These are 20 women,all under age 45, who wield enormous influence in African business, technology, policy and media. They are change makers, trendsetters, visionaries and thinkers, builders, and young global leaders. They are at the vanguard of Africa’s imminent socio-economic revolution and its contemporary renaissance.
Ory Okolloh Kenyan. Founder, Ushahidi
A Harvard-trained lawyer, activist and blogger, Kenyan-born Ory Okolloh spearheaded the founding of Ushahidi, a revolutionary crowd sourcing utility that enables citizen journalists and eyewitnesses all over the world to report incidences of violence through the web, mobile E-mail, SMS, and Twitter. Earlier this year, Okolloh assumed a new position as Google’s policy manager for Africa, and she is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential women in global technology.
Chimamanda Adichie Nigerian. Writer
One of Africa’s leading contemporary literary voices, the Award-winning Nigerian writer has been heralded as a rebirth of the African literary greats – the likes of Chinua Achebe, Camara Laye and Cyprian Ekwensi. In 2006 her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, won the coveted Orange Prize, and Chinua Achebe (widely regarded as the father of African literature) said of Adichie: She’s “endowed with the gift of ancient storytellers…”
Yolanda Cuba South African. Corporate Executive
When Yolanda Cuba was only 29, she was appointed CEO of Mvelaphanda Group, a conglomerate listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. She stepped down last year, but still remains one of South Africa’s most respected and sought-after business leaders. She serves on the boards of South African blue-chips like ABSA, Steinhoff and Life Healthcare
Ndidi Nwuneli Nigerian. Social Entrepreneur
Ndidi founded LEAP Africa – a leading nonprofit that provides social entrepreneurs, youth and small scale business owners with leadership training and executive coaching services. She is also a co-founder of AACE Foods, a Nigerian food processor. Ndidi is a leading authority on social entrepreneurship and in 2004 was bestowed with the national honor, Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) by the Nigerian President at the time, Olusegun Obasanjo.
Dambisa Moyo Zambian. Economist
The Zambian-born economist and New York Times international best-selling author. Her most recent book is Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working. She is one of Africa’s most vocal advocates for the abolition of foreign aid. In March 2011, during the annual Observance ceremony in commemoration of the Commonwealth Day in Westminster Abbey, Moyo addressed an audience of some 2,000 guests including Queen Elizabeth II and British Prime Minister David Cameron. She sits on the board ofBarclays Bank, SABMiller and Lundin Petroleum.
Khanyi Ndhlomo South African. Media Mogul
One of South Africa’s most respected media moguls. She owns Ndalo Media, which publishes Destiny Magazine and Destiny Man, two thriving high-end magazines that combine business and lifestyle content to cater to successful, professional, stylish and intellectually curious men and women.
Phuti Malabie South African. CEO, Shanduka Group readmore