What’s stopping women from leading Africa?


Alan Kasujja BBC Africa Daily

How do you get more women in charge so that one day they could be leading the continent?

There are, of course, examples of women in charge and only recently we heard that Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Nigeria’s former finance minister, had become head of the World Trade Organisation.

Not only is she the first woman but she’s also the first African to get the job.

You might say though she’s a rare example so, is it time for more affirmative action?

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was the first democratically elected President of Africa and led Liberia for 12 years.

She set up the Amujae initiative last year to help mentor women into positions of public leadership in Africa.

One year on Alan Kasujja has been speaking to two women who help inspire others. They spoke of how they had to overcome many obstacles on the path to their careers.

Anne Waiguru, a prominent Kenyan politician, said the insults women face are personal and focus on you as a woman; the way you dress, and your body size and that “they also draw in your family”.

Telia Urey, a successful Liberian entrepreneur, said she had faced some of the worst attacks during her short political career, when she ran in a by-election in 2019.

It’s an election which she describes as being marked “as one of the most violent campaigns in recent Liberian history” where she suffered both physically and verbally.

Telia said with her achievements however, she wants to be an example to all “the daughters of Africa”.