On our first weekly edit we have decided to bring to you our readers “Five most influential women in Nigeria”. Five of these are Nigerian women, some more established in their fields than others, but all worth getting to know – if you don’t already .
Chimamanda Ngozi –Adichie
No 2018 influential list would have been complete without Adichie . She was selected by fellow Nigerian Bibi Bakare – Yusuf for the way “she has taken African literature further into the Western mainstream and made it a must -have fashion accessory, to be sampled by the likes of Beyoncé and loved by Dior and Vogue .” The author of bestsellers such as Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah , also became the new face of British pharmaceutical chain Boots ’ cosmetic range No . 7, and has helped build an empowering image for African women . She recently gave a speech to the Harvard class of 2018 graduates earlier this year in may
Ngozi Okonjo –Iweala
Following two terms as Nigeria ’s finance minister , helping temper the country ’s corrupt image , and her time at the World Bank , Ngozi Okonjo -Iweala ’s has now turned her attention to enhancing the lives of others , as chair of the GAVI board , the international non -profit organisation that supports vaccines and immunisations . In her role, she has often highlighted the economic benefits GAVI’s work will have on the continent – citing the statistic that for every dollar spent on the immunisation of children, $16 can be saved in healthcare costs. She recently wrote a book titled “fighting corruption is dangerous”.
The current deputy secretary- general to UN, and former Nigeria ’s Environment Minister Amina Mohammed who lead the Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs ) initiative and has mobilised global civil society to engage in the SDG framework .
Having served on the task force for gender and education for UN ’s Millennium Project and as the Special Adviser on Post2015 Development Planning to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki -moon , she is well suited for the new task at hand .
The brains behind the Lagos -based recycling company Wecyclers , Bilikiss Adebiyi- Abiola is one of the pioneers of the change in attitudes towards recycling and waste management in Nigeria . Subscribers to her service earn points per kilo of recycling , which can be redeemed for cash , electronic and household goods. In four years , Wecyclers has signed on more than 11 ,000 households and collected almost 1,000 tons of household waste .
Another name selected by Bibi Bakare is Ainehi Edoro , the brains behind The Brittle Paper , a carefully curated online space that not only focuses on highbrow literature , but also actively promotes genre literature. With her website , Edoro aims to engage with readers who enjoy African writing and shape their taste .