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Four of North Africa’s most powerful women pave the way

By ANA - Aug 08,2020 - Last updated at Aug 08,2020

Egyptian athlete Manal Rostom (ANN photo)

CAPE TOWN — A few months ago, business magazine Forbes Africa released a list of the continent’s most powerful leading women, drawn from business, politics, media, science, sports and public life.

As an ode to the leading women who have broken through the glass ceiling in Africa, paving the way for other aspiring young women, we celebrate the achievements of some of North Africa’s most powerful women and the impact they have made on this beautiful continent.

From the Top 50 list as selected by Forbes Africa, these are the four leading women in North Africa.




Aya Chebbi is an award-winning pan-African feminist. She is the first-ever African Union special envoy on youth and the youngest diplomat at the African Union Commission chairperson’s Cabinet. 

She rose to prominence as a voice for democracy and shot to global fame as a political blogger during 2010/2011 Tunisia Revolution. She recently received the 2019 Gates Foundation Campaign Award, according to her website.




Manal Rostom is an Egyptian marathon runner, mountaineer and Nike running ambassador and women’s rights activist. She was the first woman to compete in the New York Marathon wearing the Nike Pro hijab. 

According to an article by Gulf News, she has aspirations of leading a generation of unstoppable female athletes to step into their own dreams, especially young Muslim women who may believe that dressing modestly and exercise cannot go hand in hand.




Rawya Mansour was nominated for the African Leader of the Year in 2019 by the African Leadership Magazine UK. Mansour, who is a woman of many talents, is a well-respected social entrepreneur, environmental activist and women’s rights activist. 

Mansour is a member of the National Council for Women for Foreign Relations and the Rural Committee, and she represented Egypt in Romania in the francophone countries for the empowerment of women. She is also a member in the Arab Businesswomen Council, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and the Information and Decision Support Centre in the Council of Ministers for the United Nations Development Programme, according to news publication Ahram Online.




Hajer Sharief is a human rights advocate and the co-founder of Together We Build It. Hajer promotes the participation of women and youth in peace-building efforts in Libya.

According to the Kofi Annan Foundation, she was selected by the UN secretary-general to serve as a member of the Advisory Group of Experts for the Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security. Hajer is also one of the 12 UN women champions on Women, Peace, Security and Human Rights.


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