Joyce Hilda Banda is a Malawian politician who was the President of Malawi from 7 April 2012 to 31 May 2014.
Banda took office as President following the sudden death of President Bingu wa Mutharika.
She is the founder and leader of the People’s Party, created in 2011.
An educator and grassroots women’s rights activist, she was the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2009 and the Vice-President of Malawi from May 2009 to April 2012.
She had served in various roles as a member of Parliament and as Minister of Gender and Child Welfare before she became the President of the Republic of Malawi.
Before her active career in politics, she was the founder of the Joyce Banda Foundation, founder of the National Association of Business Women (NABW), Young Women Leaders Network and the Hunger Project.
Banda was Malawi’s fourth president and its first female president and second female head of state, after Elizabeth II. She was the second woman to become the president in the African continent, after Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
She was also the country’s first female vice-president.
In June 2014, Forbes named President Banda as the 40th most powerful woman in the world and the most powerful woman in Africa.
In October 2014, she was included in the BBC’s 100 Women.