For the second consecutive year, only one woman from Africa has made the Forbes list of 100 most powerful women in the world. Why is this so? Are there no powerful women in Africa?
According to Forbes, the list is centered on recognizing women who have excelled in the areas of business, technology, entertainment, philanthropy, and politics. Are there no women in Africa who have excelled in these areas in the last two years?
In 2017, the only African on the list was Isabel dos Santos – the daughter of former Angolan president, José Eduardo dos Santos. José Eduardo dos Santos was the second-longest-serving president in Africa and ruled the country from 1979 until 2017 when he officially stepped down to hand over power to João Lourenço - who was at that time the Minister for Defense.
The main reason Isabel made the 2017 list was her increasing fortunes which saw her become the richest woman in Africa. She dethroned Nigerian billionaire businesswoman and oil mogul - Folorunso Alakija, who in 2014 beat Oprah Winfrey to be the richest black woman in the world.
Isabel dos Santos was ranked 74th on the 2017 list of most powerful women.
This year, Ethiopian president Sahle-Work Zewde was the only African on the list.
In October 2018, Sahle-Work Zewde was nominated by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed and approved by parliament to become Ethiopia’s first woman president and the only serving female head of state in Africa at the moment.
Sahle-Work is a long-serving Ethiopian diplomat and international civil servant.
She is ranked 97th on the 2018 list which is topped by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and has British Prime Minister, Theresa May, clinching the second position.
The third, fourth and fifth places were occupied by Christine Lagarde of IMF, Mary Teresa Barra, CEO of General Motors and Abigail Johnson, CEO of Fidelity Investments respectively.
It was surprising to see that daughter of U.S. president, Ivanka Trump occupy the 24th position, four places behind Oprah Winfrey.
Melinda Gates, wife of billionaire businessman Bill Gates came 6th, Queen Elizabeth II was ranked 23rd and Beyonce Knowles took the 50th spot.
What are your thoughts; is the ranking fair or are Africans being marginalized?
Every woman listed here by The African Exponent, in all has a pinch of power to inspire every young African.
Header Photo: African News