Females Presiding Over African Countries (Dr Joyce Banda)

In Africa, only a few women have managed to be President, such as Dr Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Liberia), Ms Ameenah Gurib-Fakim (Mauritius), Ms Sahle-Work Zewde, Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan (Tanzania) and Dr Joyce Banda (Malawi). There were other women who had been acting President, which makes it impressive as women are indeed taking their own space in politics.

Dr Joyce Hilda Banda is a politician from Malawi, and she was once the President for two years, from 2012 to 2014. She created the People’s Party in 2011, and she is also an educator who fights as an activist for women’s rights. Before she became the President, she was the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2009 and the Vice-President of Malawi from 2009 to 2012. She was also a Member of Parliament and Minister of Gender and Child Welfare at a point.

To Ms Joyce Banda, resolving hunger issues and women empowerment is essential. To this effect, she founded the Joyce Banda Foundation, the National Association of Business Women (NABW), the Young Women Leaders Network and the Hunger Project.

She is the first female president of Malawi and the second female head of state after Elizabeth II, she is also the second woman to be a president in Africa.

Forbes featured her as one of the 40th most powerful women globally, and in 2014 she was listed as the most powerful woman in Africa. In October 2014, she was named amongst the BBC’s 100 Women.

Dr Banda has an initial foundation in Education as she got her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education from Columbus University. Later on, she took a Bachelor of Social Studies in Gender Studies, a diploma in Management of NGOs, Master of Arts Degree in Leadership. She got an honorary doctorate from Jeonju University.

Ms Banda before politics

Before driving into her political career in 1999, Dr Banda was an accomplished businesswoman who established a chain of businesses. Some include the Ndekani Garments in 1985, Akajuwe Enterprises in 1992 and the Kalingidza Bakery in 1995.

Apart from working in businesses, she also worked on helping women to be financially independent and be free from poverty and abuse.

Her foundation helped provide better education, and it was also running charitable activities to help children and orphans access good education. It is a foundation giving hope to women and youths by providing them with microcredit while also providing farmers with seeds and donations. The foundation also established clinics to cater to villages. The foundation also attends to the development of rural areas.

The National Association of Business Women, established by her in 1990, is a non-profit foundation vested in helping women overcome poverty by supporting their businesses. This foundation also helps to liaise with decision-makers to create policies favouring women businesses and owners.

As President

Though she had won the seat to be President, the Malawi Cabinet tried to stop her from being President, but she was able to garner support and fight through to achieving her goal. On the 7th of April 2012, she was sworn in as President. The media noted her swearing-in to be smooth, which ushered democracy into Malawi.

When Dr Banda assumed office, she was faced with a Malawi in poor economic situation, and the World Bank and African Development Bank had stopped sending financial aid. Hence, she had to fight to restore the diplomatic ties of Malawi with other countries. She worked very hard to amend the international relations of Malawi.

To help with reviving the economic status of Malawi, she sold her presidential jet and contributed 30% of her salary to benefit the Malawi Council for the Handicapped. During her tenure, she also committed to ensuring quality maternal health care and women had reproductive rights.

In 2014, she vied for a second term but lost the election.

Dr Banda is a recipient of numerous national awards, international awards and honours.

Women in power should always work to uplift other women’s status, specifically what Dr Banda did. As President, she focused on helping women’s health and rights.

In Africa, only a few women have managed to be President, such as Dr Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Liberia), Ms Ameenah Gurib-Fakim (Mauritius), Ms Sahle-Work Zewde, Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan (Tanzania) and Dr Joyce Banda (Malawi). There were other women who had been acting President, which makes it impressive as women are indeed taking their own space in politics.

Dr Joyce Hilda Banda is a politician from Malawi, and she was once the President for two years, from 2012 to 2014. She created the People’s Party in 2011, and she is also an educator who fights as an activist for women’s rights. Before she became the President, she was the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2009 and the Vice-President of Malawi from 2009 to 2012. She was also a Member of Parliament and Minister of Gender and Child Welfare at a point.

To Ms Joyce Banda, resolving hunger issues and women empowerment is essential. To this effect, she founded the Joyce Banda Foundation, the National Association of Business Women (NABW), the Young Women Leaders Network and the Hunger Project.

She is the first female president of Malawi and the second female head of state after Elizabeth II, she is also the second woman to be a president in Africa.

Forbes featured her as one of the 40th most powerful women globally, and in 2014 she was listed as the most powerful woman in Africa. In October 2014, she was named amongst the BBC’s 100 Women.

Dr Banda has an initial foundation in Education as she got her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education from Columbus University. Later on, she took a Bachelor of Social Studies in Gender Studies, a diploma in Management of NGOs, Master of Arts Degree in Leadership. She got an honorary doctorate from Jeonju University.

Ms Banda before politics

Before driving into her political career in 1999, Dr Banda was an accomplished businesswoman who established a chain of businesses. Some include the Ndekani Garments in 1985, Akajuwe Enterprises in 1992 and the Kalingidza Bakery in 1995.

Apart from working in businesses, she also worked on helping women to be financially independent and be free from poverty and abuse.

Her foundation helped provide better education, and it was also running charitable activities to help children and orphans access good education. It is a foundation giving hope to women and youths by providing them with microcredit while also providing farmers with seeds and donations. The foundation also established clinics to cater to villages. The foundation also attends to the development of rural areas.

The National Association of Business Women, established by her in 1990, is a non-profit foundation vested in helping women overcome poverty by supporting their businesses. This foundation also helps to liaise with decision-makers to create policies favouring women businesses and owners.

As President

Though she had won the seat to be President, the Malawi Cabinet tried to stop her from being President, but she was able to garner support and fight through to achieving her goal. On the 7th of April 2012, she was sworn in as President. The media noted her swearing-in to be smooth, which ushered democracy into Malawi.

When Dr Banda assumed office, she was faced with a Malawi in poor economic situation, and the World Bank and African Development Bank had stopped sending financial aid. Hence, she had to fight to restore the diplomatic ties of Malawi with other countries. She worked very hard to amend the international relations of Malawi.

To help with reviving the economic status of Malawi, she sold her presidential jet and contributed 30% of her salary to benefit the Malawi Council for the Handicapped. During her tenure, she also committed to ensuring quality maternal health care and women had reproductive rights.

In 2014, she vied for a second term but lost the election.

Dr Banda is a recipient of numerous national awards, international awards and honours.

Women in power should always work to uplift other women’s status, specifically what Dr Banda did. As President, she focused on helping women’s health and rights.

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