Malawi President Mrs Joyce Banda has been ranked the most powerful woman in Africa ahead of Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf according to Forbes magazine’s annual survey.
In the annual list of 100 most powerful women in the world, Banda who in 2011 was named by Forbes as Africa’s third most powerful female politician after Johnson Sirleaf and Nigerian Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has been ranked 71 in the globe but tops the African list. Liberian President is at number 82.
The Malawi stateswoman is among the eight heads of state and 19 politicians included in the lists.
The survey ranks women – mostly policymakers, businesswomen and celebrities – according to influence, wealth and media presence.
Moira Forbes, president of ForbesWoman said the ranked women “are changing the planet in profoundly powerful and dynamic ways.”
Forbes website noted that President Banda – who became southern Africa’s first woman leader in April 2012 after the death of president Bingu wa Mutharika- “ has continued to stay fast to her convictions” on brave reforms.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who visited Malawi where she hailed President Banda recently and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are the world’s most powerful women, according to Forbes.
They are followed by Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff.
Other notable powerful women include US First Lady Michelle Obama at seven and Indian President Sonia Gandhi at six.
The 26-year-old pop singer Lady Gaga makes it as the youngest at number 14. The oldest, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, who is 86, ranks at number 26.
Sixteen women enter the list for the first time, including singer Jennifer Lopez. Others making in the list are celebrities like singer Shakira and Oprah Winfrey.