Who is Joyce Banda?
Joyce Hilda Banda (born 12 April 1950) is a Malawian politician who was the President of Malawi from 7 April 2012 to 31 May 2014. She is the founder and leader of the People's Party, created in 2011.
An educator and grassroots women's rights activist, she was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2009 and Vice-President of Malawi from May 2009 to April 2012.
Banda took office as President following the sudden death of President Bingu wa Mutharika. She was Malawi's fourth president and its first female president and second female head of state after Elizabeth II.
Banda was the second woman to become president on the African continent. Before becoming president, she served as the country's first female vice-president.
Before becoming the President of the Republic of Malawi, she had served in various roles as a Member of Parliament, Minister of Gender and Child Welfare, and as Foreign Minister.
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.
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.
In November 2016, Banda announced that she was willing to stand as a presidential candidate in the 2019 elections.