Saturday, August 11, 2012

6 Kenyans on Africa’s Top 20 Young and Powerful Women

Women empowerment is an over flogged subject across Africa. It has travelled quiet a journey from the days when the continent’s female gender could barely compete with their male counterparts in any endeavor of life to a point where most women now call the shots, and are able to see their dreams come to life.
Various talk shops including the very famous Beijing Conference really defined the borderlines, and shaped what would later go on to become a reminder to most women that they matter.
Today, across Africa’s 50-something state, there is that general feeling of contentment amongst women that, dreams do come true. So sharp and piercing is the chord that it has defeated theories and projections of hard-lined chauvinists who seek to suppress women and pin them down to play second fiddle.
These days, it is hard to find an African woman who is not making it in one field or the other. The ratio of success is so high that ten out of eleven women are either heading a big corporation or running their own affairs.
Most important is the fact that the successes being chalked are products of young, lively, and witty women, who went from nothing to something. And a finer aspect of their successes is that, they wield considerable influence that impacts society positively.
All under the age of 45, we take a look at 20 of Africa’s young and powerful women named by Forbes as shaping the fortunes of the continent in one way or the other.

Ory Okolloh – Kenya
Always fighting for the general good of the Kenyan people, Okolloh makes open-government activism in Kenya an interesting case study for the generation yet to come.
She is a lawyer, blogger, and writer of repute.
Okolloh co-founded the parliamentary watchdog site Mzalendo (Swahili: 'Patriot'), in 2006, to increase government accountability by systematically recording bills, speeches, MPs, standing orders. Around the same time in 2006, she was recognized as one of the most influential women in technology, globally.
A graduate of the Harvard Law School, Okolloh, is also the founder of Ushahidi, an open source platform for crowd sourcing crisis. She works as a consultant for NGOs and operates her personal blog KenyanPundit .

Julie Gichuru – Kenya
Largely seen as the face of Kenyan television, Gichuru has almost built a following that is almost becoming religious.
She doubles as an anchor and executive of Citizen TV, one of Kenya’s most popular media establishments.
She is a fellow and trustee member of the African Leadership Initiative, which is part of the Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum. A recipient of the Martin Luther King Salute to Greatness Award, she has participated in projects for UNICEF, the Aspen Global Leadership Network and Africa Global Leadership.

Olga Kimani-Arara – Kenya
Until recently Google’s local spokesperson in Kenya, Kimani-Arara is an astute corporate woman.
In his home country Kenya, she is well respected by her peers especially in the sectors she’s worked in before.
She left Google this year to pursue other interests. Prior to joining Google, she was a senior executive at Safaricom. “She has vast experience in engineering combined with strong commercial and marketing knowledge with several years experience in marketing and product management gained in the Telecommunications, Retail and IT industries,” it’s been suggested.
A Microsoft Certified System Engineer, Kimani-Arara holds an MBA in Engineering Business Management from Manchester Business School. She also holds a B.Sc. Electrical and Electronics Engineering.

Stella Kilonzo – Kenya
Kilonzo is the immediate past Chief Executive of Capital Markets Authority, Kenya. After a four and a half year sojourn in the USA, Kilonzo returned to Kenya and worked at accounting giant PriceWaterHouse Coopers, as a Senior Associate in the Corporate Finance Advisory Services Department.

Isis Nyongo – Kenya
The affable and lovely Nyongo is Vice President and Managing Director of the world’s largest independent mobile advertising network, InMobi.
She’s held senior management positions at MTV, Kenya’s leading Job site MyJobsEye, and Google. She is an alumnus of Harvard and Stanford.

June Arunga – Kenya
Arunga is founder and Chief Executive of Open Quest Media LLC, a New York-based multimedia production company. She serves on the advisory boards of Moving Picture Institute and Global Envision as member, and is a fellow at the International Policy Network (London, UK), as well as the Instituto Bruno Leoni (Milan, Italy).

Here are the other powerful women in the continent:

Yolanda Cuba – South Africa
Funmi Iyanda – Nigeria
Elsie S. Kanza – Tanzania
Magette Wade – Senegal
Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu – Ethiopia
Dambisa Moyo – Zambia
Saran Kaba Jones – Liberia         
Juliet Ehimuan – Nigeria
Khanyi Ndhlomo – South Africa
Chimamanda Adichie – Nigeria
Phuti Malabie – South Africa
Ndidi Nwuneli – Nigeria
Jonitha Gugu Msibi – South Africa
Lisa Kropman – South Africa

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