Most Inspiring and Influential Women in Africa 2018 – BBC

The BBC has released its BBC 100 Women list for 2018, which celebrates 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world.
The list includes leaders, trailblazers and everyday heroes from over 60 countries, ranging from age 15 to 94.

Below are the African Women who made the list.

Most Inspiring and Influential women in Africa, 2018 – BBC

1. Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin, 33 – (Social Impact Entrepreneur)

Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin is a Nigerian women’s rights activist. She is the founder of Pearls Africa Youth Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organization that assists girls in developing technology skills through various programs including; GirlsCoding, G.C Mentors, GirlsInSTEM and Empowered Hands. Since 2012, the organization has trained over 400 young women to code
Abisoye is also one of the 10 finalist for the CNN Hero Award for 2018.

2. Amina J Mohammed, 57 – (Deputy secretary general, United Nations)

Most influential women in Africa

Amina is a former minister of environment in Nigeria and has previously been a special adviser to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Amina Mohammed was born in Gombe State, north-eastern Nigeria, in 1961 to a Nigerian veterinarian – herdsman and a British nurse. She is the eldest of five daughters.
Mohamed attended a primary school by Lake Chad and Buchan School in the UK. She further attended Henley Management College in 1989.


  • National Honours Award of the Order of the Federal Republic (2006)
  • Nigerian Women’s Hall of Fame (2007)
  • Ford Family Notre Dame Award for International Development and Solidarity (2015)

3. Bola Tinubu, 51 – (Lawyer)

Bola is a corporate lawyer who established the first free children’s helpline in Nigeria – Cece Yara Foundation
The Cece Yara Foundation is a child-centred non-profit organisation established in 2016 to prevent child sexual abuse and to provide access to care, information, protection and emergency intervention for children who have experienced sexual abuse or who are at risk.

4. Chidera Eggerue, 23 – (blogger)

Most influential women in Africa

Chidera Eggerue, popularly known as the Slumflower, is a Nigerian-British award-winning blogger, speaker, creative director and a presenter of the The MOBO Awards.
She’s also the activist behind the social media movement #saggyboobsmatter, driving new conversations about perceptions of women’s bodies.

5. Fatma Samoura, 56 – Fifa secretary general, Senegal

Fatma is the first woman and the first African to hold the position of secretary general of Fifa.

6. Nimco Ali, 35 – Writer and activist, Somaliland

Nimco is an award-winning FGM (female genital mutilation) activist.

7. Noma Dumezweni, 49 – Actor, eSwatini (formerly known as Swaziland)

Noma is the first woman to play the adult version of Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, playing in London’s West End and Broadway, New York.

8. Shrouk El-Attar, 26 – Electronic design engineer, Egypt

Shrouk is a refugee and full-time engineer, who uses belly dancing to raise awareness and campaign for the rights of the LGBT+ community in Egypt.

9. Raghda Ezzeldin, 26 – Free-diver, Egypt.

Raghda is a record-breaking free-diver, who descends to extreme depths without breathing apparatus.

10. Mamitu Gashe, 72 – Senior nurse aide/fistula surgeon, Ethiopia.

Mamitu is now an internationally certified fistula surgeon, after being treated for fistula (an injury which can occur in childbirth) herself.

11. Thando Hopa, 29 – Model, lawyer, activist, South Africa

Thando is a diversity and inclusion advocate. Cast in the Pirelli calendar 2018, she is the first person of colour in South Africa to have featured in the publication.

12. Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, 35 – Environmentalist and advocate for indigenous people and women, Chad

Hindou is an indigenous woman of Chad, advocating for the protection of the environment and for the rights of indigenous peoples on an international scale.

13. Helena Ndume, 58 – Ophthalmologist, Namibia.

Helena has performed sight-restoring surgeries upon 35,000 Namibians, free of charge – many of her patients now call her “Namibia’s miracle doctor”.

14. Olivette Otele, 48 – Professor in History at Bath Spa University, Cameroon

Olivette is a historian and memory scholar who works on European colonial history and post-colonial legacies.

15. Brigitte Sossou Perenyi, 28 – Documentary producer, Ghana

Brigitte is an award-winning documentary producer, who told her story of being a Trokosi – a practice that sends girls to serve priests in shrines as payment for the “sins” of their family – and being trafficked from Togo to Ghana.

16. Juliet Sargeant, 53 – Garden designer, Tanzania.

Juliet is a doctor-turned-garden designer working to make “places that feel as good as they look”.

17. Ruth Medufia, 27 – Metal worker, Ghana.

Ruth is a female welder who lives in an urban slum community and aspires to be a role model for young women in the construction industry.

What is 100 Women?
BBC 100 Women names 100 influential and inspirational women around the world every year and shares their stories.
It’s been a momentous year for women’s rights around the globe, so in 2018 BBC 100 Women will reflect the trailblazing women who are using passion, indignation and anger to spark real change in the world around them.

Uzonna Anele
Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.


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