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All the 2021 Forbes Woman Africa Award winners

Following a dynamic two-day virtual interaction focused on this year's theme, Africa Reloaded: The Power of The Collective, the 6th annual Forbes Woman Africa Leading Women Summit honoured some of the continent's most impactful women.

Celebrating International Women’s Day, the #LeadingWomanSummit, presented by Mastercard, welcomed ground-breaking speakers at its first-ever virtual event which ran from 8-9 March 2021.

The awards celebrate African women who inspire confidence through rewriting the narrative, leaders who advocate positive change and are committed to economic and social transformation on the continent especially in a Covid recovery phase. These are women who have challenged authority to bring about change and created a new discourse that will enable future generations to live in a better and more equal world.

Last year’s winners included Dr Aisha Pandor, co-founder of SweepSouth; DJ Zinhle; Olajumoke Adenowo, founder of Ad Consulting; Bafana Khumalo, co-founder of Sonke Gender Justice; and Irene Charnley, founder and Deputy Chairman of Smile Telecoms Holdings; among others.

“I’d like to congratulate all the 2021 award winners for being such incredible leaders in their respective fields, particularly after such a tumultuous year,” said Renuka Methil, managing editor of Forbes Africa and Forbes Woman Africa.
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“This year we adapted to a completely online format, and while we do miss the face-to-face interaction, the digital space gave us the opportunity to expand the #LeadingWomanSummit footprint and reach a much bigger audience. And, with the global pandemic creating so much disruption worldwide, this summit was a welcome opportunity to get insight from these grounded, inspiring women who’ve all given us a renewed sense of hope.”

Commenting on the awards, Suzanne Morel, Mastercard Country Manager for South Africa said: “As a proud partner of the Forbes Woman Africa Leading Women Summit, we would like to offer our congratulations to all these inspirational women who have been recognised in this year’s awards. Not only have they made a tremendous impact in their respective fields, but they are leading the charge in opening up the world’s possibilities to women. And a world that works better for women creates limitless possibilities for us all.”

2021 Forbes Woman Africa Award Winners


Young Achievers Award: Rabia Ghoor, Founder of Swiitch Beauty

Social Impact Award: Isabelle Kamariza, Founder of Solid'Africa

Technology and Innovation Award: Temie Giwa Tubosun, Founder of Lifebank

Academic Excellence Award : Professor Rudo Mathivha, Academic Head of Intensive Care Services at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital

Sports Award : Hellen Obiri, Olympic Athlete

Entertainer Award : Elsa Majimbo, Kenyan Comedian

Business Woman of the Year : Ada Osakwe, Founder of Agrolay Ventures

Lifetime Achievement Award : H.E. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, former president of Liberia

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