Yussur Abrar and Thuli Madonsela: Africa’s Female Whistleblowers

It was always my belief that if Africa were to change its bad reputation as the citadel of corrupt politicians and a haven for mismanaged foreign aid; it would have to be the continent’s women that lead the way.

And this is exactly what happened over the last month when two women of character, Yussur Abrar of Somalia and Thuli Madonsela of South Africa, have stunned the male-dominated corruption infested political systems of the two countries with their fearless actions.

Yussur Adan Abrar, an international banker with three decades of experience in banking, insurance, telecommunications and finance consultancy, was appointed as Somalia’s first female governor of the Central Bank in September 2013, a time when the international community pledged $2.4 billion to fund Somali’s infrastructural and fiscal reconstruction.

As a professional banker, Abrar knew very well the task ahead of her. To put simply it was the establishment of a comprehensive regulatory framework for the country’s financial system and to make the Somali Central Bank accountable for every dollar that reaches its coffers.

However, what she did not anticipate was that the government had appointed her as a ploy to use her stellar record to hoodwink the donor community by using her signature to legitimize shady financial dealings.

Abrar’s goal of cleaning the system had become an affront to the Somali politicians’ old norm of stealing and enriching themselves on foreign aid and the country’s tax revenues.