Every year during the week of 8th March, the world celebrates women and some of their biggest accomplishments. In some countries that day is marked with a public holiday and celebrated with awards ceremonies as well as women themed events throughout the week.
In East Africa as we celebrate this wonderful week, it is important that we point out some of the top leading ladies that are putting their individual countries and the region on the map. In no particular order or sector of expertise, here are some of the ladies running East Africa.
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Jennifer Semakula Musisi
There was a time when people thought that women were not strong enough to be put into positions of power and authority till ladies like Jennifer were given such positions. She has debunked the myths and fought tooth and nail to bring give Kampala the glow it has acquired. Mrs. Musisi is a force to be reckoned with, a lawyer by profession. Jennifer is an advocate of the high court of Uganda with training in administration and taxation from universities such as George Washington and Harvard. She is the Executive Director of the Kampala City Council Authority, a position she has held and won accolades for since 2011.
Even if her story starts as it does with so many Rwandans who were born in Uganda because of the senseless slaughter which led to them being displaced. Lucy is a technopreneur who was resourceful in helping the World Food Program incorporate technology in their relief distribution to refugees in the DRC. She is currently spearheading the mVisa partnership between the Rwandan Government and Visa. Lucy attended the Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Public Policy.
One of the most known leading ladies in Tanzania, Mwamvita has worked her way up with a searing passion after graduating with an MA in International Relations at the University of Dar Es Salaam. She has been working with Vodacom since 2009 and has had several positions till now. Currently, she is the Head of Pan Africa Business Development for Vodacom Business Africa and Vodacom Enterprise Unit for Vodacom Group. Still in Vodacom International Markets, Mwamvita oversees the implementation of Corporate Social Investments and Stakeholder International Relations.
As the founder of Tenders Kenya, Helen is passionate about creating opportunities for women especially with startups as well as employment for the Kenyan youth. Prior to Tenders, Helen was the Coordinator for the Federation of Women Entrepreneur Associations which fueled her fire to work hard and elevate fellow women while at it.
Margaret Blick Kigozi
One of the most influential women in Uganda standing strong for over the years is this doctor, mother and business lady. Dr. Maggie Kigozi as she is commonly known has inspired girls to know that they can always have it all without a lot of work and commitment. She has a degree in Medicine from Makerere University, served as the Managing Director of Crown Beverages then later as the first female Executive Director of the Uganda Investment Authority. The mother of three aspires to improve the lives of women entrepreneurs in the region.
At 28, Esther is famously known for being the first commercial female pilot in Rwanda. Her dream came to be when she was sponsored by RwandAir to go study in Miami Florida after training at the Soroti Flying School Uganda.
Her name rings power through the media world and her TEDx talk has been watched by thousands of people whom she has inspired. Nancy has a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Design and Visual Communications and a Master of Arts (M.A.), Communication & Media Studies from Leeds University. She has worked with some of the best media houses in the region including NTV Uganda, Power FM and currently is an anchor at KTN in Kenya. In 2015, Nancy won the first BBC World News Komla Dumor Award.
There are many more women in the region that deserve to be recognised for all the work they do and their achievements which all can’t fit on a page. Keep celebrating all of them no matter what sector it is they are in.