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9to5Chick celebrates top 100 career women in Africa

By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia
01 April 2023   |   4:30 am
In the third edition of its annual recognition, 9to5Chick, a career development platform for Africa’s most ambitious women has gone beyond Nigeria to recognise the outstanding achievements and remarkable impact of mid and senior-level female professionals across Africa. Prior to this edition...

In the third edition of its annual recognition, 9to5Chick, a career development platform for Africa’s most ambitious women has gone beyond Nigeria to recognise the outstanding achievements and remarkable impact of mid and senior-level female professionals across Africa. Prior to this edition, the 9to5chick top 100 career women list had focused on celebrating only Nigerian women. However, this latest issue takes it up a notch by amplifying the voices of African women in the corporate sector who are defying the odds and disrupting the status quo in their industries.

Aligned with the theme of the 2023 International Women’s Day, ‘Embrace Equity’, this list features women from five African regions across 18 countries who have been evaluated based on the influence of their role, their impact, including giveback initiatives both within and outside their careers, documented thought leadership, and career achievements. The breakdown of the representation from the different African regions is West Africa (64), East Africa (16), Southern Africa (16), North Africa (3), and Central Africa (1).

After exhaustive scrutiny, the result is a list of 100 female professionals from close to 20 industries who are advancing excellence and professionalism in Africa’s corporate sector. These women are paving the way for the next generation of female leaders, and their achievements are a testament to their hard work, dedication, and commitment to their careers.

This evaluation was carried by an independent advisory panel also known as the judges comprising Yemi Faseun, Chief Talent Officer at YT Talent Partner, Osayi Alile, CEO of Aspire Coronation Trust, Funke Amobi, Regional Head People & Culture Nigeria & West Africa Standard Bank Group, Nkiru Olumide – Ojo, Africa Regions Executive Head, Marketing Corporate Communications & CSI at Standard Bank Group, and Tewa Onasanya, Founder/CEO of Exquisite Magazine Services Ltd.

Speaking about the latest recognition list, the president of the 9to5Chick, Glory Edozien PhD noted that the platform’s focus on Nigerian women in previous editions had inspired the team to take the initiative to the next level and recognize outstanding women from across the continent.

She added, “We are proud to celebrate African women on the continent working in the corporate sector. We believe that this list goes beyond celebrating these women, but is also wholly inspirational to women across Africa and diaspora. It’s not only about the power of the African woman but her drive, and her contributions on the continent. Our goal is to amplify the voices of these women who have achieved so much but may not have received the recognition they deserve. We hope that this recognition will inspire more women to pursue their dreams, break barriers, and make a positive impact in their communities.”

Audrey Abakah
SME, Agency banking and Partnership / Absa (Ghana)

Audrey is Head of SME, Agency banking and Partnership at Absa Ghana. She has over 16 years working relationship with Barclays Bank. Her Leadership has transformed the SME business from a non-performing state to a thriving business winning the best SME bank for 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Catherine Mwakasitu
Head of Finance and Operations/Financial Sector Deepening Tanzania (Tanzania)

Mwakasitu is a seasoned Finance and Risk professional with over 11 years of progressive and diversified experience in both private and public sector across Eastern and Southern Africa. She currently overseeing finance and operations at Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSDT). Prior to FSDT, she worked as a Senior Manager, Risk Advisory at Deloitte Consulting Limited. is a demonstrated successful leader who has the ability to manage across the whole balanced scorecard within a business.

Carol Ariyibi
Head, Corporate Transformation/ARM Holding Company Ltd. (Nigeria)

Ariyibi currently leads Corporate Transformation at one of the Top Tier Asset Management companies in Lagos Nigeria where her team partners with subsidiaries within the Group to leverage technology and lean business models to transform their business.

Andrea Quaye
Snr Director, Global Category Lead – Coffee, The Coca-Cola Company (South Africa)

Quaye is Senior Director, Global Category Lead-Coffee, The Coca-Cola Company. Prior to this she was the Vice President of Marketing at Anheuser-Busch, Africa, where she led the disruption of the Nigerian market with the Trophy and Hero Lager brands.

Linda Obi
Head of Global Operations, Zenith Chain (Nigeria)

Obi is a blockchain entrepreneur, educator and open-internet advocate. She is the founder of TechonomyAfrica, and serves as Global Head of Operations at Zenith Chain a $36.5 million dollars backed Blokchain firm where she drives market actions.

Cany Jobe
Director of Exploration and Production, Gambia National Petroleum Corporation (Gambia)

Jobe is the Director of Exploration and Production at the Gambia National Petroleum Corporation. As head of the department, she advises on oil and gas exploration projects; and structures, negotiates and oversees the implementation of high-value exploration activities of the NOC/IOC joint ventures and partnerships.

Vuyo Henda
Chief Marketing Officer, Spur Corporation (South Africa)

Henda is a seasoned business leader with over 13 years of experience in marketing having worked locally and globally. She has worked in consumer goods and recently entered the restaurant hospitality business with Spur Corp.

Mary Ojulari
Managing Director, Weststar Associates Limited (Mercedes-Benz, Nigeria)

Ojulari is the President of European Business Chamber (Eurocham) and Managing Director at Weststar Associates Limited(Mercedes-Benz Nigeria).

Rita Opiah
General Manager, Park Inn by Radisson Serviced Apartments (Nigeria)

Opiah is the General Manager, Park Inn by Radisson Serviced Apartments, Victoria Island, Lagos. In her current role as General Manager, she oversees daily operations and executive management of a team with well over hundred employees, as well as the rollout of a multi-million-naira revamp and upgrade program which is well underway

Nneka Eneli
Director of Outsourcing, Workforce Group (Nigeria)

Eneli is a Human Resource Consulting Professional. She is Head, Human Resource Consulting where she was involved in Talent Acquisition and Selection, Conducting Due Diligence and H.R Audits, Payroll processing and management, Organisational Development, organisation of Strategy Retreats, Board and Management Retreats for organisations.

Sophie Okonkwo
Tech HR, Microsoft, (Nigeria)

Okonkwo prides herself as a Global Talent Recruiting Expert. She joined Microsoft as a Senior Talent Sourcer- Engineering, where she hires software engineering talents across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Kelechi Mbah
Chief Marketing officer, Digital Jewels limited (Nigeria)

Mbah is a Business Growth Strategist with 15 years of professional experience in the Telecoms, Media, Consulting, and Technology. She has carved a niche in Technology and is often referred to by many as a Tech-Enthusiast and Evangelist.

Faustina Fynn-Nyame
Executive Director for Africa, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (Kenya)

Fynn-Nyame began her career as a nurse, and has 15 years in Senior leadership roles, her career has evolved from private health care management in London to Founder of Marie Stopes Ghana, Senior West Africa Advisor, Country Director of Marie Stopes Kenya, Director of the Women’s Health Project for PSI, leading PSI’s Reproductive Health and Rights portfolio in 25 countries in Sub Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America and the United Kingdom.

Ayo Mairo-Ese
Anchor, Arise News (Nigeria)

Mairo-Ese (nee Thompson) is a multiple award-winning Broadcaster, Event Compere and Public Speaker. She is a News Anchor at Arise News Channel, co-anchoring Nigeria’s foremost breakfast show – The Morning Show.

Arit Okpo
CNN African Voices Changemakers (Nigeria)

Okpo is a TV host and filmmaker. She hosts CNN African Voices Changemakers, where she tells the stories of Africa’s Changemakers.

Busola Odusanya
Senior Attorney (In-House Counsel), ExxonMobil (Nigeria)

Odusanya is an in-house counsel for ExxonMobil (Nigeria affiliates). With an LL.M training at Harvard Law and since joining the organisation 14 years ago, she has advanced from contracting and contract management roles into her current legal role.

Dr Olukemi Olugbade
Medical Epidemiologist, Public Health Physician, Nigerian Ministry of Defence (Nigeria)

Olukemi Olugbade is a multi-skilled Physician, multi-talented Public health specialist, and Healthcare industry expert with 15 years post-qualification experience as a Medical Doctor and five years post-training as a Field Epidemiologist and Researcher.

Dr. Adetola Salau
Senior Special Assistant on Education to the Governor, Lagos State, Lagos state Government (Nigeria)

Ms Salau is a social innovative entrepreneur, global educator, author and transformation agent. She is currently the Senior Special Assistant on STEM Education to the Governor in Lagos State.

Eloho Omame
Partner, TLcom Capital LLP (Nigeria)

Omame is an early-stage investor and a strong advocate for gender and inclusion in VC in Africa. She’s a Partner at TLcom Capital, a seed-to-growth stage VC firm, and a Co-Founder and General Partner at FirstCheck Africa, an early-stage VC firm investing in tech startups founded or co-founded by women.

Eve Banda
Executive Head, People & Marketing, Hollard Insurance (South Africa)

Banda has served on the World Vision Zambia Board since 2016 and is a Member of the People and Culture Committee where she previously served as Chairperson. She is a Human Resources Strategist and Operational Expert and currently works as an Executive Head of People and Marketing at Hollard International.

Ezinne Anosike
Head, People & Culture, Stanbic IBTC Bank (Nigeria)

Anosike is the Head, Human Capital Business Partnering for Personal and Business Banking at Stanbic IBTC Bank, Nigeria. She is a versatile, intuitive Human Resource Professional with about 17 years’ work experience with 12 years in Human Resource Management which spreads across HR specialized roles.

Farida Bedwei
Principal Software Engineer, Microsoft (Ghana)

Bedwei is a software developer, software engineer and computer scientist. In her over 15 years of working in the development and implementation of mobile and enterprise software. In 2011, she co-founded Logiciel, a Ghana-based Fintech company that develops banking systems for the microfinance industry and provides technology solutions which promote financial inclusion for the unbanked.

Folarinle Akinrinola
Indirect Channels Director, sub-Saharan Africa, GE Healthcare (Nigeria)

Akinrinlola is the Channels Sales Director at General Electric Health Care. She is the first Cardiac Physiologist in Nigeria and to date is responsible for training a significant number of physiologists within Nigeria.

Hadiza Adukonu
Vice President, Corporate Development , West Titan Energy (Nigeria)

As Vice President, Adukonu has the ultimate responsibility for the structure of the corporate organisation including corporate policies and processes, strategy definition and implementation, finance, business development, commercial contracts and strategic partnerships.

Ibukun Abidoye
Executive Vice President, Chocolate City Music (Nigeria)

Abidoye is a Nigerian Music Business Executive. Trained as an attorney in New York, Aibee has logged several years of transactional experience, with particular focus on the music business. She is the founder of The Nahla Initiative.

Ifesinachi Okoli-Okpagu
Chief Marketing Officer, Heirs Insurance (Nigeria)

Okoli-Okpagu is the Chief Marketing Officer of two of the most ambitious insurance companies in Nigeria, Heirs Insurance and Heirs Life. She is the co-founder for a few passion projects such as FigoCard, a company changing the way people network, Tribahl, the first pan-African influencer marketing company and GapX, a company on a mission to realize a corporate Africa where 50/50 representation of females in leadership is the norm.

Juliet Okene
Payroll Benefits Manager, Total Energies (Nigeria)

Okene is a certified mindset coach and relationship counsellor for business and career-focused women. She has over 20+ years of experience in human resource, relationship counselling, and stakeholder management, as well as expertise in finance. Juliet is the Lead Strategist at The Audacity Network, a personal development life coaching firm; and Founder of The Growth Club, a thriving closed community for successful business and career professionals who want to achieve work-life success.

Jumoke Aleoke-Malachi
Head Talent Management, WEMA Bank (Nigeria)

Aleoke-Malachi is a seasoned People Practitioner with wealth of experience spanning over a decade of interfacing with the C-Suite, HR Leaders & Hiring Managers on all issues as it concerns the HR function, with Talent Management, Emotional Intelligence, Organizational Design, Learning, Agile, Organizational Culture & Employee Engagement being my core.

Jumoke Fajemirokun
Partner, ENR Advisory (Nigeria)

Fajemirokun has extensive transactional and project development experience in the energy, infrastructure and mining space. In 2019, she led a team constituted by the Rural Electrification Agency to support the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission in fast-tracking the licensing of mini-grid developers under the solar-hybrid mini grid programme of the Nigerian Electrification Project.

Kai Orga
MD, ARM Investment Managers (Nigeria)

Orga is a financial planner, wealth advisor, youth development specialist, human capital development specialist, personal and business development
trainer and coach. She is also the Executive Director, CORE Development Initiative.

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