new displaced families with emergency cash and food supplies during the lockdown and train about 100 displaced women to work with seamstresses to make about 20,000 face masks that have been distributed to several communities.

Priscilla Thorpe-Monclus

Priscilla Thorpe-Monclus, Board Member, Women In Energy Nigeria (WIEN); former Managing Director, MRS PLC, Nigeria: A professional with over 17 years’ experience in the oil and gas sector, Thorpe-Monclus has held high-level positions in several reputable organisations and has proven instrumental in building the MRS brand.

Josina Machel, Women’s Rights Activist, Mozambique: A human rights defender, Machel founded Kuhluka, a movement and pan-African non-Governmental Organisation working to end gender-based violence.

Hafsat Abiola, Founder, Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND)Nigeria; president, Women in Africa Initiative: With KIND, Abiola works to eliminate violence against women and advance women’s leadership by removing barriers to women’s political participation.

Coumba Dioukhané, President, Global View, Senegal and France: In her book, Ellue, Dioukhané speaks of her experience as a black woman working her way up in politics in France, a world dominated by men, where prejudices still persists.

Olu Verheijen, Founder, BFA Foundation, Nigeria: Passionate for educational and professional opportunities for underrepresented people, Verheijen founded the BFA Foundation, providing scholarships to help expand career opportunities for women and disadvantaged groups.

Femi Sarah Adetola, Founder Group Sebastien, Ghana: In 2018, Adetola established the School of Culinary Arts, an institution focusing on culinary art and hospitality training in Accra, Ghana. An experienced restauranteur, she aims to prepare students for today’s culinary challenges.

Roberta Annan

Roberta Annan, Founder, Annan Capital Partners, Ghana: The youngest African to be inducted into the African Leadership Hall of Fame, Annan’s investment company in Sub-Saharan Africa boasts a portfolio of assets in sustainable hospitality, agribusiness, and African sustainable luxury. 

Dorri C. McWhorter, CPA, CEO, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, U.S.A.: A socially conscious business leader who led the expansion of YWCA’s digital services, McWhorter relaunched the TechGYRLS program, focusing on developing STEM awareness for youth, particularly girls. Through YWCA’s Africa partner, The African Community Fund for Education, McWhorter became an anchor partner for this scholarship fund, which will serve 100 girls (a movement other African countries will follow).

Mallence Bart-Williams, Philanthropic Entrepreneur, Secret-Ceres, Sierra-Leone: A multi-faceted entrepreneur, Bart-Williams focuses on womb wellness and holistic body care for women.

Jennifer Obayuwana, Executive Director, Polo Luxury Group, Nigeria: Obayuwana  graduated from The American University of Paris with a Bachelor’s degree in International Business, and obtained a Bachelor of Science in International Relations from Franklin University in Switzerland. She is the force behind Africa’s No. 1 privately-owned luxury retailer. 

Yette Gayle, Co-Founder, Africa Creative Agency, South Africa and the United States: Highly respected for her 20-plus years in the music industry in New York and Los Angeles, Gayle co-founded the Africa Creative Agency, which provides a platform to elevate African performers and artists into the international spotlight.

Pearl Thusi, Actress, South Africa: Thusi stars in Netflix’s first original series from Africa, Queen Sono, which will showcase the real narrative in South Africa, one that embraces diversity within South Africa.

Akaego Okoyo, Founder, African Business Stories LLC, Nigeria and the United States: A director of Member Relations at the Corporate Council on Africa, Okoyo works to bring together the U.S. and African governments, public and private sector players, and other non-profits to enhance and deepen trade and investment between the U.S and Africa.

Adeline Kufuor Akuffo-Ado

Adeline Akufo-Addo Kufuor, Founder, The Lotte & CEO, Women’s Empowerment and Investment Group (WEIG), Ghana: The Lotte focuses on showcasing African artisans’ work while empowering young street children and impoverished women with established designers.

Ya Bajen Njie, TAF Global, Gambia: Among the continent’s top real estate development companies, TAF Global has catered to housing needs across Africa for the past 30 years. With Njie at the helm, TAF Global also engages in impactful, corporate social activities.

Dr. Grace Olugbodi, Founder, BeGenio, and Creator of the Race to Infinity Math Game, Nigeria & London, U.K.:  The creator of the multi award-winning math board game Race to Infinity and the author of the bestselling book Get in the Game, Olugbodi’s learning aids and stories assist children learning Math.

Chizor Malize, Chief Executive Officer, Financial Institutions Training Centre, Nigeria: A prolific and respected international speaker, Malize has developed and facilitated several training courses in reputable institutions such as Lagos Business School and Brand Platform Academy.

Rinu Oduala, Brand Strategist and Social Justice Advocate, End SARS, Nigeria:Oduala is a leading advocate in Nigeria’s need for change, fighting to end SARS, as well as police brutality, which she has experienced firsthand. Oduala has led many protests, hoping to bring forth change and shine light on the demands of youth.

Etinosa Yvonne Acclaimed Documentary Photographer, Nigeria: Yvonne, a self-taught documentary photographer, focuses on underreported societal issues in Nigeria. She creates awareness, educates, informs, and poses questions. Her work was recognized at the 2020 cycle of the World Press Photo Talent.

Stephanie Kalu-Uche

Stephanie Kalu-Uche, Founder and CEO, Stephanie Nicholas Beauty & Wellness, Nigeria: Ex-model, beauty queen, and actress-turned-entrepreneur, Kalu-Uche works tirelessly to build her beauty and wellness empire while balancing family.

Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, Access Bank, Head of Sustainability, Nigeria: Victor-Laniyan has worked in the Sustainability and Communications sector for over 17 years. She joined Access Bank in 2008 to establish the Sustainability function and has since led the Bank’s efforts in its Sustainability performance.  

Sarah J. Owusu, Founder and Innovation Consultant InkDot, Mozambique. Owusu focuses on culture and change navigation, working to help people realize that everyone is a leader in her own right. InkDot works toward enabling organizations to find innovative solutions for complex challenges.

Caroline Boudergue, Managing Director, Women in Africa Initiative (WIA), France: WIA is a new global concept devoted to empowering African women and the promoting African women leaders and African women entrepreneurs. She holds a master’s degree from the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP), and the Handelshoschule Leipzig.

Ruth Dresselgn Deneke, Germany and Ethiopia: Deneke is a chartering member of the Rotary Club of AA Arada, Ethiopia. She is a pharmacist with more than a decade multinational experience in the healthcare-life science industry and has a significant leadership role in many African CSOs. She is also an MLB candidate at the Bucerius Law School, Germany.

Patricia Nzolantima, Founder/Chairwoman, Bizzoly Holdings, Kinshasa, Congo: Nzolantima is dedicated to empowering women to break longstanding expectations about their roles in society and to build companies that can support and promote women and girls.

Culled from NBC Washington

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