U.S. financial magazine Forbes has released its third annual 50 Over 50 honoring women who have achieved significant success at the age of 50 and over.
The third annual “50 Over 50: Europe, Middle East and Africa” list was revealed last Tuesday and comes on the heels of the “50 Over 50” U.S. list.
The women on the new list hail from 29 different countries and territories and work across various industries. From founders, CEOs, humanitarians and vanguards across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the 50 members of the third annual 50 Over 50 list are not only shaping the future of science, fashion, and finance but also the Catholic Church, Forbes said.
Below are the black women who were featured on the list.
Nigeria’s Adenowo is an architect and the founder of AD Consulting, which she established at the age of 25 after enrolling in university at age 14. AD Consulting has designed and constructed more than 114 projects—including institutional buildings, offices, and residential homes—that have launched Adenowo onto architecture’s global stage. Her latest project is the development of a $880 million housing complex in South Africa.
Machel is a renowned politician and humanitarian. In 1975, she became Mozambique’s first female cabinet member as their first education minister. She would dedicate her career to advocating for the rights of women and children.
Also, she co-founded The Elders, an independent group of leaders working for peace and human rights, in 2007. She also started Girls Not Brides in 2011 to combat child marriage. She founded the eponymous Graça Machel Trust in 2010 to advocate for women’s economic and financial empowerment.
She is the first woman in modern history to become the first lady of two countries. She is the widow of Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa, and former president of Mozambique Samora Machel.
Born in the Eastern Cape, Fakude became the first female president of the Minerals Council South Africa in 2021, an organization whose roots date back to 1887. She’s also served as chair of the mining giant Anglo-American since 2017.
Elizabeth Maruma Mrema
Tanzania’s Mrema became the first African woman to spearhead the Biological Diversity U.N. Convention in 2019. Four years later, Mrema was appointed deputy executive director of the Nairobi-based U.N. environment program after her role in shaping the 2022 COP15 agreement, Forbes said.
In 2020, Kenyan businesswoman Karuku was appointed managing director and CEO of East African Breweries, a Nairobi-based alcohol distributor that sells Pilsner, Baileys, and Guinness across Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, and Tanzania.
Prior to her appointment, Karuku ran Kenya Breweries and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), a nonprofit dedicated to improving Africa’s agricultural ecosystem.
In 2022, South Africa’s Nyembezi-Heita became the head of Africa’s largest bank, Standard Bank Group. She’s the first Black female chair for the bank, which has $160 billion in assets and operates across 20 countries throughout Africa and beyond.
She previously served as the CEO of ArcelorMittal South Africa, the largest steel producer on the African continent, and CEO of the South African chapter of the multinational Ichor Coal.
Also, she was the non-executive chairman of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the first woman to chair the board of insurance company Alexander Forbes Group Holdings.
Gloria Serobe has an MBA from Rutgers University. She co-founded Women Investment Portfolio Holdings (WIPHOLD), a majority Black women-owned and managed investment firm which has a portfolio valued at over $107 million.
Its investment focuses on sectors like agriculture, mining, and financial services where it can support women—and WIPHOLD counts more than 200,000 beneficiaries.
Nadia Fettah is the first woman to be appointed as Morocco’s Minister of Economy and Finance. She also founded the Maroc Invest Finances Group—a Casablanca-based private equity company—in 2000 before joining the privately-held investment outfit Saham Group in 2005 where she eventually became deputy CEO.
Kemi DaSilva-Ibru is an OB-GYN physician and founded the Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), a nonprofit aimed at combatting rape, sexual violence, and trafficking affecting young girls and women in Nigeria. She has 18 full-time staffers and 200 volunteers. Her nonprofit has impacted the lives of over 3,000 survivors of rape and sexual violence. The Nigerian physician is also pursuing a PhD in gender-based violence at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Rajaâ Cherkaoui El Moursli
The Moroccan professor of nuclear physics is known for her research that has helped prove the existence of the Higgs Boson— the particle responsible for the creation of mass, Forbes reported, adding that it won her the L’Oréal-UNESCO award for Women in Science.