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Forbes’ List: “20 Youngest Power Women in Africa 2014”

by Milicent Atieno

Forbes’ List: “20 Youngest Power Women in Africa 2014”

Forbes the renowned American business magazine has launched its ‘20 Youngest Power Women in Africa 2014’ list. Also described as, “the continent’s emerging power brokers, the Amazons to watch, and the custodians of tomorrow”.

Mfonobong Nsehe, a contributor of Forbes, has been tasked by a yearly responsibility of identifying the top 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa 2014 who are doing extraordinary and inspiring achievements across the continent. The list of shortlisted candidates comprises of women under the age of 45 and below. They must also be making a significant positive impact in the lives of individual African countries, under the categories of diplomacy, business, technology, politics, policy and media. The candidates are then chosen further where the most outstanding 20 African women were selected into the ’20 Youngest Power Women in Africa.’

The Forbes’ list of top 20 African women is now in its fourth-year run since inception. As Nsehe puts it: “They are resolute in their resolve to change, to build, inspire and transform, and they are out there making it happen… They are change makers, trendsetters, visionaries and thinkers, builders and young global leaders. They are at the vanguard of Africa’s imminent socio-economic revolution and its contemporary renaissance”.

20 Youngest Power Women in Africa 2014:

At the top of the list is Morocco’s Fatima Zahra Mansouri. The 38-year-old serves as the mayor of North Africa’s third largest city; Marrakech with a population exceeding 1 million.

Zahra studied commercial law in France, and later came back to Morocco where she started a commercial law firm that had a successful ran. She got elected as the Mayor of Marrakech in 2009 when she was 33-years-old.

During her 5-years tenure in the office, she has been credited for significantly cutting down on graft, established more accountability, transparency and efficiency among the city’s 96 members of the city council.

Forbes’ List: “20 Youngest Power Women in Africa 2014”Nigeria’s Ada Osakwe came in at number two. The 34-year-old Nigerian is at the heart of Nigeria’s agricultural sector estimated to attract private sector investment running into over $4 billion over just the past one year.

Osake serves as the Senior Investment Adviser to Nigeria’s Honorable Minister Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

She works closely with the minister, Akinwunmi Adesina and gives him sound advice. That is said to have largely contributed to the minister being known as one of the best performing ministers in President Goodluck Jonathan’s kitchen cabinet.

Forbes’ List: “20 Youngest Power Women in Africa 2014”At number three, is Nigerian businesswoman and Managing Director of LADOL, Amy Jadesimi.

The 39-year-old serves at the helm Nigeria’s only indigenously owned deep offshore logistics base.

The LADOL Free Zone was purposefully established to make Nigeria become the center of West Africa’s maritime, oil and gas activities; by instituting long-term investments and installing world-class facilities and services. Jadesimi played a crucial role during this process.

Forbes’ List: “20 Youngest Power Women in Africa 2014”At number four is Naisula Lesuuda, an MP and senator, a former journalist, girl child champion and a peace ambassador.

The 30-year-old is the youngest female Senator in Kenya, and she previously worked for Kenya Broadcasting Corporation as an anchor. She was also the youngest person to be awarded the Presidential Order of the Grand Warrior back in 2010.

For the role, she played leveraging journalism and showcasing social issues across Kenya and promoting peaceful co-existence between warring pastoral communities living in northern Kenya.

Forbes’ List: “20 Youngest Power Women in Africa 2014”At number five is Zimbabwe’s Amira Ehmissiry, who serves as a Special Assistant to the President of the African Development Bank (ADB).

A multilateral finance institution set to promote the socio-economic development of African countries. The 31-year-old Ehmissiry  serves as an advisor to the ADB President Donald Kaberuka on matters touching on policy, strategy and operations.

She is a lawyer by profession trained in Britain and she joined ADB back in 2009 and worked her way up through the ranks. She previously served as ADB’s Senior Legal Counsel in Private Sector and Microfinance Operations.

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