5 African Female Presidents Who Changed Africa


The transition of Africa from the colonial way of ruling to the independent leadership style did not occur overnight. It involved a lot of struggles in different countries to ensure that the citizens have their independence. Even after independence, it was important that the leaders selflessly worked to ensure more developments in the continent . Some of the best leaders that Africa has had are women. In a male dominated continent, women came out strongly to fight for their rights. Though it wasn’t an easy struggle, the move was successful and saw women hold high positions in power. They helped improve the socio-economic status of their nations and that of Africa. Check out some of the African female presidents, and the contributions they made.

  1. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the first woman president of Liberia. She is regarded as the don of women engagement in African leadership. She already knew about the problems that women faced in the continent. The fact that it was hard for a woman to become an elected president, Ellen worked so hard to convince the electorate that it was possible for a woman to become a leader in the country.

She later became the president of Liberia at a time when many people had already accepted that it was not possible for any woman to become the president. She contributed to the development of the economy of her country. She developed good social ties with other countries within the continent, a factor that developed trade between the states.

Many people know her for helping women within Africa. Most women did not believe that it was possible for them to become leaders within the continent. With her experience in politics and leadership, she mentored and motivated young women to get into leadership positions to help in transforming the continent.

  1. Agnès Monique Ohsan Bellepeau

She is recognized for her contribution to the world of journalism. Before getting into politics, Agnès Monique Ohsan Bellepeau used journalism as a platform to showcase the skills she had. The respect she had within the country made her be appointed the vice president of Mauritius in 2010. Two years later, the then president resigned, and it was automatic, according to the constitution, that the vice president would hold the seat until the next general election.

Her passion for education saw Mauritius improve in term of education. She urged young people within the country to go to school and acquire the necessary education that would help them to be independent. The effects could be felt within Africa as many people celebrated her two-year reign as the president of the country.

  1. Joyce Hilda Banda

Joyce Hilda Banda, an activist, became the president of Malawi after the death of the then president Bingu wa Mutharika. She was the vice president by then and had much experience in leadership. She is known for activism against tyrants and oppressors of women within Malawi and Africa. She is one of the people who contributed to the development of Africa in terms of democracy.

She was also passionate about education and urged women to take their careers a notch higher. She believed that education is what they would use to get the liberation they needed. In 2014, she was listed as the most powerful woman in Africa and 40th most powerful in the whole world.

  1. Gurib-Fakim

Gurib-Fakim, the 6th president of Mauritius and the first elected woman president of the country is remembered for her resilience in leadership. Before her resignation, she contributed to the economic development of the country. According to the citizens of the country, she was a leader who ensured that they enjoyed the democracy they never had before.

As a biodiversity scientist, she engaged the women and youth to help them cater for their needs in the future. She is also remembered for championing for scientific studies within Africa to assist in improving the economy.

  1. Catherine Samba-Panza

She acted as president of the African Central Republic when the country was in conflict. Both sides accepted her as the best choice to lead the country. During this time, she helped the country to have the peace that they had yearned for in a long time.

She is also remembered for helping the country to come up with a way of solving the conflict they had. She influenced other African countries that were in conflict to follow into the footsteps of her country.

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