First Lady Monica Geingos and information deputy minister Emma Theofelus have made the cut as the only two Namibians on the 2020 100 Most Influential African Women list.
Leading PR and Rating firm Avance Media announced this in its second annual publication on the most influential women chosen from various career backgrounds, including diplomacy, politics, activism, entrepreneurship, business leadership and
The women were chosen from 34 countries.
Theofelus, who was this year named as deputy information minister by President Hage Geingob, at the age of 24 is the youngest on the list.
Geingos, who also made the Most Credible Africans list last year, told New Era her selection was awe-inspiring. “I remain humbled by my inclusion on the list and I am excited to see a younger cohort of women, like Emma Theofelus, who are starting to dominate these types of lists and taking their rightful place in influential roles,” she said.
Prince Akpah, managing director of Avance Media, said the list is focused on women who are leading various initiatives across the continent and seeks to present them as role models for the younger generation.
“They were selected because of their incredible achievements as women and they deserve high recommendations among other female trailblazers in Africa,” he noted. On her part, Theofelus said it was an honour being selected for such an accolade.
“There are incredibly accomplished women on that list and being the youngest is such an honour. Women such as Madame Geingos and Dr Naledi Pandor are some of the most intelligent and well-rounded women I’ve ever met and being on the same list with them motivates me to reach and maybe even surpass their accomplishments for the greater good of Africa,” she said.
Theofelus advised fellow women from the continent to continue being intentional in whatever they intend on pursuing.
“Continue being intentional in your pursuit of making a mark in your respective sectors. Many of us are still becoming the firsts in our industries and I implore us not to stop there. Let us break those glass ceilings in service to our communities and inspire others to carry that same torch with and for us long after we are gone,” she added.
Forming part of the list are well-known movers and shakers including Kenyan lawyer, Amina Mohammed, former Mozambique and South African first lady Graca Machel, musicians Angelique Kidjo and Yemi Alade, Gambian lawyer and international criminal law prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.
Ugandan activist Stella Nyanzi and Ethiopian president Sahle-Work Zewde are also on the list.
The criteria for the selection of the 2020 100 Most Influential African Women included excellence in leadership and performance, personal accomplishments, commitment to sharing knowledge, breaking the status quo and being an accomplished African woman.