The significant contribution made by women leaders to the current state of Africa today is unquestionable. Most of them have been rewarded internationally for their incredible work. Well, they say what a man can do; a woman can do better!
The first female President in Africa was Slyvie Kiningi. She was the Prime minister of Burundi from February 5, 1994.
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Liberia's former President Ellen Johnson Sir leaf must be top of the list regarding women leaders in Africa. Her take on the legacy she built in her country at a time when women in African politics was still a novel idea. She first vied for the Presidential seat in 1997 against Charles Taylor but lost. However, she served two consecutive terms after winning the 2005 and 2011 presidential elections. In June 2016, Ellen was elected Chair of the Economic Community of West African State.
Before she became President, Samia Suluhu was an activist and a journalist in Tanzania. She is the 6th President of Tanganyika's former republic, now known as Tanzania.
She began serving in 2021 after the sitting President George Makufuli passed on. She is the third female head of government in an East African community. She is a member of the ruling social- democrat Chama Cha Mapinduzi party.
Ameenah Gurib- Fakim
Ameenah Gurib: Fakim is the former President of Mauritius. She served as the sixth President of Mauritius from 2015 to 2018. Ameenah is a Mauritian politician and biodiversity scientist. In 2019, Ameenah Gurib- Fakim served as a keynote speaker at Cambridge University's Conference. " Africa Together: Which Way Forward? " She received UNESCO Award, the L' Oreal- UNESCO Award for women in science, Layreate for the National and Economic Council, and the African Union Award for Women in Science.
Sahle- Work Zewde
Sahle- Work Zewde, President of Ethiopia. Zewde took office on October 25, 2018, after being unanimously elected by members of the National Parliament Assembly. She was the only female President out of the 54 presidents in Africa before Samia Suluhu of Tanzania joined. She worked as a Special Representative of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the African Union and as Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union.
Joyce Hilda Banda
Joyce Hilda Banda was President of Malawi from April 2012 to May 2014, following the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika. In 2014, Forbes named President Banda the 40th most powerful woman in Africa. She was also Malawian first female vice President.
Rose Francine Rogombe
Rose Francine Rogombe served as interim President of Gabon from June 2009 to October 2009 after President Omar Bongo's death. As President of the senate then, she automatically became the Head of State because she was constitutionally the first in line for presidential succession.
Ivy Matsepe- Cassaburi
Ivy Matsepe: Cassaburi served temporarily as the acting President of South Africa when the President and his vice-President were out of the country for four days in September of 2005. Between the resignation of President Thabo Mbeki and the taking of office by Kgalema Motlanthe. The cabinet nominated her to serve as the constitutional and official head of state for 14 hours.