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The authority on gender empowerment in business for nearly 20 years.

Top Women CEOs: Africa’s female leaders shaping business success

Top 20 women CEOs - Ramasela Ganda

Written by Editor

April 9, 2024

(This is the second and final part of the series. Read part 1 here.)


By Raine St.Claire

This exceptional inventory of women spearheading major businesses in Africa, based on rigorous data-driven research supplied by Bloomberg and sponsored by the Standard Bank Group, was unveiled during a virtual event in the 1st Quarter 2023.

In this selection, we spotlight the women positioned from 11th to 20th out of the 93 women hailing from 17 diverse countries who have been acknowledged, with each meeting the rigorous standards of substantial revenue or significant market capitalisation. South Africa leads with 40 female CEOs, while Nigeria contributes 12, and Egypt, Ghana, and Kenya each have 6 representatives. 


11. Ramasela Ganda, Group CEO, Zeda Ltd (South Africa)

Johannesburg Stock Exchange 💰$518-million USD 

Ramasela’s journey from tech enthusiast to Zeda Ltd’s Group CEO showcases the power of innovation, determination, and a clear vision for the future. Raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, Ramasela’s early passion for technology was fuelled by her parents’ focus on education and hard work. Excelling academically, she earned a scholarship to study computer science at a top university, immersing herself in cutting-edge technologies.

After graduation, Ramasela quickly entered the tech industry, co-founding a startup aimed at revolutionising e-commerce. Her entrepreneurial spirit and ability to identify opportunities propelled the startup’s success, earning her recognition as a rising star in the tech sector.

With her unwavering commitment and boundless energy, she drives Zeda Ltd forward, leaving a profound impact on the tech industry and inspiring future entrepreneurs.


12. Ruth Zaipuna, CEO, NMB Bank Plc (Tanzania)

Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange💰$485-million USD 

Ruth’s journey from auditing at PwC to CEO of NMB Bank Plc showcases her dedication and leadership, driving Tanzania’s economic growth and earning industry recognition. Her academic background, including an MBA in Finance and a B. Com in Accounting from the University of Dar es Salaam, equipped her for success. Transitioning to Executive Director of Finance at Standard Chartered Bank further honed her skills.

Ruth’s exceptional leadership at NMB Bank has earned her accolades, including African Banking CEO of the Year by the Africa Bank 4.0 Awards. Beyond NMB, she serves as an Independent Non-Executive Director on several boards, contributing to their growth.


13. Nasim Devji, Group CEO & Managing Director Diamond Trust (Kenya)

Nairobi Stock Exchange 💰 $370-million USD 

Nasim joined the DTB Group in 1996 and became the Group CEO of Diamond Trust Bank in East Africa by 2001. She holds fellowships with esteemed institutions like the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, the Kenya Institute of Bankers, and the Institute of Directors in Kenya. Additionally, she’s an Associate of the Institute of Taxation in the UK.

Nasim serves as Director for various DTB Group entities, including DTB Tanzania, DTB Uganda, DTB Burundi, Jubilee Insurance Burundi, and Diamond Trust Bancassurance Intermediary Agency Limited.

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14. Dr Hend El Sherbini, Group CEO, Integrated Diagnostics Holdings (Egypt)

Egypt Stock Exchange 💰$333-million USD 

Hend is the CEO of IDH-Integrated Diagnostics Holdings, a prominent consumer diagnostic healthcare company operating in Africa and the Middle East, with branches in Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, and Nigeria. Besides her role as CEO, Hend is a professor of clinical pathology at Cairo University’s Faculty of Medicine. She also serves on the board of the American Society of Clinical Pathology (Egypt) and provides consultation on international certification processes.

Hend’s academic qualifications include an MBBCh, Masters in Clinical and Chemical Pathology, and a PhD in Immunology from Cairo University. Additionally, she holds an Executive MBA from the London Business School.


15. Mukwandi Chibesakunda, CEO, Zanaco (Zambia)

Lusaka Stock Exchange 💰$321-million USD 

Mukwandi’s journey from humble beginnings to a prominent figure in Zambia’s financial sector is characterised by her dedication and leadership. As the first female Chief Executive of Zanaco, she shapes the industry’s future and inspires future generations.

Her achievements have earned her national and international recognition. In 2021, she was honoured as CEO of the Year in Zambia by CEO Monthly and named African Female Leader of the Year by Africa Leadership Magazine. In 2022, she received the title of African Female Leader of the Year and the Most Inclusive Leader: Southern Africa award from Accenture, showcasing her commitment to promoting inclusivity and diversity in business.


16. Faith Mukutu, CEO, Zambeef Products Plc (Zambia)

Lusaka Stock Exchange 💰$318-million USD 

Faith’s journey epitomises dedication, leadership, and excellence in business and finance. As CEO and Director of Zambeef Products Plc, she has pioneered achievements, broken barriers, and set new corporate standards.

Her impressive experience extends beyond Zambeef, holding directorships in esteemed organisations like National Breweries Plc, Bayport Financial Services Ltd., Zayohub Zambia Ltd., and Good Nature Agro Products Ltd. This demonstrates her diverse expertise and commitment to driving growth and innovation.

Faith’s involvement with the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants underscores her dedication to professional excellence and industry advancement.


17. Catherine Lesetedi, Group CEO, Botswana Insurance Holdings Ltd (Botswana)

Gaborone Stock Exchange 💰$306 million USD 

Catherine began her career with the BIHL Group in June 1992 as a Supervisor, where she earned promotions to Assistant Manager in 1998 and Divisional Manager in 2000. She later transitioned to AON Botswana as Senior Accounts Executive in October 2004, quickly rising to General Manager of Life and Employee Benefits within two years.

In 2007, Catherine rejoined BLIL as Head of Corporate and High-Value Business until March 2010 when she assumed the role of Acting Chief Executive Officer. Her substantive appointment to CEO came in July 2010, which she held until February 2017, when she assumed her current position.

Currently, Catherine serves on several boards including Funeral Services Group Limited, Bifm Unit Trusts, Botswana Insurance Company Limited, Nico Life, Nico Pensions Company, and Nico Holdings.

18. Godrey Ogbechie, Group Executive Director, Rainoil (Nigeria)

Nigerian Stock Exchange 💰 $276-million USD 

Godfrey joined Rainoil Limited in 2009 and currently serves as Group Executive Director for Rainoil Limited, Fynefield Petroleum Limited, and Norsworthy Investment Limited. She also holds a Non-Executive Director position at Eterna PLC.

With over 19 years of banking experience, Godfrey has played a key role in establishing systems and controls across the Group’s operations, contributing to its growth. She is involved in various social welfare and humanitarian initiatives and is a Life Member at Women in Management, Business, and Public Service (WIMBIZ).


19. Owen Omogiafo,  President and Group CEO, Transcorp Plc (Nigeria)

Nigerian Stock Exchange 💰$273-million USD 

Owen Diana Omogiafo (formerly Elaiho), born on May 28, 1980, is a Nigerian business executive and strategist. She currently serves as the President and Group Chief Executive Officer of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp), a diversified conglomerate with strategic investments in the Power, Hospitality, and Oil and Gas sectors.

In recognition of her contributions, she was awarded one of Nigeria’s national honours, the Officer of the Order of Niger (OON), by former President Muhammadu Buhari on May 28, 2023.

As a professional, Owen is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, UK, and a Certified Change Manager with the Prosci Institute, USA. She is also affiliated with the Institute of Directors (IoD) Nigeria.


20. Anne Juuko, CEO, Stanbic Bank (Uganda)

Uganda Stock Exchange 💰 $267-million 

Formerly the Managing Director and CEO of Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited, as of April 1, 2024, Anne now holds the role of Regional Head of Global Markets in Standard Bank Group’s Eastern African region, overseeing operations in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia.

Anne has been instrumental in driving innovation and growth within the financial sector and her strategic vision and commitment to excellence have earned her recognition as a trailblazer in the industry. Under her leadership, Stanbic Bank continues to thrive, delivering exceptional value to its customers and stakeholders alike.


Source:  iAfrica | The Definitive List of Women | Information supplied 19 April 2023

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