May 19, 2020

Top 10 Female Business Leaders in Africa

Africa leadership
women business leaders
Sheree Hanna
4 min
Top 10 Female Business Leaders in Africa

The continent is awash with go-getting entrepreneurs of the female kind and it is a hard choice when it comes to choosing the best, however, here is the pick of our favourite girls who are doing it for themselves:


10. Vera Songwe is a Cameroonian who is the World Bank’s Country Director for Senegal, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Mauritiana, based in Dakar, Senegal. She joined the bank in 1998 as a young professional in the East Asia and Pacific Region and has worked on several countries and regions including Cambodia, Morocco and Tunisia.

9. Wendy Ackerman is a non-executive director of the leading South African grocery chain Pick ‘n’ Pay. She and her husband, Raymond Ackerman, run the Ackerman Family Trust which owns about 50 percent of the $3 billion retailer. She was appointed as a director in 1981 and was responsible for Employee Liaison, Staff Benefits and Welfare.

8. Hadeel Ibrahim is the founding Executive Director of the Mo Ibrahim foundation, which was established in 2006 to support great African leadership. She is also a member of the Boards of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, Carter Center UK, Refugees International and the Institute of African Leadership for Sustainable Development in Tanzania.

7. Sibongile Sambo is a highly educated entrepreneur having several degrees under her belt and is the founder and Managing Director of SRS Aviation, the first 100 percent black female-owned aviation company which offers clients professional and personalised flight options to destinations around the world. She previously gained experience working for the likes of Telkom, City Power and De Beers.

6. Monica Musonda is a dual qualified English solicitor and Zambian advocate who achieved her entrepreneurial vision of bringing affordable nutrition to the southern African market through her food processing company, Java Foods, of which she is both founder and CEO. She previously worked for Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, of Dangote Industries ltd.

5. Bridgette Radebe has made it big in mining and as the Executive Chairperson of Mmakau Mining. She was involved in the South African Mineral & Petroleum Resources Development Act and the Mining Charter. She started Mmakau Mining, which initiates explorations and helps to produce platinum, gold and chrome.

4. Rapelang Rabana is a young, hot-shot, South African entrepreneur who knew from the start exactly what she wanted. Shortly after finishing her studies at the University of Cape Town and at the tender age of just 23, she co-founded Yeigo Communications, which became one of the first companies in the world to offer VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services for mobile phones.

3. Eva Muraya is Chief Executive Officer and founder of Brand Strategy and Design Ltd. She has won many accolades and awards for her brand building and advertising skills which have benefited many big companies including FedEx, Xerox and Equatorial Commercial Bank. This go-getter believes you don’t get any results without hard work. 

2. Hajia Bola Shagaya is Nigeria’s richest businesswoman and the entrepreneur has secured interests in oil, banking, communications and photography, as well as a huge investment in real estate spanning several major cities. She is Managing Director of Practoil Ltd, one of Nigeria’s largest importers and distributors of base oil and was on the board of Intercity Bank (now Unity Bank Plc) for more than eight years.

1. Isabel dos Santos is an astute businesswoman, who holds the title of being Africa’s first female billionaire as well as being the daughter of Angolan President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos.

Still only in her early forties, Dos Santos has always shown an entrepreneurial flair having set up her own restaurant called Miami Beach at the tender age of 24. She holds an engineering degree after studying at King’s college, London, and swiftly made her mark on the business world by divesting her interests in a number of sectors including banking, TV and media businesses.

Her assets include a 19.5 percent share of Banco BPI, one of Portugal’s largest publicly traded banks worth an estimated $465million and she also has substantial shares in Portugal’s biggest cable TV company ZON worth about $385 million. She also owns a 25 percent stake in one of Angola’s largest mobile phone networks, Unitel.

Share article

Jun 11, 2021

G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve

3 min
Business Chief delves into what the G7 is and represents and what its 2021 summit hopes to achieve, in terms of sustainability and global trade

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration. 


Who are the G7?

The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like. 

The merry band comprises:

  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States

Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.


Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda. 


When was the ‘G’ formed?

Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s. 


Why does the G7 exist?

At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted. 


The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability. 


It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations. 


Where is the 2021 G7 summit?

This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall. 

What will be discussed this year? 

After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”


The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values. 


According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.” 


Share article