Joyce Banda is Malawi’s first female president – and the second on the African continent. She was re-elected for a second term after originally assuming office in 2012. Before becoming president, she was also the first female Vice President of Malawi.
As president, Banda worked to repair Malawi’s international relations (especially to get more aid for her country) and domestic policy (by legalizing homosexuality).
She was also a member of parliament and Minister for Gender, Children’s Affairs and Community Services. Before her active career in politics she was the founder of the Joyce Banda Foundation, founder of the National Association of Business Women (NABW), Young Women Leaders Network, and the Hunger Project.
In 2014, Forbes named President Banda as the 40th most powerful woman in the world and the most powerful woman in Africa.