African Women in Business on the Rise

March 8, 2023

Dear Friends,

African women must be at the center of every conversation on the future of business in Africa. While women comprise half of the African population, African women own 58% of businesses, a percentage that is predicted to grow exponentially over the next decade.

African women have always been foundational to building and sustaining micro and macro economies in African communities. The natural–and what seemed like instinctive–entrepreneurial skills of our mothers, grandmothers, and aunties have evolved into the proficiency of African women who are now leading businesses and innovations across agriculture, science, technology, and more.

And the world is paying attention.

The African continent now has more women-focused business initiatives than any other society. From incubators such as the Google for Start-ups Accelerator: Women Founders Africa Programme, to the African Development Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa, the African Women’s Development Fund, and more, millions of dollars are being invested into small, medium, and large African-women-owned enterprises. Investors and policymakers realize the promise and potential for a society that is found in the leadership of African women in business.

The ingenuity of African women and women of African descent should be recognized every day of the year. But this Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating the ways African women have always and continue to fuel economic activity in our communities. Without their labor, creativity, boldness and business savvy, our families, communities, and countries wouldn’t have the resources needed to survive or thrive.

Business leaders such as Mimi Alemayehou, whose tenacity led her to become a top African Female executive At The Overseas Private Investment Corporation, or Vera Songwe, the first woman to head the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) at the level of Under Secretary-General whose contributions deserve to be celebrated for the courage and commitment it takes to drive business.

A reminder that there is also only one month left to experience the works of artists in States of Becoming. The exhibition will close on April 2nd. The women artists featured in the show are creative entrepreneurs in their own right, and continue to offer their ideas as a currency that is too often undervalued in our society. Make sure to reserve your ticket today.

I’m very excited to be in conversation with author and CNN anchor Zain Asher about her new book Where the Children Take Us at the Nigerian Embassy in New York on March 16, 2023. We will discuss her life, her mother, and the work that women do not only to hold up families but also build opportunities for whole societies. To register for the event, please click here.

Last, but certainly not least, thank you to the women who make sure that The Africa Center runs efficiently every day. Thank you for your commitment to our mission and to our community. You are each pioneers and history-makers in your own right.