Powerful Black Women in Leadership

Black women are showing the world just how powerful and important we are. Of course, we have always known this about ourselves, but it’s good that the world is catching up. We are starting business, movements, and changing the game. One of the biggest ways to make change happen quickly is by securing roles in leadership and bringing about change through policies.

At D’IYANU, we know how important it is for black women to be leaders and empower their communities by enacting change and setting a good example. Our CEO and Founder, Addie, hopes that we continue to see more black women in leadership roles.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the first elected female President in Africa. She became the President of Liberia back in the year 2006 and served as president until 2018. During her reign, she has received several awards. In 2011, she was awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize along with two others to recognize their efforts in bringing women into the peacekeeping process. In June 2016, she was elected as the Chair of Economic Community of West African States, making her the first woman to hold the position since its creation. She did great things for the country of Liberia and the world.


Dr. Joyce Hilda Banda was the Malawi’s first female-vice president, first female president, and the second woman to become president on the African continent. She was also the Minister of Foreign Affairs and is an activist for women’s rights. During her time as Vice President (2009-2012) she founded the People’s Party in 2011, right before she became President in 2012. She is a powerful woman who has used her passion and knowledge to lead Malawi and be a strong leader amongst world leaders.

The first and only woman to ever hold the positions of Burundi’s Prime Minister and Acting President is Sylvie Kinigi. Her leadership was very important because she rose to an important position during the conflict between the Hutus and Tutsis. Kinigi was Tutsi while the President was Hutu, the did this as a way to show others that it is possible to exist in peace. Unfortunately, the President and six ministers were killed by armed Tutsi. She then stepped in as the acting President.

Elected into office on October 25, 2018, Sahle-Work Zewde became the first woman to be President Ethiopia. Before becoming President, she worked in different positions within the UN and as an Ambassador for her country. She is making positive changes in her country and in 2019, she was recognized as the 93rd most powerful woman in the world by Forbes and was the highest-ranking African woman on the list.


These women are an inspiration to black women around the world. They show that we can truly do everything, including leading countries. Tell us in the comments about a black female leader who inspires you.

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