They are ranked according to their wealth and their influence across Africa.
Here is a list of five most powerful women in Africa. The top three made the forbes 2016 list
5. Ngina Kenyatta
Popularly known as “Mama Ngina”, she is former First Lady of Kenya. She is the widow of the country’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, and also the mother of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
She has grown over the years to became one of the richest individuals in Kenya, owning plantations, ranches, and hotels.
She currently leads a quiet life in Kenya as a wealthy widow.
4. Isabel dos Santos
She is an Angolan investor considered by Forbes at some point, to be the richest woman not only in Angola, but the whole of Africa.
Born in Baku Azerbaijan on the 20th of April 1973 (age 43 years), her net worth sits at about 3.2 billion USD (2017) Forbes.
She is the daughter of Angola’s President José Eduardo dos Santos, who has ruled the country since 1979.
A 2013 research by Forbes, suggested that she might be Africa’s first billionaire woman.
In the early 1990s, Isabel dos Santos returned from London to join her father in Luanda and started working as a project manager engineer for Urbana 2000, a subsidiary of Jembas Group, that won the contract for cleaning and disinfection of the city.
Over a period of nearly 20 years she expanded her business interests, leading to the creation of several holdings, in Angola and mostly abroad, and to make substantial investments in a series of prestigious entreprises, especially in Portugal.
3. President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim
At third place is Mauritius’ President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim who made it narrowly to the 2016 Forbes list at number 96. Before she was pulled to politics in 2015, the 56 year old President was immersed in her Research center that was compiling a database of the plants on the Island nation and promoting the importance of biodiversity to an international audience.
She became the Island’s President after she was selected as a presidential candidate by the major political party. She has used her power to bring her concerns as scientist to a larger audience.
2. President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
In second place is Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf who comes in 83rd on the global list.
The 77 year old formidable leadership in rebuilding Liberia post-civil war and amidst crippling debts landed her on the list and was as well recognized for her efforts by the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006
“She (Sirleaf) came under fire for cronyism and corruption, and during the devastating Ebola outbreak of 2014, her decision to use troops to quarantine the heavily infected and poor West Point neighborhood was widely criticized. Despite this, she receives credit for some parts of her leadership, including her final presidential act: Stepping aside to let the country’s democratic process choose its next leader.” Says Forbes
1. Folorunsho Alakija
From Africa’s largest country comes the most powerful woman in the continent. She (Folorunsho Alakija) ranks number 80 in the world’s 100 most powerful women in the world.
At 65, Alakija is said to have a net worth of 1.73 billion dollars after investing in the oil industry. She is the vice chair of a Nigerian oil exploration company, Famfa oil, that is in one of Nigeria’s largest deep water oil discoveries.