Forbes Afrique has listed Marie-Chantal Kaninda, Executive Director of the World Diamond Council (WDC), as one the continent’s 100 most influential women. Kaninda ranked number 14 on the annual list from Forbes Afrique, the French-language version of the influential economic periodical that focuses specifically on African affairs,
A native of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kaninda has served as WDC executive director since March 2017. Prior to joining the WDC, she was the chief adviser for external affairs, Africa, for Rio Tinto from 2012 to 2016. She has also held external affairs roles at De Beers and AngloGold. She has also consulted on community development projects in Africa, including successfully relocating a community in Angola, and implemented several stakeholder engagement strategic plans. Kaninda has also served as a board member of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI).
Highlighting Ms. Kaninda’s work to further the interests of individuals and communities involved in Africa’s mining sector, Forbes Afrique also cited aspects of her career such as the establishment of the MCKM Foundation, which focuses on education for girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); serving as a vice president of the DRC’s National Committee for Women’s Soccer; her role as chairperson of the British Congo Business Group (BCBG); and serving as chairperson of an Anti-Corruption Working Group for the private sector in the DRC.
“We are exceedingly proud of Marie-Chantal’s being recognized by Forbes Afrique, and privileged to have a person of her talent, experience and commitment at the head of WDC’s management team,” said Stephane Fischler, WDC President. “Throughout her long career, she has worked to improve the lives of Africa’s disadvantaged people, be they women, artisanal miners or individuals impacted by ongoing violence. Her belief that a country’s natural resources can fuel the development of all its people essentially embodies what we strive for in the WDC.”
“With this fifth edition of Africa's 100 Most Influential Women ranking, the presence of African women at the highest levels in all sectors is no longer a shadow of a doubt,” wrote Nadia Mensah-Acogny, the Forbes Afrique journalist who has been compiling the list since 2013. “But despite this, gender equality still leaves something to be desired and the finding is bitter. African women are still under-represented in the private sector. Like everywhere in the world, diversity remains a challenge for women in Africa. However, there is no need to despair, because beautiful energies are set up to get things done faster.”