It’s amazing how 2016 is drawing to a close very fast. As this is happening, the annual lists come thick and fast, marking the highlights and low blows of the year; anything from the top tweets of 2016 to the Person of the Year is likely to be on most media in the next few weeks, before we swiftly turn our attention to 2017 here’s an array of new lists.
Well, out of the thirty-two African women featured on this year’s Most Influential list (most influential Nigerian women), profiling the Africans on the continent and the diaspora who have made their mark on the year, five of these are Nigerian women, some more established in their fields than others, but all worth getting to know. Thus, here are the five most influential Nigerian women in 2016;
1. CHIMAMANDA NGOZI-ADICHIE:
Adichie, the author of bestsellers such as Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah being one of the most influential women in Nigeria, was selected by fellow Nigerian Bibi Bakare-Yusuf for the way “she has taken African literature further into the Western mainstream and made it a must-have fashion accessory, to be sampled by the likes of Beyoncé. Besides, she has become the new face of British pharmaceutical chain Boots’ cosmetic range No. 7
2. AINEHI EDORO:
Edoro aims to engage with readers who enjoy African writing and shape their taste. She is one the brains behind The Brittle Paper, a carefully curated online space that not only focuses on highbrow literature, but also actively promotes genre literature.
3. NGOZI OKONJO-IWEALA:
The two times Nigeria’s finance minister has helped temper the country’s corrupt image. Besides, her time at the World Bank has now turned her attention to enhancing the lives of others, as chair of the GAVI board, the international non-profit organisation that supports vaccines and immunizations. She has often highlighted the economic benefits GAVI’s work will have on the continent.
4. BILIKISS ADEBIYI-ABIOLA:
She is the brain behind the Lagos-based recycling company Wecyclers, Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola. She is one of the pioneers of the change in attitudes towards recycling and waste management in Nigeria. Subscribers to her service earn points per kilo of recycling, which can be redeemed for cash, electronic and household goods. Wecyclers has signed on more than eleven thousand households and collected almost one thousand tons of household waste in four years.
5. AMINA MOHAMMED:
Taking the lead in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initiative is Nigeria’s Environment Minister, Amina Mohammed. She has mobilised global civil society to engage in the SDG framework. She has served on the task force for gender and education for UN’s Millennium Project, as the Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
No 2016 influential list would have been complete without these most influential Nigerian women. They have done Nigeria proud both locally and globally, helping to build an empowering image for African women!
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