Ten Women Transforming Africa

These are ten women transforming Africa through economic, literary, and technological spheres.

  • Chimamanda Adichie is a Nigerian writer transforming the next generation of African literature. Her critically acclaimed breakout novel, Purple Hibiscus, was awarded the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for best first book, whilst her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, won the prestigious Orange Prize. Her latest book, released in May 2014, tackles the precarious issue of race in the post-9/11 world.
  • Dambisa Moyo is a Zambian economist best known for her acclaimed book Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working, which argues against the introduction of foreign aid in Africa. The book instead advocates for an African-based initiative for the continent’s future.
  • Saran Kaba Jones is a Liberian social entrepreneur and a powerful advocate for clean water. She formed FACE Africa, an organization that supports access to clean water, proper hygienic conditions, and sanitation facilities in Liberia.
  • Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu is the founder of soleRebels, based in Addis Abba, Ethiopia, which sells fair-trade, locally-produced footwear. Its sales have introduced over $1 million dollars into the local economy.
  • Ndidi Nwuneli is the Nigerian founder of LEAP Africa, an organization that provides leadership training and coaching services to a variety of social entrepreneurs to provide them with the skills necessary for success.
  • Khanyi Ndhlomo is a South African woman reshaping the course of African media. Her company, Ndalo Media, runs two highly successful business and lifestyle publications: Destiny Magazine and Destiny Man.
  • Lisa Kropman established The Business Place, a collection of business centers that provide support to young entrepreneurs in Southern Africa.
  • Julie Gichuru serves as one of the leading journalists in Kenya, having done so for the past eleven years in a variety of mediums, including broadcast, print, and online media. She works presently as an executive at Citizen TV, Kenya.
  • June Arunga is the founder of Open Quest Media LLC, as well as a founding partner of Black Star Line SA, a technology-based company that facilitates cell-phone payments and money transfers. All of her ventures are focused on nurturing the African economy.
  • Ory Okolloh is a Kenyan lawyer and activist who created Ushahidi, a crowd sourcing system through which people from around the world can report violence as it unfolds through their cell phones, emails, or Twitter accounts. She is globally recognized as one of the prominent female leaders in technology.

– Anna Purcell

Sources: Forbes, The Guardian
Photo: University of Liege