The famous American Business Magazine Forbes is known for its lists and rankings of individuals making major strides in our world. This time around, Forbes Africa has taken it to a whole new level by releasing a first-of-its-kind Pan-African compilation of the leading women on the African continent.

The Forbes Africa’s 50 Most Powerful Women was released very recently, and it is interesting to note that of the 50 women listed by Forbes, there are 10 Nigerian women on the list.

These women have been honoured for the great things they have achieved, and are still achieving in their spheres. The list comprises of some Nigerian women making very significant impacts in various fields of life, from business to politics, media, science, sports etc.

As we join the rest of the world to celebrate the International Women’s Day, we also celebrate these Nigerian amazons, who have blazed a trail for the coming generations of strong Nigerian women to walk through.

Take a look at the 10 Nigerian women on the Forbes list.

Folorunso Alakija


Executive Vice Chair, Famfa Oil

Folorunso Alakija is a Nigerian billionaire businesswoman. She is involved in the fashion, oil, real estate and printing industries. She is the group managing director of The Rose of Sharon Group which consists of The Rose of Sharon Prints & Promotions Limited, Digital Reality Prints Limited and the Executive Vice-Chairman of Famfa Oil Limited. Folorunsho also has a majority stake in DaySpring Property Development Company.

Ibukun Awosika

ForbesFounder And CEO, The Chair Centre Group

Ibukunoluwa Abiodun Awosika is a Nigerian business woman, author and motivational speaker. She currently serves as Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria.
She is a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative and Aspen Global Leadership Network. Ibukun is a member of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, member of the board of Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund and former Chairperson, Board of Trustees of Women in Management, Business and Public Service. In 2015, Ibukun became the first woman to be appointed Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

ForbesNigeria Author, Public Speaker

Adichie has written the novels Purple Hibiscus (2003), Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), and Americanah (2013), the short story collection The Thing Around Your Neck (2009), and the book-length essay We Should All Be Feminists (2014). Her most recent book, Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, was published in March 2017.

Chimamanda is a recipient of several awards and recognitions, both locally and internationally. A few notable ones include:
MacArthur Genius Grant, 2008, “Top Global Thinkers of 2013” by Foreign Policy Magazine, New African′s “100 Most Influential Africans 2013”, 2015 Time Magazine’s “The 100 Most Influential People”. Adichie was one of 15 women selected to appear on the cover of the September 2019 issue of British Vogue, by guest editor Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

Obiageli Oby Ezekwesili


Senior Economic Advisor, Africa Economic Development Policy Initiative (AEDPI)

Obiageli Ezekwesili), is a Nigerian chartered accountant. She was a co-founder of Transparency International, serving as one of the pioneer directors of the global anti-corruption body based in Berlin, Germany. She served as Federal Minister of Solid Minerals and then as Federal Minister of Education during the second-term presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo.

Ezekwesili has served as the Vice-President of the World Bank’s Africa division from May 2007 to May 2012, Ezekwesili was a 2018 nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in transparency in the extractive sector.

Ngozi, Okonjo-Iweala


Chair, Board of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI)

Okonjo-Iweala spent a 25-year career at the World Bank as a development economist, scaling the ranks to the Number 2 position of Managing Director, Operations (2007-2011). She also served two terms as Finance Minister of Nigeria (2003-2006, 2011-2015) under the leadership of President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan respectively.

Uchenna ‘Uche’ Pedro


Founder and CEO BellaNaija

Uche Pedro is an award-winning Nigerian entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of BellaNaija, a media tech brand known for entertainment and lifestyle content. Under her leadership, BellaNaija’s social footprint has grown through its collective brands – BellaNaija.com, BellaNaija Weddings and BellaNaija Style – to be the largest on the African continent with more than 200 million impressions each month.

Olajumoke Adenowo


Founder, AD Consulting

Olajumoke Olufunmilola Adenowo is an architect by profession. She is also an entrepreneur and philanthropist, a public speaker, radio host and author. CNN described her as “Africa’s Starchitect” and The Guardian (Nigeria) has described her as “the face of Architecture in Nigeria”. In 2018 she was recognized by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) as one of the inspirational women in architecture today. She hosts a syndicated radio show on leadership “Voice of Change”

Arunma Oteh


Academic Scholar, University of Oxford, Former Treasurer and Vice President, World Bank, London Stock Exchange Africa Advisory Group Member.

Arunma Oteh, is the Treasurer and a Vice President of the World Bank. She became the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Nigeria in January 2010. In July 2015, after her tenure in the SEC, she was appointed the Vice President and Treasurer of the World Bank. Arunma is a recipient of numerous awards and recognition, both locally and internationally. Most notable is the Nigerian Honourary Title of OON (Officer of the Order of the Niger).

Aminah J. Mohammed


Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations.

Amina Jane Mohammed is a Nigerian-British diplomat and politician who is serving as the fifth Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. Previously, she was Nigerian Minister of Environment from 2015 to 2016. Aminah was a key player in the Post-2015 Development Agenda process.

Tara Fela-Durotoye


Founder, House of Tara International

Tara Fela-Durotoye is a Nigerian beauty entrepreneur and a Lawyer. A pioneer in the bridal makeup profession in Nigeria, she launched the first bridal directory in 1999, set up international standard makeup studios and established the first makeup school in Nigeria.

She is the founder and CEO of House of Tara International and creator of the Tara Orekelewa Beauty range, Inspired Perfume and the H.I.P Beauty range. Tara is considered a major force in the Nigerian female entrepreneurship community having created an impact business that has empowered tens of thousands of beauty entrepreneurs through the “Tara Beauty Entrepreneur” initiative. She continues to be a thought leader and major influencer through several in-classroom and online courses that focus on sharing her experience with other budding entrepreneurs.

No Comments Yet

Comments are closed