Joyce Banda top-ranked on Forbes powerful women list

Malawi’s Vice President Joyce Banda has been ranked number three most powerful African woman according to an index put together by world’s leading business magazine Forbes.

The African list is topped by Nobel Prize winner Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia and seconded by Nigeria’s Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Forbes named US First Lady Michelle Obama as the world’s most powerful .

An aide to Malawi’s first female vice president said Banda was “delighted” with the ranking on Forbes.

Two powerful women “of substance”: Johnstone and Joyce Banda

Banda has served as vice president of Malawi since May 2009 and previously served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister for Gender, Children’s Affairs and Community Services.

She was a grassroots gender rights activist before joining politics and jointly scooped the Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger award with Mozambican president Joachim Chissano in 2005.

Also making on the top 10 of the Forbes world list were media mogul Oprah Winfrey, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, singer Lady Gaga and Beyonce Knowles.

Forbes said this year’s list was based “less on traditional titles and roles and more on creative influence and entrepreneurship”.

“The women on our list, through their respective realms of power and influence, are shaping many of the agenda-setting conversations of our day, and have become dynamic catalysts for driving meaningful change across the world,” publisher Moira Forbes said.

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