Celebrating the power and influence of African women on the 2024 Time 100 Most Influential People list

By Esther Muhozi
On 19 April 2024 at 04:25

In the 2024 edition of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, a notable highlight is the impressive number of women who have made the list, reflecting a remarkable progression from historical limitations to today’s expansive opportunities. This year, the list features 53 women, a record number that underscores not just the strides in gender equality but also the diverse impacts women are having across various sectors globally.

From activists and leaders to innovators and creators, these women have overcome numerous barriers to shape the world in significant ways. Among them is Taraji P. Henson, an acclaimed actress and mental health advocate. Her inclusion celebrates not only her illustrious career in the entertainment industry but also her pivotal role in addressing mental health issues, particularly within the African American community.

Another prominent figure is Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the first woman and first African to lead the World Trade Organization. Under her leadership, the WTO has taken critical steps towards more inclusive global trade policies that consider the needs of developing countries.

In technology, we see figures like Whitney Wolfe Herd, the founder and CEO of Bumble, who has been instrumental in shaping a safer online dating experience while empowering women to make the first move. Her innovative approach to technology not only challenges societal norms but also builds a profitable business that prioritizes female agency and security.

The representation of women on this list is not just about quantity but quality and impact. These influential figures are not only leaders in their respective fields but also role models who inspire generations of women to pursue their dreams without constraints.

Among the youngest influencers is a 17-year-old climate activist, Vanessa Nakate from Uganda. She has been a formidable voice in the global climate movement, highlighting the disproportionate impact of climate change on African nations and advocating for substantial policy changes worldwide.

The presence of these women on the Time 100 list is a testament to the shifting paradigms in global leadership and influence. It reflects a world where women’s contributions are increasingly recognized and valued, and where their influence shapes policies, cultures, and ideologies across the globe. Their stories are not just narratives of personal success but beacons of hope for a more inclusive and equitable world.

There are more distinguished women from Africa who made it to the 2024 Time 100 Most Influential People list. These women are trailblazers in their fields, further emphasizing the diverse impact African women are having on the global stage.

Among these remarkable figures is Dr. Oby Ezekwesili from Nigeria, a former Vice President of the World Bank and co-founder of Transparency International. Dr. Ezekwesili has been instrumental in launching and leading several initiatives aimed at improving governance and reducing corruption in Africa. Her advocacy for the #BringBackOurGirls campaign has also been a vital voice in the fight against the abduction of girls by Boko Haram in Nigeria.

Another influential woman from Africa on the list is Amina J. Mohammed from Sudan, who serves as the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. Her role is crucial in steering global efforts towards sustainable development, with a particular focus on forging international alliances to tackle poverty, empower women, and mitigate climate change.

From South Africa, we see Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe, a philanthropist and businesswoman who has used her resources and influence to promote health, education, and economic development across Africa. As a founder of the Motsepe Foundation, she works tirelessly to reduce inequality and promote economic inclusion.

These women, along with others from the continent, showcase the breadth and depth of female leadership in Africa. They are not only pioneers in their respective sectors but are also creating lasting impacts that reach beyond their local communities to the global stage. Their stories and achievements are vital parts of the narrative that illustrates the dynamic roles women are playing in shaping a more equitable and prosperous future.

Among the youngest influencers is a 17-year-old climate activist, Vanessa Nakate from Uganda.