Oby Ezekwesili – Former World Bank VP, Co-Founder Transparency International, Nigeria
Oby Ezewkesili served as Federal Minister of Solid Minerals and then as Federal Minister of Education during the second-term presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo.
In June 2006, Ezekwesili was appointed the Federal Minister of Education, holding this post until she took up her World Bank appointment.
She completed her stint as the World Bank Vice-President Africa Division with success and presently serves as an adviser to nine reform-committed African heads of state including Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia.
After the abduction of the reportedly three-hundred Christian girls abducted from Chibok by Islamist sect, Boko Haram, Ezekwesili used her position to draw international awareness via the viral #BringBackOurGirls campaign on social media, which trended world wide.
Specioza Naigaga Wandira Kazibwe – United Nations Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, Uganda
Wandira Kazibwe is a Ugandan surgeon and politician; also referred to as “Nnalongo”, the first woman in Africa to hold the position of vice-president of a sovereign nation.
She was Vice President of Uganda from 1994 to 2003.
In May 2003, Dr Kazibwe stepped down from her positions in government, asking to be allowed to continue her studies; though the real reason she left was due to a messy public divorce case with her husband over abuse and battery.
She completed a doctorate at Harvard University; and in August 2013, was appointed by the United Nations’s Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon as United Nations Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Fatou Bensouda – Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Gambia
Bensouda is the International Criminal Court’s Chief Prosecutor since June 2012.
She served as a Deputy Prosecutor in charge of the Prosecutions Division of the ICC since 2004 and is a past Minister of Justice of The Gambia.
She has received various awards, most notably, the distinguished ICJ International Jurists Award (2009), which was presented by President of India P. D. Patil. The award was for her contributions to criminal law both at the national and International level.
In its annual Time 100 issue, Time magazine listed Mrs. Bensouda among the 100 most influential people in the world.
Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma – Chairperson African Union Commission, South Africa
A South African politician and anti-apartheid activist, Dlamini was South Africa’s Minister of Health from 1994 to 1999, under President Nelson Mandela, then Minister of Foreign Affairs under presidents Thabo and Molanthe.
Dlamini was offered the Deputy Presidency of South Africa by Thabo Mbeki after he fired Jacob Zuma but she declined.
On 15 July 2012, Dlamini was elected by the African Union Commission as its chairperson, making her the first woman to lead the organisation.
She took office on 15 October 2012 and is tipped as a future leader of the African National Congress.
Karua previously served as the Minister of Water Resources Management & Development, and was behind the implementation of the Water Act 2002. She will be contesting the 2017 presidential elections against Uhuru Kenyatta.
In 2001, when the Constitutional Review Bill was laid before the House, the entire Opposition with the exception of Karua walked out of Parliament.
The Bill had been rejected but Karua was of the view that as elected representatives, instead of walking out, it would be more prudent to remain in Parliament and put the objections on record.
She therefore chose to remain in the Parliament and her objections to the Bill were duly recorded in the Hansard.
Later she was among those who formed the political coalition NARC that won the 2003 General Election in Kenya and ended opposition’s nearly four decades of leadership in Kenya’s politics.
Hanna Serwaa Tetteh – Current Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ghana
Hanaa is also a Member of Parliament for the Awutu-Senya West constituency.
Following the untimely demise of President John Evans Atta Mills, John Dramani Mahama became President and appointed her as the Communications Director for his 2012 election campaign.
She returned to parliament in 2013 after winning the Awutu Senya West constituency seat in the Ghanaian general election in December 2012.
Hanaa was nominated by President Mahama as Minister for Foreign Affairs and appointed as such in January 2013 after parliamentary approval.
When President Mahama became the Chairman of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in March 2014, she became the Chairperson of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers at the same time.
Samia Suluhu Hassan – First Female Vice President, Tanzania
Samia who is 55 years old entered into politics in 2010 winning a parliament seat by more than eighty percent for the Makunduchi constituency.
In the 2015 General Elections, alongside John Magufuli the President, she became Tanzania’s first-ever female VP after she was announced Vice President of Tanzania.
During President Amani Karume’s administration, she served as a minister in the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar.
Samia was elected by the Constituent Assembly as its Vice Chairperson; she was also tasked with drafting a new constitution for the country.
Lindiwe Mazibuko – Youngest politician and ex-Parliamentary Leader for the opposition Democratic Alliance, South Africa
Mazibuko was the DA Parliamentary Leader and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly after being elected by her peers in October 2011.
This feat made her the first black woman in the history of South Africa to be elected Leader of the Opposition. She’s also the DA’s youngest ever parliamentary leader.
Mazibuko and her team were committed to making Parliament the true centre of robust political debate and engagement in South Africa.
This she achieved as the DA grew its share of the national vote from 16% in 2009 to 22%.
In May 2014, at the end of her term – rather than seek reappointment – Mazibuko announced that she would be taking a sabbatical from active politics.
She received a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from Harvard University.
Joyce Banda – Former President and Most Inspirational Woman In Politics, Malawi
After taking office in April 2012, President Joyce Banda quickly made her stake as a leader dedicated to national unity.
During her term, she sold a US$15 million presidential jet (N3,000,000,000), reduced her salary by 30 percent and dismissed the entire cabinet due to corruption allegations.
These austerity measures significantly reduced government expenditure.
Western nations and International Monetary Fund lifted monetary sanctions on the Southern Africa nation during her term in power.
Between 2014 and 2015, Banda has received nine (9) International Awards, including being named as the ‘Most Inspirational Woman in Politics’ by CNN.
Joice Mujuru – Ex-Vice President, Zimbabwe
Mujuru is a Zimbabwean politician who served as Vice-President of Zimbabwe from 2004 to 2014. Previously she served as a government minister for several years, beginning at independence in 1980.
She also served as Vice-President of ZANU-PF.
Mujuru was married to Solomon Mujuru until his death in 2011 and was long considered a potential successor to President Robert Mugabe, but in 2014 she was denounced for allegedly plotting against Mugabe.
She was expelled from the party a few months later.
Source: allafrica.com, iop.harvard.edu, wikipedia, africandevjobs.com