International Women’s Day, celebrated every year on March 8th, is a day to celebrate the achievements of women in various fields, including business. Women have made great strides in the world of business, breaking down barriers and carving out their own paths in male-dominated industries. In Africa, there are many successful women who have made a name for themselves in the business world, and today we will be highlighting the top African women in business in 2023.
Top women in business in Africa
1. Njeri Rionge
Njeri Rionge is a highly successful Kenyan entrepreneur who has made significant contributions to the technology and business sectors in East Africa. As a co-founder of Wananchi Online, she played a key role in revolutionizing internet connectivity in the region.
Additionally, through her company Ignite Consulting, she has provided valuable business development and strategic planning services to entrepreneurs and businesses. Her achievements have earned her widespread recognition, including being named one of Forbes’ 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa.
2. Isabel do Santos
Isabel do Santos is a prominent businesswoman, known for her various ventures in industries such as banking, telecommunications, and media. She is the founder of Unitel, which is currently the largest mobile phone operator in Angola.
Although her wealth and business practices have faced criticism, do Santos has been acknowledged as one of the most influential women in Africa and has been listed on Forbes’ Africa’s Richest People. It is worth noting that do Santos is also the daughter of Angola’s former president and has been mentioned in many alleged scandals.
3. Folorunsho Alakija
Folorunsho Alakija is a successful Nigerian businesswoman who has made a name for herself in various industries, including fashion, oil, and real estate. Beyond her business pursuits, she is also an active philanthropist and founder of the Rose of Sharon Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides support to widows and orphans in Nigeria.
Her philanthropic efforts have not gone unnoticed, as she has been recognized for her contributions to society and was named one of Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women in the World. Alakija is a shining example of using one’s wealth and resources for the greater good and has become an inspiration for many women across Africa.
4. Sibongile Sambo
Country: South Africa
Sibongile Sambo is a highly accomplished South African entrepreneur, known for her successful aviation company, SRS Aviation. Her company provides aviation services such as chartered flights and aviation training. Sambo is also a motivational speaker who has made significant contributions to the aviation industry.
Her achievements have been widely recognized, including being named one of Forbes’ Top 10 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch in Africa. Sambo is an inspiration to many young women who aspire to succeed in business, and her story highlights the importance of determination and hard work in achieving success.
5. Divine Ndhlukula
Divine Ndhlukula is the founder and managing director of SECURICO, a Zimbabwean security company that provides a range of security services, including guarding, cash-in-transit, and electronic security.
She is also involved in philanthropic work and has been recognized for her contributions to business and society, including being named Zimbabwe’s Businesswoman of the Year in 2014.
6. Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu
Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu is an Ethiopian entrepreneur who is the founder of soleRebels, a footwear company that produces sustainable and eco-friendly shoes. She has been recognized for her innovative business model, which focuses on using local materials and labor to produce high-quality products, and has been featured on Forbes’ list of Africa’s Most Successful Women.
7. Tabitha Karanja
Tabitha Karanja is a Kenyan businesswoman who is the founder and CEO of Keroche Breweries, the first brewery in Kenya to be owned by a Kenyan. The company produces a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and has been recognized for its contribution to the Kenyan economy. Karanja has been named one of Forbes’ Top 50 Women in Africa.
8. Hajia Bola Shagaya
Hajia Bola Shagaya is a Nigerian businesswoman who has interests in a range of industries, including real estate, banking, and photography. She has been recognized for her contributions to business and society, including being named one of Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women in the World. Shagaya is also involved in philanthropic work and has donated to a number of causes, including healthcare and education.
9. Salwa Akhannouch
Salwa Akhannouch is a Moroccan businesswoman who is the CEO of Akwa Group, a conglomerate with interests in oil and gas, real estate, and agriculture. She is also the president of the Moroccan Confederation of Employers and has been recognized for her contributions to business and society, including being named one of Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women in the World.
10. Bridgette Radebe
Country: South Africa
Bridgette Radebe is a South African businesswoman who is involved in a range of industries, including mining, energy, and construction. She is the founder and executive chairperson of Mmakau Mining, which has interests in platinum, gold, uranium, and other minerals. Radebe has been recognized for her contributions to business and society, including being named one of Forbes’ Top 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa.
These women are just a few of the many successful and influential women in business in Africa. Their achievements are a testament to the power of determination, hard work, and perseverance. They have broken down barriers and paved the way for future generations of women to follow in their footsteps.
However, it’s important to note that women in Africa still face many challenges in the business world, including gender discrimination and lack of access to capital and resources. It’s crucial that we continue to support and empower women in business and work towards creating a more inclusive and equitable society.
The top African women in business highlighted in this article are a testament to the talent, creativity, and perseverance of women in Africa. They have broken barriers, shattered stereotypes, and created successful enterprises that have contributed to the growth and development of their countries and the continent as a whole.
As we celebrate International Women’s Day, it is important to recognize and celebrate the achievements of these women and to continue to support and promote women’s entrepreneurship and leadership in Africa and beyond.