Woman of the year Zanzibar is an annual award honoring women and promoting female leadership

Woman of the year Zanzibar is a role model project making visible women who have accomplished leadership on different levels ranging from decisionmakers as politicians and entrepreneurs to successful women on social media platforms, an important key person in a smaller community or it could even be an influential girl in the school classroom.

The aim is to put a spotlight on inspiring women who already is or has a great potential to empower others and is recognized as a female role model.

In a 12-month nomination process female role models will be nominated every quarter (3 months). The nominees are selected by a local jury and will participate in a final vote partially decided by the jury and partially voted by the people of Zanzibar. The jury is a carefully selected group of persons with relevant backgrounds and influence in Zanzibar.

All 12 women will also be presented at the ceremony, and they are all winners, but one woman will be highlighted and given the title of Woman of the Year Zanzibar 2023.

Winner 2023

Bi Njuma

Bi Njuma, is a visionary at 59 and the founder of Kikundi in 2015 – she is by thevjury chosen as Woman of the year 2023. She is dedicated to empowering women through economic opportunities. With a background in crafting vyingu, she ventured into uplifting her community by establishing and leading four SACCOs, driven by her extensive training in cooperative societies. Passionate about inclusive development, Bi Njuma volunteers to educate and train people with disabilities in the art of vyingu crafting. Her commitment goes beyond, as she oversees the financial operations, ensuring sustainable growth and even supporting individuals in pursuing careers, like guiding someone to work at the airport. For Bi Njuma, SACCOs should be more than just cooperatives—they should be banks. Inspired by the overwhelming response, she dreams of transforming the SACCOs into powerful financial institutions, fostering diverse investments and empowering women to undertake various ventures, from construction to business travel. As the supervisor of the local vyingu crafting area, she ensures that women access loans for their diverse enterprises, creating a ripple effect of positive change in the community.

Awards 2023


Florence Riwa
Founder – Holding Hands Foundation


Coming soon.

Dr. Naufal Kassim Mohammed
Executive Secretary Zanzibar Outreach Program (ZOP)


Coming soon.

Dr. Naila Mberik
Head of ZOP’s OKOA Maisha (Breast Cancer Awareness) Program


Coming soon.

Najjat Omar
Senior Journalist – The Chanzo Zanzibar


Coming soon.

Ramadhan Suleiman
Editor – Zanzibar Leo


Coming soon.

Encourage young Women

An important task is to nominate and highlight women who are role models for other women. But also to reach out to the grassroots and the entire population of Zanzibar, not just those who are already successful in their careers.

To achieve this, we will collaborate with the Holding Hands Foundation and Florence Riwa. The Holding Hands Foundation will visit villages all over Zanzibar and Pemba where we can inform and tell about the Women of the Year Zanzibar campaign and search for candidates for the Young Woman of the Year Zanzibar prize.

To reach the young people, we will campaign on social media, where Instagram, Tik Tok, Snapchat, YouTube, and our own channels will help us reach the younger generation in society. In this way, we can reach everyone from young women in villages to good role models in important positions. We can engage and activate the entire population and create a culture where it is acceptable to dream of becoming a woman with a career and a future.

The goal of the campaign is also to inspire business leaders, organizations, the government, and other individuals to contribute to this important work.

For 2024, we want to
to award the following prizes:

Zanzibar Honorary Award 2024

This award is a prestigious one and should go to a person who has dedicated their life to fighting for women’s rights and equality in Zanzibar. For many years, they have tirelessly worked to raise awareness and promote women’s participation in society. The person may have been a driving force in changing laws and practices that discriminate against women and has also supported local organizations and initiatives working to improve women’s situation. Through their work, the person has contributed to increasing awareness of women’s rights and equality on the island and should be an inspiration to many women and men in the fight for equality and justice. The organization may choose not to award this prize if they do not find the right candidate.

Young Woman of the Year Zanzibar 2024

This award should go to a young woman between the ages of 16 and 25 who has engaged and is a role model for other women in her village or on the island of Zanzibar. She may have actively participated or worked to strengthen women’s rights and promote equality on the island. She may have engaged and participated in campaigns to increase awareness of women’s rights and encouraged women to engage in the public debate. Or she has been a spokesperson for young women’s rights and has worked to ensure that young women have access to education and job opportunities on an equal footing with men. In any case, this award should go to a young woman who has become an inspiring role model for young women in Zanzibar and has shown that young women can have a significant impact on the society around them and contribute to creating a better future for all.

Woman of the Year Zanzibar 2024

This award is intended for a woman who has built a successful career and become a role model for other women on the island of Zanzibar. She should have also contributed to strengthening women’s rights and protecting them against discrimination and violence. She may have been an advocate for increasing women’s access to education and job opportunities in Zanzibar and has inspired many women to pursue their dreams and careers. She could also be a woman who has been a strong spokesperson for women’s rights in public debates and has contributed to changing attitudes and practices that hinder women’s development and equality in Zanzibar. Most importantly, she should have been an inspiring role model for women in Zanzibar and shown that it is possible for women to achieve success and contribute to creating a better future for themselves, their families, and the community around them.

If you would like to contribute to the project or have suggestions for an inspiring women who have done something good for society and are recognized as a female role model and deserve to be honored, please send your suggestion with a good description to contact@womenofzanzibar.com


Our work has already been noticed outside Zanzibar as the governments of the Dominican Republic and Seychelles have contacted us based on the editorial coverage from the WOFTY – Zanzibar event. Subsequently they have made a request to start a similar project. We are in a current dialogue with them and will contribute as soon as we have established a well-functioning project in Zanzibar.