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Africa’s women CEOs and executives shattering glass ceilings, driving growth in the private sector


WOMEN business leaders and private sector managers continue to shatter glass ceilings and drive significant market success across Africa, according to the latest data-driven research released by Africa.com.

In a powerful display of women’s leadership and business acumen, Africa.com has revealed a list of 93 trailblazing women CEOs, managers, and company presidents from 17 African countries.

A virtual event on April 19 celebrated these remarkable achievements as Africa.com unveiled its third edition of the definitive list of female CEOs, managers, and company presidents in Africa.

The study focused on companies with a revenue base of US$100 million and above or a market cap of at least US$150 million.

According to Teresa Clarke, the chairperson of Africa.com, the list shows that women corporate leaders are breaking barriers and running successful companies with large-scale revenue and market capitalisation.

“The list includes 40 women from South Africa, 12 from Nigeria, and 6 from Egypt, Ghana, and Kenya,” she stated.

The study scouted 2,020 firms across 24 African stock exchanges.

After the initial screening, researchers were left with a highly selective pool of 787 companies whose websites were further analysed.

“This was to identify those that are female-led in their highest management levels, including CEOs, managing directors, and presidents, resulting in 40 women CEOs.”

A second round of assessment followed a similar process differentiated by assessing company divisions and units rather than overall heads. The divisions needed, however, to have revenues of at least US$100 million.

The final assessment featured 25 global corporations operating in Africa that are women-led and with a revenue base of over US$10 billion.

Compiling the three categories led to a definitive list of 93 women managers and CEOs.

The following are some of the leaders featured in the final list:

Natascha Viljoen
Viljoen served as the CEO of Anglo American Platinum Group in South Africa until she stepped down in February 2023. The company is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and, under her leadership, generated US$41.6 billion in revenue in the last financial year.

Nompumelelo Zikalal

Zikalal leads the South African-based Kumba Iron Ore Ltd, one of the world’s largest iron-ore producers. Kumba attained US$6.9 billion in revenue last fiscal year.

Mpumi Madisa

Bidvest Group, a trading and distribution company, is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Madisa steered the corporate to revenues of US$6.6 billion last financial year.

Aline Cote

As the industrial lead for Zinc and Lead at Glencore Plc, a company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Cote led the team to realise a US$255.9 billion in revenue value in 2022.

Kerrin Land and Prabashini Moodley

Land, the Managing Director of Personal Finance and Wealth Management at Old Mutual, led the division to generate US$16.8 billion in revenue last year. Moodley, on the other hand, led the Old Mutual Corporate Affairs wing.

Kanyisa Mkhize

Sanlam is registered under the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Mkhize was the CEO in charge of the Sanlam Corporate division last year when the company realised US$13.6 billion as revenue.

Faith Mabu Nteta

Nteta led Sechaba Breweries Holdings Ltd to generate US$200 million last year. Sechaba is registered under the Gaborone Stock Exchange.

Helene Weesie

Under the Accra Stock Exchange, Guinness Ghana realised $198 million in revenues last year under the leadership of Weesie, the company’s managing director.

Anne Juuko

Stanbic Bank Uganda generated $267 million last year. Juuko is the bank’s CEO.

Other women leaders across Africa featured in the list include Jane Karuku, the Group Managing Director and CEO of East African Breweries under the Nairobi Stock Exchange.

Nigerian NnekaOnyeali-Ikpe and Tanzanian Ruth Zaipuna of the Fidelity Bank and the NMB Bank are also featured in the list.

This list reaffirms the significant role that female corporate leaders are playing in private sector success across the continent.

By The African Mirror