Nigerian warrior queen Amina ruled the 16th-century city-state Zazzau at a time when women leaders were hard to come by. Her 34-year-old reign saw her expanding her kingdom and developing trade routes. Some believe she was merely a mythical figure, but remnants of the walls she had built prove otherwise.
Fulani scholar, Sunni Islamic religious teacher, philosopher and revolutionary Usman Ɗan Fodio became the founder and first Sultan of Sokoto Caliphate in West Africa after defeating the Hausa Kingdoms in the Fulani War. Usman encouraged literacy and scholarship for both men and women. He is viewed as a Mujaddid by Muslims and considered the most significant reforming leader of Africa.