Alfarita Constania Anderson was born on July 25, 1946 to parents Cynthia “Beda” Jarett and Leroy Anderson in Cuba. Rita Marley, a solo artist and Bob Marley’s widow, is best known for carrying on her late husband’s musical legacy and establishing the
Bob and Rita Marley Foundations.  
Both foundations are focused on ending poverty and hunger in developing nations.

Living Legends Awardees

On Saturday, September 12, 2015, the AU/DAF, supported by the United Nations Global Company and the African Union Women, held it's 2nd African Women of Excellence Awards event at the historic Warwick Hotel  in New York, New York. Fourteen women of distinction who have excelled in their fields of expertise were honored during this illustrious ceremony.

was born in Zimbabwe and migrated to the United States after high school.  She holds a first degree in General Chemistry, a Masters Degree in Organic Chemistry as well as a Doctor of Medicine Degree. She is the CEO and Founder of Bell Family Medical Centers in Tennessee, United States of America where she has been practicing medicine for the past 22 years. Dr. Chihombori also founded Bell Medical Centres in Zimmbabwe and was the CEO from 1996 to 2012.
         In May of 2012, Dr. Chihombori was appointed Chair of the African Union- African Diaspora Health Initiative (AU-ADHI). In this capacity, her primary role is to mobilize African Diaspora healthcare professionals to assist in addressing the healthcare crisis on the continent of Africa.

Xernona Clayton is a civil rights leader and pioneering broadcasting executive best known as the founder and CEO of the Trumpet Awards (1993), an annual awards program televised by the TBS network and distributed internationally to over 185 countries.
Xernona and her twin sister Xenobia were the daughters of Rev. and Mrs. James Brewster, administrators of Indian affairs in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
 She was bestowed the title “Queen Mother” in Kumasi, Ghana due to her philanthropic activities. Ms. Clayton has built the Xernona Clayton School in the Kumasi region which has over 1000 students and continues to support the children’s home in the same area.

is a member of the African Union Economic and  Social Council  (ECOSOC) and formerly sat on the Parliament in Tunsia, representing North Africa.  She also sits on the Pan-African Parliament representing Tunisia.
     She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Masters Degree in Public Health.
     Ms Agrebi joined the Arab Labour Organisation where she served as the Director of the Bureau of the Arab Working Woman until 1987.
     She was appointed Director of Communication at the National Office for Family and Population, and then promoted to Deputy Director General in which capacity she served until 1995.
     In 1995, she acted as Deputy Director General of the Office of Tunisians Abroad, before being elected as Deputy in the Chamber of Deputies of Tunisia in 1999.

    Mrs. Salifu was born and educated in Ghana to the secondary and post secondary levels. She has 23 years experience in the Garment Industry. 
     In 1992, she founded Salma Garments Limited and made her mark as one of the foremost designers in Ghana. Since 1995 Salma's natural designing talent has been enhanced by her active participation in the USAID-sponsored Trade and Investment Reform Program (TIRP/IPEP) executed by the Washington, DC-based consulting firm, AMEX International Inc.
     In 2014, she founded and is CEO of Dignity Industries Limited. Dignity DTRT currently employs over 1, 200 workers with 40 Expatriate Staff coming from over 8 countries around the world, 85% of which are women. The company produces over 300,000 tee shirts a month for export to the USA under AGOA provisions.

The UN Women Division hosted the

African Women of Excellence

to a brief on their programs and development of strategies to enhance women in Africa.

The Executive Director, H.E. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, was also honored as a Woman of Excellence.

Ambassador Uche Joy Owu is currently the Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the United Nations. She served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2006-2007). In her professional capacity as Professor of Political Science and International Relations, she serves as the First Female Director-General of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy Think Tank - The Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) (2001-2006). In January 2002, she was a Member of the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters, culminating in her appointment as the First African female Chair of the Board from January 2006 – July 2007.

The African Women of Excellence Awards has established a

"Friends of Africa" Award

presented to women whose leadership is committed to cultural and gender empowerment in Africa.

Dr. Diane Kellogg is the first such recipient.

She initiated the Ghana Project at Bentley University in Boston, Massachusetts which introduces students to the potential for private business to address social problems and awards those who are exceptional in their dedication and service.

     With over 30 years of experience in public health and clinical pediatrics, Dr Taukali has provided Public Health, Child & Reproductive Health and HIV Service Delivery in Ghana, Zambia, Kenya, Rwanda, the US and UK.
     Dr. Tuakli was the Regional Pediatric consultant to US and refugees, HIV positive women and development needs of children. She also served over 20 years as clinical professor at Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital of Boston.
     Dr Tuakli instituted a seminal Child Health curriculum in West African Public Health programs and a highly successful, innovative community malaria prevention program. She is a WHO consultant in Neglected Tropical Diseases; has chaired the national Women's Initiative for Self-Empowerment-WISE, United Way of Ghana and remains an executive board member of Mercy Ships, International.
     In 2013, she became President of the Rotary Club of Accra (their first woman president) and President of Council of Presidents.  She is currently a Trustee for United Way Worldwide.

was born on 17 October 1945 in rural Incadine, Gaza Province, Portuguese East

Africa (modern-day Mozambique). Following Mozambique's independence in 1975, Ms. Machel was appointed Minister for Education and Culture.
     She received the 1995 Nansen Medal from the United Nations in recognition of her longstanding humanitarian work, particularly on behalf of refugee children. In 1998, she was one of the two winners of the North-South Prize.
     Ms. Machel currently serves as the chair of The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH).  She also serves as the chair of the Association of European Parliamentarians with (AWEPA) Africa Eminent Advisory Board.

 has been appointed the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations system in Kenya.
     Ms. Bekele-Thomas, an Ethiopian nationality, is a seasoned and experienced UN official and was until recently serving as the Resident Coordinator (RC) of the United Nations (UN) and Resident Representative (RR) of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in the Republic of Benin. She served as Officer-In-Charge of UNDP in Benin from 11/2008 to 06/2009.
     Over the last three decades, Mrs. Bekele-Thomas has also lived and served in various capacities: in Ethiopia, as Associate Liaison Officer with ECA and OAU (1979-82), and as Assistant Resident Representative in India (1987-88), and Bhutan (1988-89), Deputy Resident Representative a.i and Assistant Resident Representative in Comoros Islands (1989-90), and Republic of Benin (l990-93).

      Ms. Bekele-Thomas has a Masters Degree in Economic Development, Monetary Economics and Econometrics from New York University (NYU) and a Ph.D candidate also at NYU. She is the author of several papers and monographs and she is fully bilingual in French and English.


Justice Okabi was born in Imo State Nigeria.She had her Secondary Education in Holy Rosary Secondary School Ihoma Orlu, obtained a Bachelor Degree in Sociology/Economics from Howard University in Washington D.C. In 1968, and received a certificate in Community Mental Health from the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester New York in 1970.

     From 1968-1970, she was Assistant Director University of Rochester Mental Health Outreach Program.
     The Honorable Mrs. Okobi was the pioneer staff that established the national machinery for full integration of Women in Development and metamorphosed into the present Ministry of Women Affairs.
      In 2000 she was appointed as a judge of the national Industrial Court and for 10 years judicial activism at the court,  she presided on matters relating to trade disputes, interpretation of collective agreements, awards of the Industrial Arbitration Panel and other areas of jurisdiction assigned by law to the National Industrial Court until her retirement.