Women are still underrepresented in the top corporate positions in Africa. According to McKinsey, female CEOs in Africa make up 5 percent in the private sector in Africa, compared to 4 percent globally. Despite Africa doing well compared to the rest of the world, there is still a lot of work to do. More female CEOs in Africa is good for business. Research shows that companies with a greater share of women on their boards of directors and executive committees tend to perform better financially.
Here is a list of 10 female CEOs in Africa. These inspiring women are aiming for the stars and breaking glass ceilings on their way there.
1. Marion Gathoga-Mwangi (Kenya)
Gathoga-Mwangi is the CEO of BOC Gases. Other key roles she has previously held include country Director of Cadbury Kenya and East Africa Limited, and General Manager at Unga Limited.
2. Grace Muradzikwa (Zimbabwe)
Muradzikwa is the CEO of NicozDiamond. Nicoz Diamond Insurance Limited is a Zimbabwe-based company engaged in the provision of short term insurance solutions and property investments. Muradzikwa also won many accolades and some on behalf of the company. This all has been credited to Muradzikwa ever since her appointment as the Managing Director (MD) of NDI.
3. Salwa Idrissi Akhannaouch (Morocco)
Akhannaouch is the founder and CEO of Aksal Group, a leading Moroccan company specialising in luxury goods, department stores and shopping malls. Aksal ownsa 50% stake in Casablanca’s Morocco Mall, one of Africa’s biggest shopping centres, where in October 2017 she launched her own beauty and cosmetics brand, Yan&One.
4. Hajia Bola Shagaya (Nigeria)
Shagaya is the Group Managing Director/CEO of Bolmus Group International; a company that is known to have interests in oil, banking, communications, photography, and most recently, real estate. With her investment portfolio, she is considered one of the biggest players in Nigeria’s oil sector. She is also known to sit on the board of Unity Bank Plc, has also served on the board of a number of other organizations including the National Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
5. Catherine Lesetedi (Botswana)
Catherine is the Group Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL) and represents BIHL on a number of Boards including Funeral Services Group Limited, Bifm Unit Trusts, Botswana Insurance Company Limited, Nico Life, Nico Pensions Company and Nico Holdings. She has a history of working in the insurance industry. Skilled in negotiations, budgeting, analytics, coaching and entrepreneurship. Prior to her current position, she held various positions within BIHL Group and AON Botswana, which include Head of Corporate and High Value Business and General Manager of Life and Employee Benefits.
6. Frehiwot Tamiru (Ethiopia)
Tamiru is the CEO of Ethio Telecom. Ethio Telecom is state-run telecommunication company has over 20,000 employees and is Africa’s largest mobile operator. Tamiru is a former employee and current board member of the company.
7. Phuti Mahanyele (South Africa)
Mahanyele is a business executive, the chief executive officer of Sigma Capital and former CEO of the Shanduka Group. Mahanyele was included in the Wall Street Journal’s list of “Top 50 women in the world to watch in 2008”, was recognized by Africa Investors as a “Leading African Woman in Business” in 2012, and was chosen as Forbes Woman Africa Business Woman of the Year in 2014.
8. Violet Mordichai (Tanzania)
Mordichai is the CEO of AAR Insurance Tanzania. Aar Insurance is dedicated to improving healthcare in the country. Her previous positions include General Manager at Metropolitan.
9. Janine Kacou Diagou (Côte d’Ivoire)
Diagou is the CEO of NSIA Group. NSIA Group is francophone sub-saharan Africa’s biggest insurance company. She is also currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of Diamond Bank SA. In March 2017, she was ranked in the Top 50 most influential businesswomen on the African continent by Jeune Afrique magazine. In September 2017, she initiated the BJKD 16 Young Entrepreneurship Award to support young entrepreneurs looking for a boost to improve their production capacity.
10. Monica Musonda (Zambia)
Musonda is the CEO of Java Food, a food processing company based in Zambia. Monica’s vision is to revolutionise the eating habits of the youth market by offering them affordable and nutritious food options made from local products.
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