Leading the Way: Diezani Alison-Madueke, Mamphele Ramphele and Other
Influential African Women
LONDON, April 25, 2013
LONDON, April 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
The role of Africa's leading women-such as Diezani Alison-Madueke and Mamphele
Ramphele-is steadily growing across the continent.
The fact that Africa is fast becoming one of the world's most important
investment destinations is universally acknowledged. The US and emerging
economic powerhouses such as China and India are increasing trade and
investment in Africa whose economy grew five per cent in 2012 - according to
the 2013 Economic Report on Africa. Traditionally an informal labour force,
women in many parts of Africa have long been central to sustaining households
and local economies.
Over the past two decades, however, African women have been increasingly
active in business and politics - occupying senior and C-Level positions in
high-profile institutions - and have ultimately made significant contributions
to the successes of the continent.
Here is a list of some of Africa's most successful women:
Diezani Alison-Madueke (Nigeria)
Diezani Alison-Madueke was Nigeria's first female Federal Minister of
Petroleum Resources . Alison-Madueke is responsible for Nigeria's oil and gas
resources, which provide an estimated 80 per cent of the Federal Government's
revenues. She previously served as Nigeria's Minister of Transportation and
later as Minister of Mines and Steel Development. As Petroleum Minister,
Alison-Madueke led the drafting of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). Often
described as a pioneer of transformational change in Nigeria, Alison-Madueke
was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Management Sciences by the Nigerian
Defence Academy in Kaduna for her public service, exemplary conduct and
impeccable leadership. She graduated from Howard University, Washington DC,
before joining Shell Petroleum Development Corporation where she became the
first female Executive Director in Nigeria.
Mamphele Ramphele (South Africa)
Dr Mamphele Ramphele is celebrated as one of South Africa's most inspirational
female figures. As a former Managing Director of the World Bank and previous
anti-apartheid campaigner, she is renowned as an activist and businesswoman.
As Managing Director and Vice-President of External Affairs at the World Bank,
Ramphele was tasked with overseeing the strategic positioning and operations
of the World Bank Institute - the first South African to hold the position.
Ramphele also serves as Chairperson of Circle Capital Ventures, a South
African-based Black Economic Empowerment company focused on growing businesses
and investing in people.
Ramphele is involved in a variety of charitable work, most notably as a board
member of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which supports good governance and
leadership. Earlier this year, Ramphele announced the formation of a new
Evelyn Oputu (Nigeria)
Evelyn Oputu currently serves as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer
at the Bank of Industry (BOI), Nigeria's oldest development bank. Born in
the Delta State and schooled in Nigeria as well as abroad, Oputu rose through
the ranks in the financial sector. In 1991, Oputu became an Executive Director
at First Bank of Nigeria Plc . Since her appointment as CEO of the BOI six
years ago, Oputu has led the bank through some of the most successful years in
its history - providing long term financing to Nigeria's growing industrial
Ory Okolloh (Kenya)
Kenyan-born activist, lawyer and blogger Ory Okolloh currently serves as
Google's Policy Manager for Africa. The former Harvard University graduate
studied law before founding Ushahidi, a crowd sourcing utility that enables
citizen journalists and eyewitnesses all over the world to report incidences
of violence via mobile, e-mail, SMS, and social media. The technology has
since been syndicated internationally and adapted for other purposes.
Inge Zaamwani-Kamwi (Namibia)
Named in the Africa Report among the 50 most influential Africans,
Zaamwani-Kamwi is a corporate heavyweight. She currently serves as Managing
Director of Namdeb, a mining joint venture between the Government of Namibia
and De Beers. The former barrister has worked as an official in the Ministry
of Mines and Energy and served as President of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce
and Industry (NCCI) from 1995-1998. Appointed as CEO of Namdeb in 1999,
Zaamwani-Kamwi weathered the storm in the global diamond market but returned
the company to profit in 2011.
Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita (South Africa)
As the Chief Executive Officer of ArcelorMittal SA, Nyembezi-Heita leads the
South African branch of the global steel manufacturer, the largest producer of
steel on the African continent with an annual production capacity of 7.8
million tons. She has played a vital role in the success of the company, which
reported revenue of R32 billion in 2012. Nyembezi-Heita previously served as
the Chief Officer of Mergers and Acquisitions for the Vodacom Group .
Nyembezi-Heita is currently the Chairperson of the South African Iron and
Steel Institute (SAISI).
Eleni Zaude Gabre-Madhin (Ethiopia)
Eleni Zaude Gabre-Madhin is a famed economist and a former Chief Executive
Officer of the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX). Gabre-Madhin is widely
regarded as the driving force behind the creation of the ECX following her
research at the International Food Policy Research Institute into the impact
of supply and demand inefficiencies on Ethiopian farmers while working. During
her time as CEO, Gabre-Madhin was instrumental in helping build on ECX's
mandate of fostering a modern and efficient trading system. Gabre-Madhin was
born in Addis Ababa and has lived in New York, Rwanda, Togo, Malawi and Kenya.
She also holds a PhD in Economics.
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