Business and Finance

The East Africa’s 10 Most powerful women

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They are politicians, CEOs, bankers, cultural icons, role models, billionaires and entrepreneurs. And more importantly trend setters.


CEO Keroche Breweries Kenya

A self-made entrepreneur, started her brewery in 1998. Tabitha Karanja has dared to take on the giant EABL (East African Breweries Ltd), and it is testament to her fortitude that she is still standing after a battle for the local market that left more illustrious competitors such as South Africa’s SABMiller with bloodied noses. Her Keroche Breweries is now a billion-shilling investment, is a testament.



Ory Okolloh
Founder, Ushahidi Kenya

A Harvard-trained lawyer, activist and blogger, Kenyan-born Ory Okolloh spearheaded the founding of Ushahidi, a revolutionary crowd sourcing utility that enables citizen journalists and eyewitnesses all over the world to report incidences of violence through the web, mobile E-mail, SMS, and Twitter. Earlier this year, Okolloh assumed a new position as Google’s policy manager for Africa, and she is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential women in global technology. Maria Kiwanuka
Minister of Finance Minister and Economic Planning Uganda

Maria is an Economist and businesswoman. Owns and has been the Managing Director of Radio One and Radio Two (Akaboozi).
She also served as a non-Executive Director on the Board of Directors of Aghakan Foundation (East Africa), The Nabagereka Development Trust, Nkumba University, Uganda Development Bank and Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited.

She graduated with a Bachelors degree in Commerce (BCom) from Makerere University in 1977 and holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from London Business School. Beginning around 1980, she worked for more than ten years with the World Bank, as an Economist and Financial Analyst for the East Asian and Southern African regions. She later left the World Bank and went into private business.

Maria Kiwanuka is married to Mohan Kiwanuka, the Managing Director of Oscar Industries Limited and one of the richest men in Uganda. Nyongo
Managing Director,
InMobi Africa Kenya

Isis Nyongo is the Vice President and Managing Director of InMobi, the world’s largest independent mobile advertising network. Prior to her appointment earlier this year, Isis served as the Business Development Manager for Google’s operation in Africa.  She spearheaded mobile partnerships and played a pivotal role in the development of Google’s content strategy in Africa.


Stella Kilonzo
Chief Executive,
Capital Markets Authority Kenya

Mrs Kilonzo has made a distinguished contribution to the economy by expanding the capital market in Kenya through Initial Public Offers (IPOs), rights issues, transforming the ownership structure of the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) through demutualization process and investor protection for retail and foreign investors. 
Mrs Kilonzo is also a fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership (USA) and the Africa Leadership Initiative East Africa. The fellowships are designed to harness value-based leadership in business, politics, and civil society to tackle the challenges facing society.
Mrs Kilonzo is a member of the National Economic and Social Council of Kenya (NESC), an advisory body of eminent persons charged with the responsibility of advising His Excellency the President and the Cabinet on economic and social policy.

Mrs Kilonzo was the Chairperson of the East Africa Securities Regulatory Authorities (EASRA), from 2008 to 2010, a forum for East African capital market regulators. 

Mrs Kilonzo holds an MBA (Corporate Finance) from Loyola University of Chicago, is a CPA and a First Class Honors B.Com graduate from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa. Arunga 
Entrepreneur Kenya

Named as FORBES 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa.  Arunga is the founder and Chief Executive of Open Quest Media, a successful multimedia production company based in New York.

Like many young students, June Arunga took time off from law school for a road trip. But it was no spring break. Working with a BBC TV film crew, she traveled 5,000 miles from Cairo to Cape Town, documenting a grueling journey that brought her from war zones, mining towns, and refugee camps to Desmond Tutu’s living room. “I wanted to know, Why is Africa so poor?” says the Kenyan, from her current home in Ghana. To visit people displaced after a 30-year war over oil in Sudan, she had to hitch a ride with the relief organization Doctors Without Borders. While she visited with UN peacekeepers, she says, local rebels “threatened to slit my throat and eat my flesh.” At the end of her trip, after praying with Tutu in his living room, she bluntly asked the Nobel Prize winner, “Where have Africans gone wrong?”
Politicians Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga
Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament Uganda

She is the first female to be elected Speaker in the history of Parliament in Uganda. She is also the current Member of Parliament (MP) for the Kamuli District Women’s Constituency, Busoga sub-region, a position she has served in since 1989.


Role Model Nagginda
married the King of Buganda Uganda

The Nnabagereka of Buganda combines beauty, intelligence and the power of speech to move things in the world of charity.

With a master’s degree in corporate communications and professional experience as a management consultant, in 1999, Her Royal Highness Nnabagereka Sylvia Nagginda married the Kabaka (King) of Buganda, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, the traditional and cultural leader of the almost 7 million Baganda people living in the Republic of Uganda (East Africa). She established the Nnabagereka Development Trust to address public health and development concerns with an emphasis on the needs of children and women. Louise MUSHIKIWABO
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Rwanda
She previously served as the Minister of Information in the Government of Rwanda. She is an author and public relations executive.  She lived in the United States for 22 years, then briefly in Tunisia, before joining the Rwandan Cabinet in March 2008. 

She is the co-author of Rwanda Means the Universe (St. Martin’s Press, 2006)—an intergenerational socio-historical memoir; and she has contributed many articles to newspapers and online magazines. She has given numerous televisions and radio talks on Rwandan issues, and collaborated on many award-winning documentary films.  She is also the recipient of the 2004 Outstanding Humanitarian Award from American University’s School of International Studies.

Ms. Mushikiwabo holds Languages and Interpretation degrees from the University of Delaware, USA. Mtengeti Migiro
Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Tanzania
Asha-Rose Mtengeti Migiro (born July 9, 1956 in Songea, Ruvuma Region, Tanzania) is a Tanzanian lawyer and politician.  On January 5, 2007, she was named as the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.  Dr. Migiro served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation from 2006-2007 — the first woman in the United Republic of Tanzania to hold that position since its independence in 1961. Before that, she was Minister for Community Development, Gender and Children for five years.

As Foreign Minister, Dr. Migiro spearheaded Tanzania ‘s engagement in the pursuit of peace, security and development in the Great Lakes Region. She served as Chair of the Council of Ministers’ meetings of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region, a process that culminated into a Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region.


Elizabeth Mukasa
entrepreneur Uganda
Educated in the UK. Was named the most significant role model and therefore the winner of the  WCIT 2010 Give Challenge a Change Award.

Mrs. Mukasa developed a platform that is qualitative, integrated and affordable in Uganda. To enhance meaningful inclusion she innovated localized elearning materials in local language (luganda) appropriate to the understanding of their target groups. Tuition fees were minimal and sometimes zero to the vulnerable women students.

The usage of her platform helped entrepreneurs to set up their businesses. On top of this Mrs. Mukasa helped over 100 people to connect in order to improve accessibility to digital and information technology, thereby making a valuable contribution to bridging the Digital Divide.

Today, over 250 participants – rural-urban, men and women with or without formal education have successfully accessed the IT literacy inclusion model through OLC – a positive indicator of einclusion in practice. The targeted Sme's contribute to 80% of Uganda economy. Elizabeth is born in Kampala (Uganda) in 1956.

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