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L-R: Lola Shoneyin, Panashe Chigumadzi, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, and Stella Nyanzi.

Entrepreneurship platform AWP Network has released its sixth annual “Power Network List” of 40 “African women with powerful, inspiring, and influential voices,” all of whom “create programs and policies that support the development and growth of African women and girls.”

Among the 2018 honourees are Cassava Republic founder and Brittle Paper 2018 Person of the Year Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Ugandan queer feminist and human rights activist Stella Nyanzi, Ake Festival founder and Brittle Paper 2017 Person of the Year Lola Shoneyin, and Panashe Chigumadzi, author of These Bones Will Rise Again and winner of the 2018 Brittle Paper Award for Essays & Think Pieces.

Also honoured are Zimbabwean women’s rights activist Nyari Mashayamombe, Togolese writer and activist Farida Nabourema, and Cameroonian activist and journalist MiMi Mefo Takambou who was jailed for covering the country’s Anglophone Crisis.

They are included alongside Ethiopian president Sahle-Work Zewde, Nollywood actress Genevieve Nnaji, Emmy-winning Orange Is the New Black actress Uzo Aduba, Nigerian musicians Weird MC and Emma Nyra, and MacArthur Grant winning performer Okwui Okpokwasili.

In previous years, AWP Network’s annual list had included Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Ms Afropolitan blogger Minna Salami in 2013 and Nnedi Okorafor in 2016.

Congratulations to the 2018 honourees.

See the full list on AWP Network.

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Otosirieze is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize and the 2019 Miles Morland Writing Scholarships. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is completing a postgraduate degree in African Studies, and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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