Nigerian business mogul Folorunsho Alakija has beaten two African presidents to top Forbes list and has been ranked as Africa’s most powerful woman by Forbes magazine. Hot on her heels on the list are Liberian leader Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and the president of Mauritius Ameenah Gurib-Fakim. Since the ranking came out, some are saying African women deserve more representation on the list.
Africa’s most powerful woman is worth approximately 1.73 billion dollars and got her first taste of success in the fashion world before going into the oil business. Folorunsho Alakija, 65, has been named by Forbes magazine as the woman who wields the most influence on the continent, coming ahead of the presidents of Liberian and Mauritius Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Ameenah Gurib-Fakim
Alakija occupies the 80th position on the list while Sirleaf and and Fakim come in at 83rd and 96th, respectively. The top of the list is occupied by the usual suspects, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel leading the pack for the 6th successive year. Number two is the presumptive Democratic party nominee Hillary Clinton. Philanthropist Melinda Gates, the wife of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, is number four on the list. A notable absentee is Dilma Rousseff, the ex-president of Brazil who was ousted from power in May.
Most powerful women:
1. Angela Merkel
2. Hillary Clinton
3. Janet Yellen
— Forbes (@Forbes) June 6, 2016
Where are all “powerful” women in Africa?
To come up with the list, Forbes says it used metrics like financial net worth, company revenues or GDP, media presence and spheres of influence. Americans occupy 51 of the slots. Women from Asia and Europe have made a strong showing this year but not so those from Africa. Many think it is because Forbes is just not looking hard enough on the continent
@Forbes list of 100 world’s most powerful #women 2016 is out, & only 3 from #Africa! What will it take for us to rise to influential levels?
— Paul Sixpence (@PaulSixpence) June 6, 2016
@Forbes what about Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ? She must be included here and the former female president of Malawi as well
— 2lines (@toolzer) June 6, 2016
At any rate, at least the African women who did make it to the list were spared last year’s indignityof being outranked by entertainers whose only claim to fame is being able to carry a tune.
My blood pressure is at an all-time high rn thinking about how @Forbes ranked TAYLOR SWIFT as more influential then Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
— Katie Capuano (@ewkathe) November 23, 2015
That’s a victory in itself.