In about two weeks after she won the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize, Forbes Magazine, one of the most influential business publications in the United States, named President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia as the most "powerful woman on the African continent."
The Magazine, in its maiden Africa issue, lists the Liberian leader among 20 women influential women in the continent.
According to the first issue of Forbes Africa Magazine, which went on sale October 1, President Sirleaf tops the list of most powerful African women, with Nigeria's Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Malawi's Vice President Joyce Banda in second and third place, respectively.
The list includes 11 women from South Africa alone.
The magazine says about its No. 1 pick: "Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected in 2005 Liberia's 24th president and Africa's first woman president. Prior to her election, she worked for the World Bank and Citibank. She is a member of the prestigious Council of Women Leaders. In October 2010, she signed into law a Freedom of Information bill."
The parent Forbes Magazine is famous worldwide for its lists, which make headlines, spring surprises and provoke debates. Its Africa edition promises to maintain this rich tradition by researching and creating its own lists.
According to Forbes Africa, its methodology for selecting its Top 20 list involved weighing up the size of the economy, market capitalization of companies or the personal wealth of the candidates, as well as researching Google hits, YouTube appearances, plus Facebook and Twitter followers.
It weighted the findings and ranked the tally to come up with the order of the list.
President Johnson Sirleaf is followed, on the Forbes Africa list by: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance of Nigeria; Joyce Banda, Vice President of Malawi; Gill Marcus, Governor, Reserve Bank of South Africa; Joice Mujuru, Vice President of Zimbabwe; Diezani Allison-Madueke, Nigeria's Minister of Petroleum Resources; Isabel Dos Santos, Angolan Businesswoman; Maria Ramos, CEO of ABSA, a South African subsidiary of British Barclays Bank; Mamphela Ramphele, CEO, Circle Capital Partners, South Africa, and former Director of the World Bank; Linah Mohohlo, Governor, Bank of Botswana; and Nicky-Newton King, Future CEO, Johannesburg Stock Exchange, South Africa.
Also on the Top 20 list are: Wangari Maathai, Nobel Prize Laureate and Founder of the Greenbelt Movement of Kenya, who passed away in September; Siza Mzimela, CEO of South African Airways; Nonkululeko Nyembezi Heita, CEO of ArcelorMittal South Africa; Graça Machel, Chancellor of the University of Cape Town and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, South Africa; Pinky Moholi, CEO, Telkom, South Africa; Hynd Bouhia, former Director General, Casablanca Stock Exchange, Morocco; Bridgette Radebe, Chairman, Mmakau Mining, South Africa; Irene Charnley, Non-Executive Director, MTN Group & CEO Smile Telecommunications, South Africa; and Monlha Hlahla, CEO of Airports Company South Africa (ACSA).