Forbes names Minister Kamayirese among Africa's 'Power Women'

Germaine Kamayirese, the minister of state in charge of energy, water and sanitation in the Ministry of Infrastructure, is on Forbes magazine's list of the 20 Youngest Power Women In Africa 2014.
Minister Germaine Kamayirese. (File)
Minister Germaine Kamayirese. (File)

Germaine Kamayirese, the minister of state in charge of energy, water and sanitation in the Ministry of Infrastructure, is on Forbes magazine’s list of the 20 Youngest Power Women In Africa 2014.

The American business magazine rates the young Rwandan politician among the 2014 class of the 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa: “the continent’s emerging power brokers, the Amazons to watch, and the custodians of tomorrow.”

The 33-year-old trained engineer is number 14 on the list.

“She carries the responsibility of executing and implementing Rwanda’s National Policy and Strategy for Water Supply and Sanitation services as well as governing the activities of power production, transmission, distribution and trading within and outside Rwanda’s territory,” reads part of a comment by Mfonobong Nsehe, Forbes contributor who has since 2011 chronicled Africa’s success stories and tracked its richest people.

Kamayirese could not be reached for a comment by press time as her known phone contacts were not available.

Every year, Nsehe identifies 20 young, extraordinary and inspiring African women, aged 45 and below, who are making the most dramatic impact in individual African countries in the world of politics, business, technology, policy, diplomacy and media for the annual tally of the 20 Youngest Power Women In Africa.

Now in its fourth year, the list celebrates 20 influential women leaders and groundbreakers who are transforming the continent from their communities.

Nsehe says each of them share one thing: “they are doers.”

“They are resolute in their resolve to change, to build, inspire and transform, and they are out there making it happen,” Nsehe says. “They are change makers, trendsetters, visionaries and thinkers, builders, and young global leaders. They are at the vanguard of Africa’s imminent socio-economic revolution and its contemporary renaissance.”

Moroccan Fatima-Zahra Mansouri, 38, the mayor of Marrakech, the third largest city in North African country, is number one

Number two is Nigeria’s Ada Osakwe, 34. Nigeria’s agricultural sector has attracted more than $4 billion in private sector investment commitments over the last year, and Osakwe is an integral reason behind it.

Osakwe currently serves as the Senior Investment Adviser to Nigerian Minister for Agriculture Akinwunmi Adesina.

Kenyan women shine

Despite dominance by Nigeria, six Kenyan women made the list.

They include MP Naisula Lesuuda, 30, a senator and a former journalist, peace ambassador and girl child champion.

The youngest female in Kenya’s Senate previously worked as an anchor at the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, and in 2010, became the youngest person awarded the Presidential Order of the Grand Warrior for her work in leveraging journalism to highlight social issues in Kenya and promoting peace among warring pastoral communities in northern Kenya.

She is number four on the list.

Eleventh on the list is Irene Koki Mutungi, 39, a pilot.

In April, Kenya Airways appointed Mutungi as a captain on Boeing B787 Dreamliner, making her the first African female Dreamliner captain in the world.

Mutungi joined Kenya Airways in 1993 and became the first woman to become a captain in Africa.

Number 13 is Yvonne Khamati, 32, the deputy head of mission at Kenya’s embassy in Somalia.

In 2007, former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki appointed Khamati as head of chancery and deputy permanent representative to the Kenyan Mission to the United Nations Office in Nairobi.
She was only 25 at the time, and became the youngest envoy in Kenya’s history.

Khamati is still one of the youngest diplomats in Kenya.

A Kenyan trio of Jamila Abass, Linda Kwamboka, and Susan Oguya, the founders of MFarm, “a revolutionary mobile software company that could potentially transform the fortunes of millions of African farmers if replicated across several African countries” tie on 16th position on the list.

MFarm provides farmers and buyers with the most recent retail price information about products, and operates a virtual marketplace where consumers buy products directly from manufacturers and farmers find buyers for produce.



Name. Germaine Kamayirese

Age. 33

Qualification. Engineers

Vocation. Minister of State in charge of Energy, Water and Sanitation in the Ministry of Infrastructure