African Female Presidents who Kicked Butt to Sit at the Top.

If you have been blessed to be in the company of a wise woman, you’ll agree with me that it is as super fulfilling as the famous Kenyan masala chai or that strong addictive Ethiopian coffee.

After all, Proverbs 8 did tell us that counsel, sound judgement and insight are powerful tools to be used by kings and leaders to govern and rule.

Today we’re looking at 7 female African leaders that have led massive economies. These African female Heads of States are among many, known and unknown, remembered and forgotten, who came before them. We’ve all heard of fearless African warriors who led their communities valiantly.

1. Sahle-Work Zewde

Sahle-Work Zewde is known to many as a well-seasoned Ethiopian diplomat. She took the Ethiopian presidential office in 2018 after being unanimously elected by members of the National Parliamentary Assembly.  One thing I love about the Ethiopians is the preservation of their culture-coffee ceremony, anyone?

Prior to assuming her Presidential role, she served as an ambassador for Ethiopia in Senegal, Djibouti and France. She worked as Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA).

She was also the Director-General for African Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia. In 2011, Zewde was appointed to the position of Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. President Sahle-Work Zewde also served as the UN representative at the African Union.

2. Prime Minister Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda

Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda, the Prime Minister of Gabon was born in 1964 in Libreville. She is an economist by training. Don’t you love economists? I adore them. These breed can accelerate GDP rates like the super fast Kenyan athletes if they want to.

She received a degree in economics and public finance from the Gabonese Institute of Economy and Finance. She has served Gabon for decades.

Raponda has worked as Director General of the Economy at the Housing Bank of Gabon and as Budget Minister. She was the elected Mayor of the capital city Libreville representing the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party. She also became President of United Cities and Local Governments Africa and played a vital role in Africa’s peace and security.

Talk about an African warrior, Raponda also served as her country’s Defense Minister.

3. Prime Minister Dogbé Tomegah

Victoire Sidémého Dzidudu Dogbé Tomegah, the Prime Minister of Togo is a respected and experienced politician. Prior to her position, she worked at the United Nations Development Program and also served as the Cabinet Director to the President of Togo. Tomegah Dogbé was also the Minister of Grassroots Development, Youth Craft and Youth Employment.

I can attest to the satisfaction of working with the Togolese. These folk are thorough and take attention to detail very seriously.

5. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is a Liberian politician who served as the 24th President of Liberia from 2006 to 2018. She studied at Madison Business College and Harvard University.

She was the Deputy Minister of Finance, worked for the World Bank in the Caribbean and Latin America, and for Citibank. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf won the 2005 presidential election and was re-elected in 2011. 

She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011, in recognition of her efforts to bring women into the peacekeeping process. She has received numerous other awards for her leadership. Is it just me or does she emanate Wangari Maathai’s vibes?

6. Samia Suluhu Hassan

She is the current Tanzanian president after assuming office upon the death of president John Pombe Magufuli in 2020. She previously served as the Vice president of Tanzania, the Member of Parliament for Makunduchi and was the Minister of State in the Vice-President’s Office for Union Affairs. She also served as a minister in the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar during President Amani Karume’s administration.

7. Joyce Hilda Banda

Joyce Hilda Banda served as the President of Malawi from 2012 to 2014 after taking over the office following the sudden death of President Bingu wa Mutharika. Before becoming the President of Malawi, she served as the Member of the Parliament, Minister of Gender and Child Welfare and as a foreign Minister. In 2014, Forbes named her as the 40th powerful woman in the world and the most powerful woman in Africa. 

There are many other indomitable and fearless female African leaders who are daringly transforming their respective African countries. The contribution of women to what Africa is today is unquestionable.

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