International Women's Day 2024: Celebrating 40 Trailblazing Women Shaping an Inclusive Future in Africa

On International Women’s Day 2024, themed “Inspiring Inclusion,” Empower Africa is proud to celebrate 40 exceptional women who are driving positive change across the continent.

This year’s theme, “Inspiring Inclusion,” resonates deeply with the work these women are doing. They are breaking barriers, fostering economic growth, and building a more equitable future for all Africans.

These women represent a diverse range of sectors, from business and technology to social activism and education.

They are all united by a common goal: building a more inclusive and sustainable future for Africa.

They include:

1. Dorothy Otieno – Project Coordinator, FEMNETAfrican Women’s Development and Communication Network

Steering the FEMNET ship, Dorothy epitomizes the power of communication and development in amplifying women’s voices across Africa, ensuring they are integral in shaping the continent’s narrative.

2. Dr. Naike Moshi – Founder, Women in Management Africa

As the founder of Women in Management Africa, Dr. Moshi is a beacon of leadership, inspiring a new generation of African women to ascend to the apex of corporate and social leadership.

3. Thea Sokolowski – Co-Founder, Women Who Build Africa

Through Women Who Build Africa, Thea is a testament to the strength of collaboration, fostering a network where women builders and entrepreneurs thrive together.

4. Evelyn Opondo, Africa Director, International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)

At the helm of ICRW’s African initiatives, Evelyn’s work in research and advocacy is pivotal in crafting policies that enhance the lives of women across the continent.

5. Setcheme Jeronime Mongbo – Head of Office, UNWomen Sierra Leone

Leading UN Women’s efforts in Sierra Leone, Setcheme is a force for gender equality, spearheading programs that empower women at all levels.

6. Diago Dieye – Founder and Managing Partner, Khuwaylid Capital

As the visionary behind Khuwaylid Capital, Diago is reshaping the finance sector, ensuring women entrepreneurs have the capital they need to grow their businesses.

7. Geraldine J. Fraser-Moleketi – Chair, Tiger Brands

Geraldine’s leadership at Tiger Brands exemplifies the impact of women in corporate governance, setting a standard for future female leaders.

8. Ibukun Awosika – Founder, The Chair Centre Group

Ibukun’s entrepreneurial spirit and success with The Chair Centre Group serve as an inspiration, proving that African women can lead and excel in business.

9. Lelemba Phiri – Co-Founder, ATG Samata

With ATG Samata, Lelemba is at the forefront of advocating for financial inclusion, ensuring women’s economic empowerment is a priority.

10. Weyinmi Eribo – Director General, Women Chamber of Commerce

As the Director General of the Women Chamber of Commerce, Weyinmi champions the role of women in trade and business, vital for Africa’s economic prosperity.

11. Mélanie Keïta – CEO @Melanin Kapital

Leading Melanin Kapital, Mélanie is dedicated to unlocking potential, offering innovative financial solutions tailored for African women entrepreneurs.

12. Oley Dibba-Wadda – Executive Director, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development (EJS Center)

At the EJS Center, Oley is instrumental in nurturing women leaders, ensuring they have the skills and opportunities to impact Africa’s development.

13. Diksha Somai Pillay – Co-Founder, The Geek Girls Foundation

Through The Geek Girls Foundation, Diksha empowers young women in tech, addressing gender disparities in one of the most crucial sectors for Africa’s future.

14. Khaoula Ramdi – Managing Director, Upline Investments

Khaoula’s leadership at Upline Investments is a testament to the significant role women can play in the investment sector, driving economic growth.

15. Chinenye Uwanaka – Founder, The Firma Advisory

At The Firma Advisory, Chinenye is a key player in legal and business consultancy, providing essential support for Africa’s enterprises.

16. Mmathebe Zvobwo – Principal, Vodacom

Mmathebe’s work with Vodacom exemplifies the critical role of women in telecommunications, a sector vital for Africa’s connectivity and technological advancement.

17. Nehal Helmy – Co-Founder, Flend

Co-founding Flend, Nehal is showcasing the innovative spirit of African women in the tech industry.

18. Agnes Aistleitner Kisuule – General Partner @ First Circle Capital

At First Circle Capital, Agnes is a trailblazer in venture capital, a key driver for startups and innovation, essential for economic diversification.

19. Serah George – Gender Activist

As a gender activist, Serah’s advocacy and activism are crucial in challenging the status quo, paving the way for greater gender equality.

20. Wofai Samuel – Ag Director-General; Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce

Leading the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce, Wofai is a bridge-builder, fostering international partnerships that benefit African businesses.

21. Jesmane Boggenpoel – Managing Partner, AIH Capital

At AIH Capital, Jesmane’s expertise in private equity is instrumental in nurturing businesses that are vital for Africa’s economic landscape.

22. Hannah Subayi Kamuanga – Partner, Launch Africa Ventures

With Launch Africa Ventures, Hannah is a key figure in the investment community, supporting startups that are crucial for innovation and job creation.

23. Marta Pinto Coelho Roff – Head of Partnerships, Girl MOVE Academy

At Girl MOVE Academy, Marta is dedicated to empowering young women, ensuring they have the leadership skills to impact their communities.

24. Iman Bibars – Vice President, Ashoka

With Ashoka, Iman is fostering a generation of social entrepreneurs, women who are solving Africa’s challenges through innovative approaches.

25. Hema Vallabh – Co-Founder, WomHub

Co-founding WomHub, Hema is pivotal in nurturing female engineers and innovators, crucial for Africa’s industrial and technological growth.

26. Nelly Cheboi – Founder, TechLit Africa

Through TechLit Africa, Nelly is bridging the digital divide, ensuring that children, especially girls, have access to technology education.

27. Shantha Bloemen – Managing Director & Founder at Mobility for Africa

Shantha’s Mobility for Africa is a social enterprise that seeks to work with strategic partners to create renewable transport solutions for rural and peri-urban communities, especially women, that are affordable, efficient and environmentally friendly.

28. Angela Kyerematen-Jimoh – National Digital Transformation Lead, Africa at Microsoft

At Microsoft, Angela is driving digital transformation, a cornerstone for modernizing economies and enhancing competitiveness.

29. Sheilah Birgen – Business Mentor, AkiraChix

A mentor at AkiraChix, Sheilah is nurturing the next generation of female tech leaders, crucial for a balanced and innovative tech ecosystem.

30. Solape Akinpelu – Country Director, Women in Tech Global

With Women in Tech Global, Solape is championing the inclusion of women in technology, a sector critical for Africa’s future.

31. Victoria Chelangat Sabula – CEO at The AECF

Leading The AECF, Victoria is at the forefront of catalyzing entrepreneurship and innovation in the agricultural and energy sectors.

32. Tolulope Babajide – Gender Network Manager, FSD Africa

At FSD Africa, Tolulope’s work in gender networking is crucial for sharing knowledge and best practices, essential for women’s advancement.

33. Betelhem Dessie – CEO, iCog Anyone Can Code

As CEO of iCog Anyone Can Code, Betelhem is a trailblazer in AI and coding, empowering young Africans with future-proof skills.

34. Juliet Sospeter – Investment Associate at Kiva

At Kiva, Juliet is instrumental in providing microloans, a critical tool for women entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses.

35. Irene Ochem. AWIEF Founder & CEO

Leading AWIEF, Irene is a catalyst for women’s economic empowerment, fostering entrepreneurship and business growth.

36. Nyeji Chilembo-Mhango – Managing Partner, wCap

With wCap, Nyeji is a pioneer in the investment sector, focused on elevating women-owned businesses through strategic funding.

37. Nigest Haile – Founder and Executive Director, Center for Accelerated Women’s Economic Empowerment (CAWEE)

At CAWEE, Nigest is dedicated to accelerating women’s economic empowerment, a critical factor for sustainable development.

38. Yamrot Yewondwossen – General Program Support, Plan International

With Plan International, Yamrot supports general program initiatives, vital for creating environments where women and girls can thrive.

39. Arielle Molino – Chief Convener, Pollinate Impact

At Pollinate Impact, Arielle is a key convener, fostering partnerships that drive economic growth and women’s empowerment.

40. Maryanne Ochola – Managing Director at Endeavor Kenya

Leading Endeavor Kenya, Maryanne is nurturing high-impact entrepreneurs, a vital contribution to job creation and economic stability.

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