Three Rwandan women named among 100 most influential in Africa

By Elina Jonas Ruzindaza
On 22 August 2020 at 10:00

Three Rwandan women who have been in the Rwandan government for a long time, Louise Mushikiwabo, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, and Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, have been listed as some of the 100 most influential African women.

The list includes key women from 34 African countries, working in a variety of fields including diplomacy, change activists, the private sector, business leaders, and those in the entertainment industry.

The profiling has Ben developed by Avance Media, one of the most influential on the continent in terms of corporate advocacy.

Of the 100 women in the country, Ghana has nine, South Africa has 11 and Nigeria has 20.
These include the names of 75 new women who were not on the list published in recent years where some of the top names include Halima Dangote who is in charge of Dangote Group, a company of the richest African, Aliko Dangote.

There is also one Ugandan woman, Stella Nyanzi; Namibia’s Deputy Minister of Information and Communication, Emma Theofelus who has resigned at the age of 24.

One of the focus in selection of these women is their abilities and productivity in management, their personal achievements, their efforts in sharing knowledge, among others.

The three Rwandans, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, and Louise Mushikiwabo, all served in the Government of Rwanda in various positions.

Louise Mushikiwabo

Mushikiwabo is currently the Secretary-General of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF). She previously served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Rwanda.

She took over the leadership of the OIF in January 2019 after being elected in October 2018 with the support of member states of the African Union.

Her outstanding work has led to the awarding of the Outstanding Humanitarian Award in 2014 by the American University’s School of International Studies.

In 2014, Radio France Internationale (RFI) ranked her among the top women in Africa.

In addition to political work, Mushikiwabo is also a writer. In 2006 she published a 384-page book, Rwanda means The Universe, in collaboration with journalist Jack Kramer. It contains testimonies of the history of Rwanda, the preparation for the Genocide against the Tutsi, and its implementation.

Professor Agnes Binagwaho

Professor Agnes Binagwaho, MD, M(Ped), PHD is a pediatrician who served the Rwandan Health Sector (2001-2016) in high-level government positions, first as the Executive Secretary of Rwanda’s National AIDS Control Commission, then as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, and 5 years as Minister of Health.

She co-founded the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE), an initiative of Partners In Health, which focuses on changing how health care is delivered around the world by training global health professionals who strive to deliver more equitable, quality health services for all.

Professor Binagwaho currently resides in Rwanda and is the Vice -Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity. She is specialized in emergency pediatrics, neonatology, and the treatment of HIV/AIDS. She completed her MD at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles and her MA in Pediatrics at the Universite de Bretagne Occidentale. She was also awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science from Dartmouth College and earned a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Rwanda College of Medicine.

Professor Binagwaho serves as a Senior Advisor to the Director General of the World Health Organization, and as a member of multiple Advisory Board and Board of Directors including the Rockefeller Foundation Board. She is a member of a number of international working groups and task forces in global health for the United Nations and independent organizations and also sits on the Editorial Board of several scientific journals and serves on multiple scientific commissions.

She is currently a senior lecturer in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, a Professor of Pediatrics at UGHE, as well as an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine.

Professor Binagwaho’s academic engagements include research in implementation sciences, research on human rights to health, health services delivery systems strengthening, HIV/AIDS, and pediatric care. She has published over 190 peer-reviewed articles.

Dr. Agnes Kalibata

Dr. Agnes Kalibata is the President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). She is one of the former ministers of model agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. From 2008 to 2014 when she was Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI), poverty was reduced by 50% mainly due to good agricultural policies and uplifing of small farmers.

She holds a PhD in Entomology from the University of Massachusetts.

She has worked for about a decade at the Agricultural Research Institute at the Kawanda Agricultural Research Institute, which works with Makerere University and Massachusetts.

In 2018, she was awarded a Distinguished Degree from the University of Liège in Belgium for her outstanding management practices.

In 2012 she was awarded the Yara Prize which has now become the Africa Food Prize given to a person or institution that is making a difference in the development of African agriculture.

Earlier last year, the American Academy of Sciences (NAS) awarded her a medal for her contribution to community development through modern agriculture on the African continent.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres also recently made her special envoy to the 2021 summit to study the journey to food security and agricultural development.