WeForGood is proud to announce the final results of its ‘100 Women Creating A Better Africa’ campaign, an initiative which kicked-off with a call for nomination to the general public on March 6, 2020. This campaign, which is part of the organisation’s commemoration of the International Women’s Day, is aimed at putting the spotlight on women making a difference on the continent. The International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on the 8th of March annually. According to the United Nations, it is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women, who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
Nominees came from over 25 nationalities, which is quite impressive for this maiden edition. It is also important to note that quite a number of men participated in this campaign. In fact, 46% of the nominations came from men, which is great and shows their commitment to supporting the women folk, a key message of the IWD theme for 2020 tagged ‘Each For Equal’.”
As the name implies, the ‘100 Women Creating A Better Africa’ is a list of 100 women making a difference on the continent. As part of the criteria for selection, each woman on the list is contributing her quota to the achievement of one or more of the 17 UN SDGs (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals) in Africa. With this initiative, WeForGood hopes to accelerate the attainment of the SDGs, while inspiring more women to push beyond the boundaries and make their mark on the continent.
Below is the list of ‘100 Women Creating A Better Africa’ (Batch 1)
|S/N||Name||Nationality||Sector||Primary SDG Her Work Addresses||How is She Making a Difference in Her Community or Sector?|
|1||Adama Ndiaye||Senegalese||Fashion||GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being||Adama Ndiaye was born in Kinshasa, Zaire, then raised in Europe, where her parents were diplomats. She left a banking career in Europe to pursue fashion design in her native country. In order to expand the visibility of African design, she created the Dakar Fashion Week exhibition.|
|2||Angelique Kidjo||Beninese||Entertainment (Music)||GOAL 4: Quality Education||Kidjo has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2002. With UNICEF, she has travelled to many countries in Africa. Reports on her visits can be found on the UNICEF site: Benin, Senegal, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Syria, Malawi, Uganda, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Haiti.|
Kidjo cofounded The Batonga Foundation, which empowers some of the most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach young women and girls in Benin with the knowledge and skills they need to be agents of change in their own lives and communities. Batonga accomplishes this through locating the most the most vulnerable adolescent girls in Benin and connecting them to girl-centered safe spaces led by Beninese women. These safe spaces provide young women and girls with trainings that allow them to gain new skills in financial literacy and build social capital.
|3||Adesuwa Obasuyi||Nigerian||Environmental Management||GOAL 13: Climate Action||Adesuwa Obasuyi is a Nigerian environment and climate change advocate and the initiator of Sustainable Africa Cities and Communities Initiative, an environmental NGO that focuses on waste and waste data management in Nigeria and Africa.|
|4||Afoma Clara Adigwe||Nigerian||Women Empowerment||GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth||She empowers women and youths in the agricultural space to set up farms and be economically independent by providing training, support, access to finance and tools required for them to excel in their pathways. She encourages them and goes the extra mile to ensure that they get access to markets that would provide value and good sale of their produce. She has been consistently doing this for nearly 20 years and has helped families take care of their children and personal needs. She has been a great inspiration and mentor to several people.|
|5||Sahle-Work Zewde (HE)||Ethiopian||Politician||GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions||Sahle-Work Zewade (HE) is the first woman elected to the position of the President of Ethiopia. Currently Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON), she brings three decades of progressively responsible experience at the national, regional and international levels.|
|6||Akintewe Oluwadamilola Sophia||Nigerian||Education||GOAL 4: Quality Education||Oluwadamilola is a 20 years old Law Student, social entrepreneur, activist and advocate for human rights against social injustices and inequality.|
Actively involved in ensuring sustainable education for children, capacity development for youths and peacemaking, she is the founder and Director of Coalition for Legal Education and Rights Protection, an organization focused on tackling the issues in the Nigerian legal system by amplifying unreported cases of human rights violations in view of inciting a need for radical change, connect people with access to free legal aid while leveraging on social media to educate about the fundamental human rights.
|7||Amaka Amalu||Nigerian||Civil Society||GOAL 4: Quality Education||She is the Founder of Project LEAD, an initiative focused on helping secondary school students discover their potential for future leadership. Her aim is to change the mindset of prefectship being all about badges and status to returning the very purpose and responsibility of it. Her focus is on the government (public) secondary schools who unfortunately do not and are seemingly at a disadvantage as there are no subjects in the curriculum or activities in their school calendar to teach leadership skills and address leadership concerns, so she has chosen to focus on them, with major actives in place to bring seasoned professionals to them to train them on different aspects of leadership and also expose them to the opportunities that their environments might never provide them.|
|8||Achenyo Obaro||Nigerian||Environmental Management||GOAL 13: Climate Action|| Achenyo Idachaba-Obaro is a Computer Scientist turned Social Entrepreneur. She is the Founder of MitiMeth, an award-winning Social Enterprise helping to train and provide decent work in riparian communities through the transformation of invasive aquatic weeds and agricultural residues into crafts and lifestyle accessories.|
|9||Aminatta Forna||Sierra Leoneans||Author||GOAL 4: Quality Education||Aminatta Forna is helping Africans transform their lives with more than just her prose. The author of novels such as The Hired Man, The Memory of Love and Ancestor Stones, and a memoir The Devil that Danced on the Water, she has established and currently helms The Rogbonko Village Project, a charity which began as an initiative to build a school in a village in Sierra Leone.|
Now, the project has expanded to house a number of efforts that include adult education, sanitation, maternal health, and infant mortality. From sharing stories set in the lands of her childhood (Scotland, West Africa, Great Britain, Iran, Thailand and Zambia) to create a space for Africans to thrive—Forna’s efforts are a political and rather revolutionary act that goes beyond the literary canon.
|10||Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu||Ethiopian||Entrepreneurship||GOAL 1: No Poverty||Growing up in a small neighbourhood in Addis Ababa, beloved entrepreneur Bethlemen Tilahun Alemu discovered that most people in her community were living in poverty and that some of them possessed artisan skills. Spurred by this realisation, she sought to find a way to translate the skills of her people into a business, and thus SoleRebels was born, in 2004. The eco-friendly footwear manufacturer creates hundreds of local jobs.|
Not only has Bethlehem's company grown to be one of the largest footwear companies in Africa, it has also become a successful world class venture, with flagship stores in Taiwan, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, U.S, Singapore, Japan and many other countries.
|11||Bolanle Osotule||Nigerian||Banking||GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities||Under her watch as the Divisional Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications of Keystone Bank, the bank identified and struck constructive partnerships with relevant bodies such as Wecyclers, Nigerian Conservation Foundation etc to educate different groups of people about the importance of disposing plastics appropriately to save the environment and the inherent commercial benefits of creating waste to wealth models.|
|12||Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie||Nigerian||Author||GOAL 5: Gender Equality||One of Africa's leading contemporary literary voices, the Award-winning Nigerian writer has been heralded as a rebirth of the African literary greats - the likes of Chinua Achebe, Camara Laye and Cyprian Ekwensi. In 2006 her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, won the coveted Orange Prize.|
|13||Aya Chebbi||Tunisian||Public Sector||GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth||Ms Aya Chebbi, an award-winning Pan-African feminist is the first-ever African Union Special Envoy on Youth and the youngest diplomat at the African Union Commission Chairperson's Cabinet. She rose to prominence as a voice for democracy and shot to global fame as a political blogger during 2010/2011 Tunisia's Revolution.|
|14||Bekeme Masade-Olowola||Nigerian||Social Sector||GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions||Her commitment to mitigating and resolving conflict in the extractive industries has been demonstrated by the continuous engagement and partnership with the major stakeholders, government, businesses, civil society organisations and communities in the extractive industries. She started the SITEI Conference, now in its 8th year, a singular dialoguing platform where critical issues in the extractive industries are discussed to stimulate meaningful exchange of ideas and best practices.|
By applying global tools developed by entities such as the UNGC and the Global Reporting Initiative which give insight on better community engagement, she spearheaded the design and development of the region's premier Community Engagement Standards (CES) to facilitate the Federal Government's agenda for promoting peace through equity in oil and gas communities in Nigeria.
|15||Belinda Akoto||Ghanaian||Education||GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth||Belinda Akoto is the Co founder and Programs Director of Studentshubgh and The African Future Leaders Fellowship. Studentshubgh is a youth mentoring and media organization that has created and supported a community of over 14 000 young Africans with educational content and opportunities. Belinda also spearheaded and organised the African Future Leaders Fellowship, a career and entrepreneurship training program for tertiary graduates across Africa. She has successfully organised for the last 2 years the annual entrepreneurship and career training program for youth from about 24 African countries, receiving over 300 applications for the 2019 cohort. The graduates from the fellowship have gone on to further their education abroad, start up social intervention organizations and achieve incredible success. The success of Studentshubgh has been recognized by organizations such as She Leads Africa, Lionesses of Africa, African Changemakers Fellowship, Unleash Innovation Lab 2019 and more.|
|16||Bosede Akinbolusere||Nigerian||Youth Development||GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goals||Bosede Akinbolusere is an exceptional woman with a yearly mentorship for youths across Africa, bringing mentors from every sector across Africa for mentorship and guidance. The mentors train mentees on the Sustainable Development Goals, Volunteerism and International relations and best way of carrying out business. Her mentorship platform, Development Initiative for Community Enhancement (DICE), has produced individuals who are bringing development and exceptional initiatives to the continent of Africa.|
|17||Bridgette Radebe||South African||Business||GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure||Beginning as a contract miner in the 80s managing shafts, Bridgette Radebe harboured bigger dreams. She went on to launch Mmakau Mining, a successful business with interests in gold, platinum, coal, ferrochrome, and uranium assets.|
As South Africa's first black female mining entrepreneur and president of the country's largest mining chamber, the South African Mining Development Association, Bridgette is a shining example that women power is an unstoppable force.
|18||Baliquees Salawudeen||Nigerian||Civil Society||GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality||Baliquees Salawudeen is the Founder and Executive Director at Bays Planet Foundation, a registered not-for-profit non-governmental organization centered on educating, rehabilitating and creating safe spaces for victims of rape, domestic violence, child abuse, and drug addicts.|
|19||Charlize Theron||South African||Entertainment||GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth||Actress and philanthropist Charlize Theron first began appearing in films in the mid-1990s, establishing herself with roles in The Cider House Rules and The Devil's Advocate. She went on to give an Oscar-winning performance .|
|20||Chioma Ukpabi||Nigerian||Creative Industry||GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth||Chioma has been working towards a vision to be Africa's top choice handmade brand while creating jobs through her business, Kahdsole Designs .|
She's running a campaign to give 10% profit of her sales to vulnerable children.
|21||Fatma Samoura||Senegalese||Sports (Football)||GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions||In a humanitarian career with the United Nations that spanned 21-years, Ms Samoura initiated and led several development and humanitarian programmes across the globe. Countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe have all benefited from her skills in Programme and Operations Management. Ms Samoura’s leadership and vision has helped empower women and youth, change lives and protect the environment.|
She was appointed as the first female Secretary General of FIFA by President Gianni Infantino on 13 May 2016
|22||Folorunsho Alakija||Nigerian||Business||GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure||Folorunsho Alakija started her career as a secretary for the now-defunct Merchant Bank of Nigeria. She quit her job in the 80s to study fashion design in England, returning to her native country a few years later to set up Supreme Stitches, a fashion label that catered for elite Nigerian women.|
Fast forward to 2016 and the 65-year-old businesswoman is Africa's second wealthiest woman, estimated by Forbes to be worth $2.1 billion.
|23||Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire||Nigerian||Public Sector||GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goals||Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire is currently the Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on Sustainable Development Goals. |
Prior to serving as Deputy-Governor of Lagos State from 2011 to May 2015, she was Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation in Lagos State. In the latter position, Orelope-Adefulire displayed her passion as an advocate for both women’s rights and children’s rights including:
establishing a Transit Home for the victims of domestic violence;
constructing a state of the art facility comprising of a Home and Clinics for Physically Challenged Children so they can live a dignified life
Producing a Yellow Card- a simplified version of the Child Rights Law for easy dissemination amongst parents and guardians to create awareness; to prevent Child Abuse; and to serve as a warning card.
She is a recipient of the Guinness World Records for the most children reading aloud with an adult at a single location, which she achieved while reading with 4,222 school children in 2011.
|24||Clare Akamanzi||Rwandan||Law/ Business/ Politics||GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth||Akamanzi served as the executive director and Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board, since February 2017. The position is a cabinet-level appointment by the President of Rwanda. In the cabinet reshuffle of 31 August 2017, Akamanzi was retained in the cabinet and she retained her portfolio. She later transitioned to being the Chief Operating Officer of the Rwanda Development Board. Rwanda Development Board (RDB), is a government institution that has the duty of fast-tracking economic growth and development in Rwanda.|
|25||Crystal Chigbu||Nigerian||Civil Society||GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality||Crystal Chigbu runs an organisation that provides prosthesis and other walking aids to children 18 and under who have experienced limb loss.|
She was inspired to start the project after her daughter, who is now 10, was born without a shinbone.
Her foundation has now provided 120 prosthetic limbs for children in need in Nigeria.