Her Excellency Dr Joyce Hilda Banda is a Malawian politician who was the President of Malawi from April 2012 to 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 4th president and its 1st female president. Before becoming president, she served as the country's 1st Female Vice-president. She was a member of parliament and Minister for Gender, Children's Affairs and Community Services. 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 2014, Forbes named President Banda as the 40th most powerful woman in the world and the most powerful woman in Africa.