From Diezani Alison-Madueke to Angelina Jolie: ARISE lists 100 “dynamic women”

by Rachel Ogbu


ARISE, Africa’s global style and culture magazine, has launched its ARISE 100 series.

The THISDAY Magazines Group publication distributed the first edition of the series this month and it

ARISE 100: DYNAMIC WOMEN, is published in Issue 17, it celebrates extraordinary and powerful women effecting real change for the continent across a gamut of disciplines, including politics, fashion, the arts, entertainment, sport and activism. Their tireless efforts are helping Africa to take its rightful place on the world stage in the 21st century.

In boardrooms and parliaments, on television and the stage, women are increasingly making their presence felt across Africa and on the world stage. The inaugural ARISE 100 list champions just some of the remarkable women shaping modern Africa today. Icons such as Angélique Kidjo, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Charlize Theron sit alongside lesser-known heroines such as scientist Tebello Nyokong, social entrepreneur Wendy Luhabe and political comedian Odile Sankara.

In a statement ARISE said:

We share their stories and record their amazing achievements in the fields of politics, business, campaigning, fashion, science and technology, arts and literature, media and communications, law, sport and entertainment.

The list also includes such influential women as Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma (chair of the African Union), Dambisa Moyo (economist), Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (President of Liberia), Iman (entrepreneur and supermodel), Leymah Gbowee (peace activist), Franca Sozzani (Editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia), Joyce Banda (President of Malawi), Fatou Bensouda (chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court); Angelina Jolie (actress), Oprah Winfrey (media mogul); Sarah Brown (campaigner) and Melinda Gates (philanthropist).

The ARISE 100 list will be an ongoing series in ARISE magazine profiling people benefiting Africa.

The full ARISE 100: DYNAMIC WOMEN list in alphabetical order:


Ahdaf Soueif, writer and activist, Egypt/UK

 Alek Wek, model and campaigner, South Sudan

 Angelina Jolie, actress, US

 Angélique Kidjo, singer and campaigner, Benin

 Ann McCreath, KikoRomeo designer, founder of FAFA and Fashion for Peace, Kenya

 Dr Asha-Rose Migiro, former UN Deputy Secretary-General, Tanzania

 Awa Marie Coll-Seck, Minister of Health, Senegal

 Ayaan Hirsi Ali, activist and writer, Somalia/Netherlands/US

 Ayo Obe, Vice Chair, National Crisis Group, Nigeria

 Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, founder, soleRebels, Ethiopia

 Bridgette Radebe, President, South African Mining Development Association, SA

 Buika, singer, Spain/Equatorial Guinea

 Candice Swanepoel, model, SA

 Charlayne Hunter-Gault, journalist, US

 Charlize Theron, actress, SA /US

 Cherie Blair, lawyer, UK

 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author, Nigeria/US

 Cissé Mariam Kaïdama Sidibé, former Prime Minister, Mali

 Dambisa Moyo, economist, Zambia/US

 Deola Sagoe, fashion designer, Nigeria

 Diezani Alison-Madueke, Minister of Petroleum Resources, Nigeria

 Dorothy K Gordon, Director General, Advanced Information Technology Institute, Ghana

 Dr Eleni Gabre-Madhin, founder, Ethiopia Commodity Exchange, Ethiopia

 Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President, Liberia

 Elsie Kanza, Director, World Economic Forum, Tanzania

 Eva Muraya, co-founder and CEO, Color Creations Group, Kenya

 Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court, The Gambia

 Folake Folarin-Coker, fashion designer, Tiffany Amber, Nigeria

 Franca Sozzani, Editor-in-chief, Vogue Italia, Italy

 Genevieve Nnaji, actress, Nigeria

 Genevieve Sangudi, Managing Director, Carlyle Group Africa, Tanzania

 Graça Machel, advocate for human rights, Mozambique

 Hajia Bola Shagaya, founder and CEO, Bolmus Group International, Nigeria

 Hanaa Ben Abdesslem, model, Tunisia

 Hon Aicha Bah Diallo, Chair of the Forum for African Women Educationalists, Kenya

 Ida Odinga, Founder, Ida Odinga Trust, women’s health campaigner, Kenya

 Iman, model, campaigner and entrepreneur, Somalia/US

 Irene Charnley, CEO, Smile Telecoms, SA

 Isabel dos Santos, investor and businesswoman, Angola

 Isis Nyong’o, Vice President and Managing Director for Africa, InMobi, Kenya/US

 Dr Johnnetta B Cole, Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art, US

 Jonitha Gugu Msibi, Senior Partner, Ernst & Young, SA

 Joy Phumaphi, Vice President, Human Development Network, World Bank, Botswana

 Joyce Banda, President, Malawi

 Juliet Ehimuan, Google Nigeria Country Manager, Nigeria

 Kanya King, founder, Music of Black Origin (MOBO) Awards, UK

 Kerryn Greenberg, Curator (International Art), Tate Modern, SA/UK

 Laurence Chauvin Buthaud, designer and founder, LaurenceAirline,

 France/Côte d’Ivoire

 Leigh Blake, founder, ACT V, UK

 Leymah Gbowee, peace activist, Liberia

 Lira, musician, SA

 Lisa Folawiyo, founder and Creative Director, Jewel by Lisa, Nigeria.

 Liya Kebede, model, Ethiopia

 Maggie Aderin-Pocock, space scientist and BBC presenter, Nigeria/UK

 Maria Ramos, CEO, Absa Group, Portugal/SA

 Mariam Doumbia, vocalist, Mali

 Melinda Gates, philanthropist, US

 Minoush Abdel-Meguid, co-founder, Union Capital, Egypt

 Monhla Hlahla, Chair, IDC, SA

 Mphatheleni Makaulule, founder, Mupo Foundation, SA

 Dr Mphu Ramatlapeng, former Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Lesotho

 Nadiyah Spencer, Director of Sourcing and Production, SUNO, US/Kenya

 Dr Natasha Sauven, paediatrician, Sierra Leone/UK

 Ngozi Edozien, Director, Actis West Africa, Nigeria

 Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance, Nigeria

 Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chair, African Union, SA

 Nombulelo ‘Pinky ‘ Moholi, CEO, Telkom SA LTD, SA

 Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita, CEO, ArcelorMittal South Africa, SA

 Odile Sankara, activist and comedian, Burkina Faso

 Oluchi Orlandi, model, Nigeria

 Oprah Winfrey, media mogul, US

 Ory Okolloh, Google Policy Manager for Africa, Kenya

 Oumou Sangaré, musician, Mali

 Phuti Malabie, CEO, Shanduka Group, SA

 Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, speaker, Ugandan Parliament, Uganda

 Rosalind Kainyah, Vice President, External Affairs & CSR, Tullow Oil, Ghana/UK

 Rungano Nyoni, filmmaker, Zambia/UK

 Sarah Brown, campaigner, UK

 Serkalem Fasil, journalist, US/Ethiopia

 Sharon Wauchob, Creative Director, Edun, Ireland

 Sophie Okonedo, actress, UK

 Stella Kilonzo, Chief Executive, Capital Markets Authority, Kenya

 Susan ‘Santie’ Botha, Chancellor of the Nelson Mandela University, SA

 Tebello Nyokong, scientist, Lesotho

 Teresa Heinz Kerry, businesswoman and philanthropist, US

 Thandie Newton, actress, UK/Zimbabwe

 Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator, Studio Museum in Harlem, US

 Thuli Madonsela, public protector, SA

 Thyla van der Merwe, Association of South African Women in Science and Engineering, SA

 Tirunesh Dibaba, runner, Ethiopia

 Tsega Gebreyes, Managing Partner, Satya Capital, Ethiopia/UK

 Baroness Valerie Amos, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs & Emergency Relief Coordinator, UK

 Vivienne Westwood, designer, UK

 Wanuri Kahiu, film director, Kenya

 Waris Dirie, model, author, campaigner, Somalia

 Wendy Ackerman, retail tycoon, SA

 Wendy Luhabe, social entrepreneur, SA

 Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, politician, SA

 Yvonne Chaka Chaka, singer, SA

 Zainab Hawa Bangura, UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Sierra Leone



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