African Journal of Gender and Women Studies

African Journal of Gender and Women Studies ISSN 2736-1578 Vol. 6 (4), pp. 001-004, April, 2021. © International Scholars Journals


African Women Leaders in the 21st Century

Mosugu, Tegan Joseph

University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public & International Affairs 3601 Wesley W. Posvar Hall, Pittsburgh, PA, 15260. E-mail:

Accepted 22 March, 2021 


This paper provides insight into the various challenges women face, their roles in leadership and how they have advanced over the years in Africa against these odds. It is becoming more apparent than ever that female leadership in Africa is predetermined by the state of women’s affairs in a country. More women seem to be breaking beyond society’s expectations of their potential being limited to the home front. Reports have shown that when women are able to reach their full potential - equal participation in the economy as their male counterparts - global GDP can increase and in sub-Saharan Africa specifically, the GDP can increase by 27%, or $0.7 trillion, when the gap is closed. According to a report by McKinsey, women make up over half the world’s population, but only 37% of them are in the workforce. With that in mind, many initiatives and programs have been established to combat gender inequality, providing more opportunities for women to join the workforce. These initiatives often have a common theme which is to empower women and make them qualified leaders in different sectors through scholarships, skill acquisition, grants, competitions, mentorship, etc. Despite the gains that have been made by African female leaders, there is still more work to be done. Boosting the number of African women in leadership roles - that have power and influence - would require a culture shift in regard to societal expectations and norms.

Keywords: African women, women entrepreneurs, African business, female leaders, African entrepreneurship.