Thuli Madonsela is considered South Africa's leading constitutionalist and moral
conscience. With ever-growing clout and reputation in challenging times, she is
viewed as the country's public protector in both title and in the hearts of many
Madonsela has challenged corruption in all its forms, from government
spending, to graft
in parastatals and fraud among individuals. Named as one of
Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world, the governor of
the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, described her as "an inspirational
example of what African public officers need to be".
She is outspoken on all forms of discrimination and injustice, not only in South
Africa, but across the continent. In 2016 and beyond, Madonsela will continue her
work in a country weathering political changes, while debating leadership
alternatives for the future.
remember that sexism is an equally unacceptable human rights violation that
undermines women and shatters lives everyday #Equality
The daughter of Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, Isabel dos Santos
is being groomed as a successor to the role. In the meantime, she is one of Africa's
leading businesspeople, holding majority ownership in the Condis retail company, as
well as shares in oil, gas and telecoms companies. Dos Santos has earned a
formidable reputation for business savvy and determination, something
wants to use in her political life.
Dos Santos, with an engineering degree from King's College in London, will
want to reinvigorate infrastructure in her homeland, as well as offer a new,
prosperous direction for the people of Angola.
Nialé Kaba is the first female minister of economy and finance in Ivory Coast.
She has strong business experience as the former managing director of Ivory Coast
Tourism and part of the craft industry and informal sector ministry.
In her portfolio, Kaba will oversee $25-billion (about R413-billion) worth of
infrastructure investments into the country over the next five years. She has
already piloted a $500-million Islamic bond deal and $1-billion bond, which
attracted $4-billion in orders in 2015.
While her country has weathered coups and economic tailwinds over the last 10
years, the current stability offers much for Kaba to work with in leading Ivory Coast
to becoming one of the new major business regions in Africa.
As president of the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts,
Wided Bouchamaoui was part of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet organisation
that received the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize for finding solutions to a constructive,
pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the 2011 Jasmine
She has since become the face of Tunisia's economic re-emergence and
democratic maturation, working to build international partnerships, find more global
engagement to aid Tunisian economic transition, and fight terrorism. In the
continuing after-effects of the Arab Spring, the call by women for democracy,
economic opportunity and political diversity in the region continues into 2016;
Bouchamaoui is one of its strongest voices.
As the vice-president of Holdings Group Safari-Sofipar Cofimar (Safari Group),
Saida Karim Lamrani manages the empire built by her father, former prime
minister Mohammed Karim Lamrani.
The group has substantial or majority stakes in numerous Moroccan companies,
including commercial banking, vehicle distribution, chemicals and metallurgy
interests. Lamrani aims to use her leadership role as a mutually beneficial bridge
Europe and North Africa.
She is a member of the Confederation of Moroccan Businesses as well as a
member of the board of the Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity, an organisation
aimed at tackling the challenges of income and gender inequality and poverty in
Morocco. Her influence and voice in influencing government policy for the good of
the people is considered ground-breaking in this traditionally patriarchal country.
Jeannine Mabunda Lioko, Democratic Republic of Congo
Jeannine Mabunda Lioko is the adviser to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
president Joseph Kabila on the effects of sexual violence and child soldier
recruitment, which is prevalent across the war-torn and impoverished areas in the
Lioko has held positions in the DRC's finance industry and was minister of state
assets for five years. She also sits on the boards of numerous non-profit and non-
governmental organisations, including the Collectif des Femmes Unies Contre le
Silence abuse support network. She also works closely with US politician Karen
Bass in calling for an end to militia recruitment and exploitation of children on the
Linah Kelebogile Mohohlo has been governor of the Bank of Botswana since
1999 and a member of the Blair Commission for Africa, an initiative established
under Tony Blair when he was prime minister of the United Kingdom to examine
and provide ideas for development in Africa.
She is also a member of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Committee on
Financial Services for the Poor and sits on the Investment Committee of the UN
Joint Staff Pension Fund.
Mohohlo co-chaired the meeting of the World Economic Forum for Africa in
Cape Town in 2011. She is also a
member of the Africa Progress Panel, a group of
10 distinguished individuals who advocate for equitable and sustainable
development in Africa.
Her current focus is on the economic development of Botswana, particularly in
the global arena. The country is giving South Africa strong competition in cornering
substantial financial market share.
Mohohlo is aiming at diversifying the overall economy of Botswana for long-
term sustainability, particularly in the midst of the country's current diamond
windfall. However, her greatest hope is to make Botswana a model for other
emerging African economies looking towards sustainability.
Strong, dynamic women, like South African Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, lead the way in politics, business and social justice in Africa. Meet some of the biggest rising stars, moving the continent forward in 2016. (Image: Flickr)