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Lupita on Africa’s 50 influential women list

By ANNIE NJANJA January 20th, 2015 2 min read

Kenya’s Oscar award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o, activist Ory Okolloh and Jacqueline Mugo, the chief executive of the employers lobby, have been named on the list of Africa’s 50 most influential women by French magazine Juene Afrique.

The Paris-based publication selected the three women based on their impact on the economy, leadership or governance last year.

Ms Mugo, the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) executive director, was recognised for her role as the secretary-general of the continental body for employers, Business Africa, and for advocating a safe environment for African enterprises to grow without government interference.

The report also noted that Ms Mugo drives economic empowerment through job creation and has a tough stand towards government policies.

“We need to tackle corruption and then we need a tax system that allows SMEs to get out of the informal sector and grow without being stifled by States,” the report quotes her saying.


Ms Nyong’o was named on the list for the role she plays in Hollywood films and the influence the 31-year-old has on millions of followers on her social media platforms.

The report says that her appreciation for her black roots is something to inspire a generation of black women in Africa or elsewhere, notably through social networks like the 1.9 million fans on Facebook and 1.3 million on Instagram.

The movie 12 Years a Slave, which placed Ms Nyongo on the global map, has won her dozens of awards and contracts.

Ms Okolloh, an advocate of good governance and better known as a co-founder of the Ushahidi platform and Mzalendo website is also in the list of most influential women in Africa.

Ms Okolloh, who is currently the investment director at South Africa-based Omidyar, was named for her continuing quest to improve the continent through fighting corruption, promoting entrepreneurship and her use of digital tools to evolve governance.

Among other influential women appearing on the list are novelist Chimamanda Ngozi, Fatou Bensouda and Graca Machel and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the Liberian president.