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The much anticipated list of the top 40 under 40 women to watch has finally come out! This year’s edition has been meticulously done; it features stellar women who have left an indelible dent in the universe; they’ve inspired other women to take on life goals and work smart towards achieving them.

From enterprise managers to artistes, this list is deep in coverage. Huge congratulations to the team at Business Daily Africa for doing such a diligent job in appreciating the women to watch in the future.

1. Janet Mbugua – Ndichu (32)

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Janet Mbugua is one of the most prolific Kenyan media personalities. She has played a major role in setting the pace for women in the media industry; she has, with determination and admirable candor, shown that hard work pays. Her journey has been one of a kind. I personally have grown up admiring her; not just as a public figure but also as passionate woman  in societal issues. Her work with the Inua Dada initiative, her fashion brand Janet Collections, her powerful story as told on her blog ‘Janet The Journey’, and the fact that she’s married to a supportive husband is proof that she set her life priorities right.

2. Judith Nyambura (Avril) (29)

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Avril, as we all know her, is an amazing singer. Over the years, she has won many awards for her work in the music industry. She has taken the initiative to mentor young girls in her series of school tours as well as partnering with not-for-profit organisations in her line of interest. She is currently the ambassador for Oriflame Sweden, AMREF Kenya Goodwill Ambassador, spokesperson for “I Am Beautiful Campaign,” among other noble designations. She is on Coke Studio Africa season 2, a milestone achievement that will propel her career to another level as she is collaborating and learning from other top notch musicians from all over the continent.

3. Cecilia Mwangi (31)

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Cecilia came into the limelight when she was crowned Miss World Kenya in 2005. She went on to represent this great nation at the finals in China. Since then, she has been known for various community change programmes, among them the anti-jigger campaign. Her work has won her over 10 awards, such as the Young Women Achiever Award by UON and Humanitarian of the Year award (2009). She does this through Ahadi Trust, an organization she launched to facilitate her healthy feet campaign.

4. Elizabeth Wakesho Marami (26)

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I haven’t heard about a female Marine Pilot since I was born; she is the first. To be frank, this is a field that is little explored in Kenya. Elizabeth started her journey into this less trodden field by opting out of her Law Degree at UON to study a BSc. in Nautical Studies at the Arab Academy of Science, Technology and Maritime Transport in Alexandria, Egypt. She also returns to alma mater to take an MBA. She regrets the step as she has had monumental achievements along the way. She was one of the only two women doing the degree and is the first female to achieve the degree – from a non-Arab League member state.

5. Shiko Gitau (34)

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Shiko’s life-goal is to use her technology expertise to transform socio-economic conditions of low-income households. She does this in her capacity as a techpreneur at the African Development Bank, where she spearheads a programme that empowers young people and women by pushing governments and financial institutions to invest in them. She earned her PhD at 29, went on to work with Google Africa and helped iHub Africa come to life. She has been prominently featured by international media houses, including The Huffington Post, which named her among “Women in Tech to Watch.”

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