100 Most Reputable Africans: The list of the 100 Most Reputable Africans is evidence of the tenacity and resiliency of the African continent.
Announcing the 2024 list of 100 Most Reputable Africans;
Reputation Poll is an annual list of the continent’s most respected and admired individuals. This year’s list features a diverse group of individuals from various sectors, including politics, business, entertainment, and human rights advocacy. Impact, visibility, and integrity make up the selection criteria. From Pretoria University, Prof. Daniël Christiaan de Wet Swanepoel, Microbiologist Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum from the Congo Democratic Republic, Prof. Gebisa Ejeta Ethiopia, and Prof. Mohamed Hag Ali Hassan from Sudan.
Governance and Policy: Among them are Her Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan, the president of Tanzania; Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the former president of Liberia; and Hon. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, the deputy prime minister of Namibia.
- Business: Nigeria’s business mogul Femi Otedola, founder of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd.; Kenneth Sharpe, CEO of West Prop Holdings; and South Africa’s Vusi Thembekwayo CEO MyGrowthFund Venture Partners.
- Human Rights Advocacy: Leymah Roberta Gbowee from Liberia and Isatou Ceesay from the Gambia are featured.
- Leadership: from the Minister of Mines and Energy of Namibia, Hon. Tom Alweendo; Nigeria’s Dr. Paul Enenche Senior Pastor Dunamis International Gospel Centre , MD; and the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, South Africa, Ronald Lamola.
In addition to the individuals recognised on Reputation Poll International’s “100 Most Reputable Africans” list for their various achievements, there are also those who are celebrated for their contributions to social impact and social entrepreneurship, helping to transform businesses in Africa and positively impacting lives without causing controversy.
The list of the 100 Most Reputable Africans is evidence of the tenacity and resiliency of the African continent. It draws attention to the accomplishments of people who are trying to change the world and make a better life for others. The list serves as a source of inspiration for all Africans and a reminder of the numerous gifted and accomplished people who are changing the globe.
Below is the list of the 100 Most Reputable Africans in 2024 (list in alphabetical order):
1. Angelique Kidjo.
Beninese-French singer-songwriter and actress is a Beninese-French singer-songwriter, actress, and activist noted for her diverse musical influences and creative music videos. Kidjo has won five Grammy Awards. She is a 2023 Polar Music Prize laureate. Kidjo is fluent in five languages: Fon, French, Yorùbá, Gen (Mina), and English. She sings in all of them, and she also has her own personal language, which includes words that serve as song titles such as “Batonga”. “Malaika” is a song sung in the Swahili language. Kidjo often
uses Benin’s traditional Zilin vocal technique and vocalese. Photo credit: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au
2. Abderrahmane Sissako
Abderrahmane Sissako (born October 13, 1961) is a Mauritanian-born Malian film director and producer. His film Waiting for Happiness (Heremakono) was screened at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival official selection under Un Certain Regard, winning a FIPRESCI Prize.
His 2006 film Bamako received much attention. Sissako’s themes include globalisation, exile, and the displacement of people. His 2014 film Timbuktu was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or in the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
3. Abshir Aden Ferro
Abshir Aden Ferro is a candidate for the presidential race in Somalia since 2021 and is currently campaigning for the 2027 elections. His political platform is largely focused on establishing democratic elections and preventing the Al-Shabaab militant group from controlling the Somali government.
Ferro was born in Somalia in 1968. He moved to France at the age of twelve, where he became an entrepreneur and started several businesses.
While in London, Ferro married and founded an international security company called Fort Roche. He also owns the companies Abshir Advisors and Somsec. At first, he got involved in international politics by collaborating with the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the United Nations’ anti-piracy efforts, and others. He created the Somalian Alliance for the Future Party in 2019 and ran for the presidency of Somalia under that party in 2021, despite multiple attempts to assassinate him. Ferro’s presidential campaign focuses on universal suffrage, removing the militant group Al-Shabaab, and reducing corruption in Somalia through the use of international aid and donors. In Somalia, tribal leaders appoint deputies that vote for government appointees. The country has not had universal suffrage since 1969. Source:
4. Abdul Samad Isyaku Rabiu
Businessman and philanthropist Abdul Samad Isyaku Rabiu (CFR CON) is a billionaire from Nigeria.In the 1970s and 1980s, one of Nigeria’s most prominent businesspeople was his late father, Khalifah Isyaku Rabiu.
The founder and chairman of the Nigerian conglomerate BUA Group, which generates over $2.5 billion in income primarily from manufacturing, infrastructure, and agriculture, is Abdul Samad. In addition, he serves as the Nigerian Bank of Industry (BOI) chairman.
According to Forbes, Rabiu’s net worth was valued at $3.2 billion on July 7, 2020, ranking him 716th in the world’s billionaire’s club. He was reportedly Nigeria’s second-richest man in January 2022. With a stated net worth of $6.7 billion in April 2022, he was listed as the sixth richest man in Africa. Rabiu was said to have risen to the position of the fourth richest man in Africa in January 2023.
5. Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf
Since 2009, he has served as a judge and attorney from Somalia on the International Court of Justice. From 2018 until 2021, he presided over the court.
Prior to this, Yusuf held the following positions: Legal Advisor and Director of the Office of International Standards and Legal Affairs for UNESCO from March 2001 to January 2009; Legal Advisor (1994–1998) and Assistant Director General for African Affairs, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Vienna (1998–2001);
Representative and Head of the UNCTAD’s New York office (1992–1994); Chief of the UNCTAD’s Legal Policies Service (1987–1992); Legal Lecturer at the Somali National University (1974–1981) and at the University of Geneva (1981–1983); and Somali delegate to the Third United Nations.
6. Abdulrazak Gurnah FRSL
Abdulrazak Gurnah FRSL (born 20 December 1948) is a Tanzanian-born British novelist and academic. He was born in the Sultanate of Zanzibar and moved to the United Kingdom in the 1960s as a refugee during the Zanzibar Revolution. His novels include Paradise (1994), which was shortlisted for both the Booker and the Whitbread Prize; By the Sea (2001), which was longlisted for the Booker and shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and Desertion (2005), shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Gurnah was awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fates of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents”. He is Emeritus Professor of English and Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Kent.
7. Agnes Matilda Kalibata
She is a Rwandan agricultural scientist and policymaker, and president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). She served as Rwanda’s minister of agriculture and animal resources from 2008 to 2014 and began her tenure as president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in 2014. Kalibata served as Rwanda’s minister of agriculture and animal resources from 2008 to 2014.
Throughout her tenure, she promoted the use of science-based approaches to agriculture to increase food production and improve food security, with a focus on family farmers. She implemented policies, designed to connect farmers with neighbors and customers, as well as cooperative farming programs, and cow-sharing programs that made it easier for families to own cows. In the six years she was minister, Rwanda’s poverty level dropped more than 50 percent; its agricultural sector’s annual budget grew from under US$10 million to over US$150 million; and Rwanda became the first country to sign a compact under the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (an initiative of the African Union Commission).
8. Alek Wek
Alek Wek is a South Sudanese-British model and designer who began her fashion career at the age of 18 in 1995. She has been hailed for her influence on the perception of beauty in the fashion industry. She is from the Dinka ethnic group in South Sudan, but fled to Britain in 1991 to escape the civil war in Sudan. In 2015, she was listed as one of the BBC’s 100 Women. After arriving in London at age 14, Alek’s psoriasis immediately cleared.
She enrolled in the London College of Fashion and studied Fashion Business and Technology.
Alek was discovered at an outdoor market in 1995 in Crystal Palace, London by a Models 1 scout. She appeared in the music video for “GoldenEye” by Tina Turner that year, and shortly thereafter began fashion modeling. She was signed to Ford Models in 1996 and also appeared in the “Got ‘Til It’s Gone” music video by Janet Jackson that year. She was named “Model of the Year” in 1997 by MTV, and was the first African model to appear on the cover of Elle that year.
9. Ann Peacock.
Ann Peacock was born and raised in South Africa where she obtained an undergraduate degree majoring in English Literature and Speech &Drama and later, a Law degree from the University of Cape Town. After teaching at the University of Cape Town Law Faculty, Ann emigrated with her family to Los Angeles.
Tends to write screenplays and/or adapt stories which deal with social justice or civil righs.
10. Armstrong Ume Takakang (Dr)
Dr. Armstrong, currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria’s Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI), has established a distinguished career marked by dynamic leadership and strategic innovation.
Prior to assuming his role at MOFI, he was a Special Adviser to the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning. In this capacity, he played a pivotal role in the reform of MOFI. His leadership was instrumental in evolving MOFI from a mere registry of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) investments to a trusted and respected custodian and Manager of FGN investment assets with a cumulative total of forty portfolio companies worth over $40 billion under management and counting. Before that, he served as the CEO of Growth Alliance Partners (GAP), a pan-African entity specializing in enhancing Private Equity-backed businesses.
Under his leadership at GAP, Dr Armstrong Takang was instrumental in revitalizing several hitherto loss-making to profitable business enterprises, significantly boosting shareholder value. His extensive experience spans over several decades in the realms of executive and investment management and public sector reform. This journey has taken him across various sectors in Africa and to the United States, including the financial services practice at KPMG’s New York Office. Dr. Armstrong’s collaborative expertise is evident in his significant contributions to national projects.
11. Berhane Asfaw
Berhane Asfaw is an Ethiopian palaeontologist of Rift Valley Research Service, who co-discovered human skeletal remains at Herto Bouri, Ethiopia later classified as Homo sapiens idaltu, proposed as an early subspecies of anatomically modern humans. Asfaw’s father was the Secretary General of Gondar.
He has five brothers and eight sisters. Asfaw was raised in the Kebele Hulet neighborhood in Gondar.
He spent his free time riding a bike and playing football He completed primary and secondary education in Gondar town, Ethiopia.
When he was as 9th grade student, he was exposed to the field of human evolution. A history teacher who read to the class about the discoveries of Zinjantohrpus (Australopithecus boisei) and Homo habilis by the Leakeys, published by the National Geographic Society. This information ignited his interest in the field of study.
12. Bience Philomina Gawanas
Bience (born 1956) is a Namibian lawyer who served as Special Adviser on Africa for the United Nations from 2018 to 2020.
Earlier in her career, Gawanas served as Commissioner for Social Affairs at the AfricanUnion Assembly of Heads of State and Government, from 2002 to 2012. She was aCommissioner on the Public Service Commission in Namibia from 1991 to 1996, and an Ombudswoman in the Namibian Government from 1996 to 2003.
She has also been a lecturer in Gender Law at the University of Namibia, Director of the Board of the Central Bank of Namibia, and involved in many non-governmental organizations including Secretary-General of the Namibian National Women’s Organization and patron of Namibian Federation of Persons with Disabilities. As Chairperson of the Law Reform Commission she oversaw the passage of the Married Persons’ Equality Act. The commission also did extensive work on Rape Acts and other important laws that were eventually passed after her time.
13. Catherine Uju Ifejika
When corporate discussions of women who have broken the glass ceiling in the rear fields of the global Oil and Gas Industry, Mrs. Uju Ifejika comes to mind. A lawyer and legal expert in the Nigerian and global oil subsector, this exceptional and ethical leader broke the glass ceiling by becoming, so far, the first and only woman to own and operate as the Chairmanand C.E.O. of a global cutting-edge upstream E & P company in Nigeria. Her career in the Petroleum Industry started when she was admitted into Texaco Nigeria Plc. Thereafter she was retained at Texaco’s Legal Department as Junior Counsel. She rose to become Senior Counsel in 1989 and Acting General Counsel from 1991 to 1993. Thereafter, she was promoted to the position of Company Secretary/ Public & Government Affairs Manager in 1997 (the first and only person to hold three key positions in one). In 2001, when Chevron Inc and Texaco Inc. merged to become one entity, her portfolio for Government and Public Affairs responsibilities were extended to cover West African subregion ie (Nigeria, Cameroon, Togo, Benin, Cote D’Ivoire, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In September 30th, 2007, she elected to take a voluntary early retirement after a career spanning over 21 years. Thereafter, in October of the same year, she joined Brittania-U
Nigeria Limited as Chairman/CEO and has since steered the indigenous Oil and Gas Company to its current market leading position. Formerly on the Board of Directors of the Federal Ministry of Arts and Culture (2001-2002), Catherine’s leadership of Brittania-U has brought a number significant ‘first’. Mrs. Catherine is the first female owner and operator of an indigenous Oil and Gas Company. She has set up six subsidiary companies in twelve (12) years. In addition, she has received numerous awards for good governance and management in Nigeria, Ghana, Turkey, USA, UAE and Europe, to mention but a few.
14. Claude Joséphine Rose Cardinal.
She is known as Claudia Cardinale(born 15 April 1938), is an Italian actress.Born and raised in La Goulette, a neighbourhood of Tunis, Cardinale won the “Most Beautiful Italian Girl inTunisia” competition in 1957, the prize being a trip to Italy, which quickly led to filmcontracts, due above all to the involvement of Franco Cristaldi, who acted as her mentor for anumber of years and later married her. After making her debut in a minor role with the Egyptian star Omar Sharif in Goha (1958), Cardinale became one of the best-known actresses in Italy with roles in films such as Rocco and His Brothers (1960), Girl with a Suitcase (1961), Cartouche (1962), The Leopard (1963), and Fellini’s 8½ (1963). Cardinale’s first film work was participating, along with classmates, in a short film by French director René Vautier, Anneaux d’or, successfully presented at the Berlin Film Festival. The film made her a minor local celebrity, and led to her being spotted by Jacques Baratier, who offered her a minor role in Goha. She accepted it reluctantly after Baratier explained he wanted a Tunisian actress rather than an Italian to star in the main role opposite the Egyptian actor Omar Sharif. The appearance nonetheless marked her feature-film debut. The turning point came in 1957 during the Italian Cinema Week in Tunis, when she won a competition for the “Most Beautiful Italian Girl in Tunisia”, with a trip to the Venice Film Festival as first prize.
15. Constance Connie Ferguson.
She is a South African based Motswana actress, filmmaker, producer and businesswoman. She is best known for her role as “Karabo Moroka” on South Africa’s most popular soap opera, Generations. She starred on the show from its start in 1994 until she exited in 2010. In 2014, she reprised her role on the show after a 4-year absence for a short term.
Ferguson was on the cover of Forbes Woman Africa magazine in 2018. In 1994, she began acting a main role of Karabo Moroka, the wife of Tau Mogale and sister to Archie Moroka, in the most popular South African soap opera, Generations.
She starred alongside Menzi Ngubane, Slindile Nodangala and Sophie Ndaba. In 2010, after playing the lead role of Karabo Moroka for 16 years, Connie announced her departure from Generations “to pursue other career options”. Ferguson left Generations on a good note as she returned to the soapie four years later to help relaunch Generations: The Legacy. In 2023 there was a report that Connie Ferguson is set to be making a return in the soapie.
16. Cynthia V Davis CBE
Cynthia V Davis CBE has made it her mission to create equal career opportunities for all. Cynthia founded Diversifying Group (formerly BAME Recruitment) in 2015, after the realisation that her daughter would be met with the same career challenges as she had experienced as a woman of colour. She left her secure and successful career as a recruiter behind in a quest for a more inclusive, ambitious vision.She is widely recognised for her untiring advocacy within Diversity and Inclusion, including most recently in 2023, being awarded a CBE for services to Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion.Diversifying Group is a Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Services organisation transforming the world of work for a more accepting future. They provide Talent Attraction, Recruitment Marketing, Executive Search, Events, Training, Diversity Partnerships & Consultancy Services. Cynthia is a pioneer in the D&I field, providing the right authenticity to be a critical but supportive friend. Out of the office, she lends her powerful oration skills to panels, workshops, & keynote speeches – an expert at sharing her journey and inspiring others. Cynthia is a tireless champion for D&I in all areas of her life; she is fellow of St George’s College Leadership. She is currently a Trustee at children’s charity, Over the Wall and former Chair of the Board for literary social enterprise, Pop Up, and previously served as an International Board Advisor for meditation app, Headspace.
17. Danai Jekesai
Born on February 14, 1978, Danai Jekesai Gurira is an American-Zimbabwean actress and dramatist. Her most well-known performances are as Okoye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero movie Black Panther (2018) and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) and as Michonne in the AMC horror drama series The Walking Dead (2012–2020, 2022). In addition, Gurira wrote the script for the Broadway production Eclipsed, for which she received a Tony Award nomination for Best Play. Gurira gave acting and playwriting classes in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Liberia. When she was a senior at Macalester College in 2001, she gave one of her first noteworthy performances. Gurira participated in a Dale Ricardo Shields-directed and choreographed performance of the Ntozake Shange play For Coloured Girls Who Have Considered Suicide . She focused a lot on her academics and her classes, and you can see the same qualities in her performance in “Black Panther.
18. Daniël Christiaan de Wet Swanepoel (Prof)
He is a South African professor of Communication Pathology at the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology University of Pretoria and a Senior Researcher at the Ear Science Institute Australia. He is a member of African Academy of Sciences and a recipient of 2018 African Academy of Sciences Olusegun Obasanjo Prize and Silver (S2A3) British Association Medal.
Prof Swanepoel, of the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology in the Faculty of Humanities at UP, won the 2020 Olusegun Obasanjo Prize for Scientific Breakthrough and/or Technological Innovation. “It is an honour to receive this prestigious award; it serves as further inspiration to see access to healthy hearing become a reality for every African,” he said. He is the third South African to win this award, and will receive a
prize of $5 000 (about R75 000). Prof Swanepoel has collaborated on and conducted several research studies on using smartphone technologies to provide equitable access to hearing healthcare services, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Four years ago, his team developed a world- first smartphone app called hear ZA, which enables people to test their hearing within three minutes. If hearing loss is detected, the app recommends the nearest audiologist. “The app’s accuracy to identify hearing loss exceeds 90% and generates a personal profile, allowing users to track their hearing ability over time,” explains Prof Swanepoel.
19. David Moinina Sengeh.
David is a politician from Sierra Leone who was appointed by President Julius Maada Bio to the position of chief minister in 2023. Prior to this, he held the positions of Chief innovation officer for the Directorate of Science, Technology, and Innovation and Minister of basic and senior secondary education.
A TED Senior Fellow, he is. Sengeh received an offer to work on data-driven healthcare at IBM in Africa. He developed healthcare technologies for Africa while working at IBM Research’s newest lab in Johannesburg and Nairobi. Sengeh is investigating the application of artificial intelligence because there are less than 50 doctors for every 100,000 people in Africa. He collaborated with KwaZulu-Natal University’s Waheeda Banu Saib. In collaboration with the Port Loko Health Management Team, he created an online platform that lets districts keep an eye on the Ebola outbreak.
20. Debra Mallowah.
Kenya’s Debra Mallowah has been appointed as the new Vice president for Coca- Cola’s East and Central African franchise, effective since February 15, 2021. The role based in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, will see Mallowah oversee the development and implementation of business strategies across the East and Central African franchise for the global soft-drinks company.
President of Coca- Cola Africa operating unit, Bruno Pietracci, described Mallowah as “ a highly accomplished leader’’ with a wealth of experience gained within leading multinational entities. Mallowah has held senior leadership positions in fast-moving consumer goods, including the beverage industry, manufacturing and tech companies. She notes that “a lot has changed around the environment we operate in especially in the last year driven by the ongoing pandemic, but there are many growth opportunities for the Coca- Cola business and that is my focus.” According to her LinkedIn page, she worked as General Manager for GSK (GlaxoSmithkline) between 2016 and 2019. Prior to that, she was Vice President in charge of “Personal Care’” at Unilever Africa. Between 2010 and 2013, Mallowah was Group Marketing and Innovation Director with Diageo East Africa.
21. Diébédo Francis Kéré.
He is a Burkinabé-German architect, recognized for creating innovative works that are often sustainable and collaborative in nature(born 10 April 1965) . In 2022, he became the first African to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize. Educated at the Technical University of Berlin, he has lived in Berlin since 1985.
Parallel to his studies, he established the Kéré Foundation (formerly Schulbausteine für Gando), and in 2005 he founded Kéré Architecture. His architectural practice has been recognized internationally with awards including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (2004) for his first building, the Gando Primary School in Burkina Faso, and the Global Holcim Award for Sustainable Construction 2012 Gold.
From October 2010 until January 2011 models and photos of Kéré’s projects were featured at an exhibition entitled ‘Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement’, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In June 2010, Kéré took part at the International Congress of Architecture and Society in Pamplona, entitled ‘Architecture: more for less’.
22. Denis Mukwege (Dr)
(March 1, 1955) is a Pentecostal pastor and Congolese gynaecologist. He established Panzi Hospital in Bukavu and is employed there, treating women who have been sexually assaulted by armed rebels. The Nobel Peace Prize was shared in 2018 by Mukwege and Yazidi human rights activist Nadia Murad of Iraq for “their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict”.
Panzi Hospital has treated over 82,000 patients with complicated gynaecological trauma and injury since its founding. The majority of patients at this time are from conflict areas, and it is estimated that sexual violence committed as a weapon of war accounts for 60% of these injuries. According to Mukwege, his patients frequently showed up at the hospital in appalling conditions and occasionally in their undies.
During the crisis in the late 1990s, Mukwege saw that many armed groups were using genital damage as a weapon of war. As a result, he dedicated his career to reconstructive surgery to assist female victims of sexual abuse. Funds and medications have been provided by the German Institute for Medical Mission (DIFAEM) to assist Mukwege’s efforts.
23. Drolor Bosso Adamtey (HRM)
HRM Drolor Bosso Adamtey is a North Carolina preacher and author, and the Suapolor (“pathfinder” or “waymaker”)] of the Se (Shai) Traditional Area in the Dangme West District of Ghana, West Africa, where he carries the title “Drolor” and the royal name Bosso Adamtey I.
He is the first chancellor of the University of Professional Studies. He is a speaker and consultant in the areas of international relations, resource mobilization, conflict resolution, social justice, leadership, globalization, and African economic development. HRM speaking engagements include a presentation at the 2009 World Congress of Families in Amsterdam, and he attended the Oxford Round table.
24. Ebenezer Bonyah
Prof. Bonyah is an Associate Professor at the Department of Mathematics Education, Akenten Appiah-Menka University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development Kumasi Ghana, formerly of the University of Education Winneba, College of Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. He undertook a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Programme at Vaal Technology University, South Africa in the Department of Mathematics in the year 2016. He
obtained his Ph.D. Degree in Applied Mathematics from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana in 2014. He graduated with an MSc. Industrial Mathematics from KNUST in 2010. Bonyah serves as a Reviewer of many International Accredited Journals across the world and serves as an editorial board member of eight (8) peer-reviewed journals. He has participated in many international conferences including plenary speaker in recent conferences organized in India. The Researcher has over one hundred and eighty (180) publications in referenced journals and three book chapters to his credit. His research interests are Mathematical Biology, Fractional Differential Equations, Optimal Control Theory, Dynamical Systems, Chaotic Theory and Ordinary Differential Equation and Mathematics Education.
25. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema
She is a Tanzanian biodiversity leader and lawyer, living in Montreal, Canada, who has been serving as Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) since 2023, under the leadership of Executive Director Inger Andersen. From 2020 to 2022, Mrema was executive secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); she was the first African woman to hold this role. She
previously held numerous leadership positions within UNEP. From 2012, Mrema served as deputy director of the Ecosystems Division at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). In this position she was tasked with overseeing the organization’s coordination, operations, and programme delivery. She was then appointed Director of the Law Division at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in June 2014. In 2018 she additionally served as acting director of the Corporate Services Division. She was the Director of the Law Division and has worked with UNEP for over two decades. In November 2019, Mrema served an interim position as Officer in Charge of the CBD Secretariat. Starting in December 2019, Mrema served as Acting Executive Secretary of
the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat. In July 2020 it was announced that she would be appointed the Executive Secretary role.
26. Paul Enenche (DR)
Dr Paul Enenche is the founder and senior pastor of Dunamis International Gospel Centre, (DIGC) Head Quartered in Abuja, Nigeria. Dr Paul who was trained as a Medical doctor but called into full time ministry by God, preaches every Sunday to over 100, 000 members in Abuja in the Glory Dome, and through the network of satellite churches to millions in Nigeria and beyond.
Dr Paul Enenche is married to the ever smiling wife, Dr Becky Enenche and they have 4 children. Dr Paul has the mandate of Restoring human destiny and dignity by the administration of the benefits of redemption through the ministry of the word and the demonstration of power.
27. Eric Nyamekye.
He is the sixth chairman of The Church of Pentecost (COP), the biggest Pentecostal denomination in West Africa. He is also an apostle and a televangelist from Ghana. In addition to being the Chancellor of Pentecost University, he serves as President of the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council. He graduated with a master of arts in religious studies from the University of Ghana, Legon, a postgraduate diploma in applied theology from the University of Manchester, UK, and a diploma in human resource management from the Institute of Commercial Management, UK. Between 1999 until 2005, he was dispatched on missions to the Republic of South Africa. He was then summoned back to Ghana and placed in East Legon, where he worked as a district pastor until 2008. He served as the resident minister of the Pentecost International Worship Center’s Atomic branch until 2011. Later, he was elevated to the position of Apostle and served as the area leader of Tamale from 2011 to 2015.
28. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
She is a Liberian politician who served as the 24th president of Liberia from 2006 to 2018. Sirleaf was the first elected female head of state in Africa. Sirleaf was born in Monrovia to a Gola father and Kru-German mother. She was educated at the College of West Africa. She completed her education in the United States, where she
studied at Madison Business College, the University of Colorado Boulder, and Harvard University. She returned to Liberia to work in William Tolbert’s government as Deputy Minister of Finance from 1971 to 1974. Later, she worked again in the West, for the World Bank in the Caribbean and Latin America. In 1979, she received a cabinet
appointment as Minister of Finance, serving to 1980. She won the 2005 presidential election and took office on 16 January 2006. She was re- elected in 2011. She was the first woman in Africa elected as president of her country. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011, in recognition of her efforts to bring women into the peacekeeping process. She has received numerous other awards for her leadership. In June 2016, Sirleaf was elected as the Chair of the Economic Community of West African States, making her the first woman to hold the position since it was created.
29. Emmanuel Mark Kembe.
He was born January 9, 1969, in Wau, Western Bahr el-Ghazal, New Sudan the now Republic of South Sudan. Kembe lived in exile since 1994–2005 and has been recognized in the stream media due to his songs beginning with Shen Shen his first album. Kembe has performed songs about patriotism, peace and the reconstruction of the country and as a peace activist, he has majored in the cultural as well as diverse issues affecting the Country of South Sudan. He has performed in various concerts such as that organized by United Nations. He has carried out peace concerts aimed at bringing people together in the small country like South Sudan. Comedy for Peace organized by UNMISS had him perform in order to build connections and unity.
30. Eric Y. Danquah.
Eric Yirenkyi Danquah is a Professor of Plant Genetics at the Department of Crop Science of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, University of Ghana. He is a recipient of the University of Ghana Distinguished Award for Meritorious Service, 2013, a member of the IAEA’s Standing Advisory Group on Nuclear Applications, the 2018 Laureate, Global Confederation of Higher Education Associations for Agriculture and Life Sciences (GCHERA) World Agriculture Prize and the President of the African Plant Breeders Association. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia and a Visiting Scientist at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University. He was a Visiting Scientist at the BBSRC-Long Ashton Research Institute, UK from 2000 to 2001. Currently, he serves as the Director of the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement, established in the University in 2007 as a consequence of his shared vision and leadership to train a new generation of plant breeders to develop improved varieties of the staple crops of West and Central Africa.
31. Euvin Naidoo
Naidoo currently serves as the Distinguished Prof. of Practice for Accounting, Risk and Agility at the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Naidoo is a celebrated management Professor and business thinker with his work focusing on financial performance, board governance, innovation and digital transformation. In Jan 2024, he launched Thunderbird’s first AI program, “AI & the Future of Work” in Arizona. Splitting his time between the USA, Africa and the Middle East, Prof. Naidoo currently serves as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council (GFC) on the Future of Job Creation. GFC’s are viewed as among the world’s most prestigious think tanks, gathering global experts from across fields to tackle the globe’s most pressing challenges. Naidoo is an alum of the Harvard Business School (HBS) where he received the distinguished African alumni achievement award. A veteran global banker, risk expert and management consultant, he started his career in 1990s when he was among the first black South Africans to join McKinsey South Africa supporting many of continent’s leading companies expand locally and abroad. He moved from consulting to banking in the early 2000s to help support the vanguard of the economic transformation across the continent and also be a part of financial services sector which was a key enabler supporting the first wave of black economic empowerment transactions. He served as part of the senior leadership teams for both Standard Bank and the Barclays Africa Group where he was Head of Strategy across Barclays Africa covering an African footprint from East to West to Southern Africa. He has also successfully managed one of the largest banking risk and credit portfolios in emerging markets, successfully navigating multiple cross-border and country risk matters also serving as Head of Risk Appetite across 17 African countries. Naidoo moved from Barclays to become the first South African MD and Partner for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to co-lead the Banking, Insurance and Public Sector practices for Africa based out of Johannesburg. He moved in 2019 to the USA to become a full time Professor at his alma mater the Harvard Business School, where he successfully taught the core MBA program on financial reporting and controls and pioneered Harvard Business School’s first short intensive program “From Agile to OKRs” before joining Thunderbird as Distinguished Prof. of Global Accounting, Risk and Agility where he was also appointed Director of Thunderbird’s Case Series which recently received the accolade of being ranking Top Twenty globally for impact. Forbes has previously named Naidoo one of the African continent’s Top 10 most Powerful and Influential men (“Powermen”) of his generation and Columbia University’s Journal of International Affairs has recognized Naidoo as one of the “Five faces of African Innovation”. Naidoo’s watershed opening talk at TEDGlobal in Arusha, Tanzania on investing in Africa, (attended by global leaders like Larry Page of Google, Bono, Jane Goodall and the Omidyars), remains one of the most watched keynotes on Africa, and the conference, has been viewed by many as playing a key role in helping shift the global dialogue at that time from one of aid to trade.
32. Femi Otedola
Olufemi Peter Otedola CON (born 4 November 1962) is a Nigerian businessman and philanthropist. He is the former chairman of Forte Oil PLC, and is the current executive chairman of Geregu Power PLC. Otedola is also the founder of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, and the owner of a number of other businesses across shipping, real
estate and finance. He has recently invested in power generation as part of the liberalization of the sector in Nigeria. In 2003, having identified an opportunity in the fuel retail market, Otedola secured the finance to set up Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, petroleum products marketing and Distribution Company. In 2007, Otedola was appointed chairman and chief executive of Africa Petroleum through the acquisition of a controlling stake in the business.
In December that year he personally acquired a further 29.3 per cent of the company for N40 billion. A merger of this personal holding with Zenon’s brought Otedola’s total stake to 55.3 per cent. In December 2010, African Petroleum rebranded, changing its name to Forte Oil PLC. Otedola carried out a restructuring of the business, focusing on technology and improved corporate governance. Forte Oil returned to profit in 2012. Otedola is chief
executive and president of SeaForce Shipping Company Ltd and was at one point Nigeria’s largest ship owner after extending control over the distribution of diesel products. One of his ships, a flat bottomed bunker vessel with a storage capacity of 16,000 metric tonnes, was the first of its kind in Africa.
33. Folorunsho Alakija
She is a Nigerian businesswoman and Nigeria’s first female billionaire with a net worth of $2.5 billion (March 2014). She’s the Executive Vice Chairman of Famfa Oil Limited (oil exploration and production company). She is also Group Managing Director of The Rose of Sharon Group which consists of The Rose of Sharon Prints & Promotions Limited and Digital Reality Prints Limited.
Her career began in the mid 1970’s as a secretary at the now-defunct International Merchant Bank of Nigeria, one of the West African nation’s earliest investment banks. In the 1980s, after studying fashion design in England, she founded Supreme Stitches, a Nigerian fashion label that catered to upscale. In May 1993, her company Famfa Limited, applied for and was granted an Oil Prospecting License (OPL) on a 250,000 hectares (617,000 acres) block. Now referred to as OPL 216, it is located approximately 220 miles southeast of Lagos and 70 miles
offshore Nigeria in the central Niger Delta. It is one of Nigeria’s most prolific oil blocks.
34. Fransisco Aupa Indongo
(born January 15 1936), is a Namibian businessman and former politician. He owns Continental Enterprises, Indongo Toyota, Frans Indongo Gardens, Farm Gelukwater, Select Service and Gas Station and various shares in mining and fishing companies in Namibia. He is the father-in-law of lawyer Sisa Namandje and banker Wosman Hamukonda. He is third on the list of Namibia’s top ten richest people, behind the Pupkewitz and Olthaver & List
families. Indongo entered politics in the 1970s as a leading member of the National Democratic Party, which became part of the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance following the completion of the Turnhalle Constitutional Conference in 1977. At the Turnhalle Conference, Indongo was an important member of the Ovamboland delegation. He was Minister of Economic Affairs in the Owambo legislative assembly from 1975 and from 1980 a Minister in the Owambo Second Tier Representative Authority. In 1982, he was a founding member of the Christian Democratic Action for Social Justice, led by Peter Kalangula. He resigned from politics in the late 1980s to manage his business affairs.
35. Fred Swaniker
Born in Ghana in 1976, Fred Swaniker is a seasoned leader development specialist and serial entrepreneur dedicated to assisting the most exceptional talent on the planet in realising their full potential. As principal of a secondary school that his mother had created when he was seventeen, Swaniker understood the value of education and leadership and thought that strong leadership was what Africa lacked. He founded the African Leadership Group, an ecosystem of organisations that is spurring the emergence of a new generation of morally-responsible, enterprising African leaders, in order to address that issue. He has established and oversaw
the pre-university African Leadership Academy in South Africa, the African Leadership University, which has campuses in Rwanda and Mauritius, the African Leadership Network, ALX, a platform for next-generation leadership development, and The Room, a global community of top talent, over the course of the last 16 years. By 2035, these initiatives hope to develop 3 million African leaders and change Africa. In addition, he recently revealed a partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to power The Room’s intelligence platform and broaden ALG’s ability to connect millions of brilliant people with employment prospects by onboarding them from Latin America, Africa, Asia, North America, and Europe.
36. Amb. Gabriel Tanimu Aduda.
Amb. Aduda is a Nigerian civil servant currently serving as the Permanent Secretary of the FederalMinistry of Petroleum Resources (Nigeria), where he plays a crucial role in overseeing the operations and policies of the ministry. Additionally, Aduda holds the esteemed position of OPEC Governor for Nigeria, representing the country’s interests in the 186th Ordinary Meeting of the OPEC Conference of Ministers. Aduda was named Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria in 2021. In December 2020, he was transferred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after serving as the Permanent Secretary in the Nigerian Ministry of Youth and Sports. He held positions as Head of Strategy and Reorientation at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Director, Economic Research and Policy Management at the Federal Ministry of Finance (Nigeria) before being appointed Permanent Secretary.
37. Gebisa Ejeta.
Prof Gebisa Ejeta (born 1950) is an Ethiopian American plant breeder, geneticist and Professor at Purdue University. In 2009, he won the World Food Prize for his major contributions in the production of sorghum. Working in Sudan during the early 1980s, Ejeta developed Africa’s first commercial hybrid variety of sorghum tolerant to drought. Later, with a Purdue University colleague in Indiana, he discovered the chemical basis of the
relationship between the deadly parasitic weed striga and sorghum, and was able to produce sorghum varieties resistant to both drought and striga. On 2011 President Barack Obama appointed Gebisa Ejeta as Member, Board for International Food and Agricultural Development. The National Medal of Science was awarded to Ejeta by President Biden in 2023.
38. George Akuffo Dampare
(born July 14, 1950) is a police officer and certified accountant from Ghana. On July 21, 2021, President Nana Akufo-Addo named him as the interim Inspector General of Police of the Ghana Police Service, with effect from August 1, 2021. James Oppong-Boanuh, who had been in the position since October 2019, was replaced. Dampare is the fourth Republic of Ghana’s youngest Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the eighth youngest since Ghana’s independence. Dampare has held lecturing positions at the DataLink University College, Regent University College, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), and University of Cape Coast (UCC). Additionally, he is one of the founding instructors at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) at Kumasi’s Business School.
39. Gideon Boko Duma.
He is a Botswana politician who serves as the president of both the Botswana National Front (BNF) and the main opposition alliance, the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). He was the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly from 2014–2019. He is a lawyer and jurist. Duma Boko attained the presidency of the BNF in 2010. He led the creation of the Umbrella for Democratic Change, an alliance of the main opposition parties in Botswana. He ran as the alliance’s president in Botswana’s elections in 2014 and 2019. Boko became the leader of the Botswana National Front (BNF) in 2010. His position and party membership was challenged on the grounds that when the BNF split in 2000, he had become a founding member of the National Democratic Front (NDF). If proven, this would, according to the BNF constitution, disqualify him from a leadership position in the party for three years after re-joining it. He prevailed in court. He inherited a party that was in decline under the leadership of Otsweletse Moupo.
40. Gilbert Houngbo
Togolese politician and diplomat Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo was prime minister of Togo from September 2008 to July 2012. He was born on February 4, 1961. Additionally, he has held a number of posts with the United Nations System, including those with the International Labour Office, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). He was chosen to serve as the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) eleventh director general in 2022. Prior to being named UNDP Chief of Staff in 2003, Houngbo served as Director of Finance and Administration for the UNDP and was a member of the Strategic Management Team. On December 29, 2005, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed him as Assistant Secretary-General of the UN, Assistant Administrator of the UNDP, and Director of the UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa. Following his term as Prime Minister of Togo, Houngbo returned to the United Nations System in 2013 as Deputy Director-General for Field Operations and Partnership at the International Labour Office.
41. Ibukun Awosika.
Ibukun Awosika is the Chairman, Board of Directors, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and most valuable banking brand. She is also the founder and CEO of The Chair Centre Group. The companies in the group include: The Chair Centre Limited, Sokoa Chair Centre Limited, Furniture Manufacturers Mart, TCC Security Systems and Cubes and Boxes Limited. These companies are involved in manufacturing, retail and bank-way security systems services. Ibukun chairs a number of corporate and not-for-profit boards amongst which are: GEMS Africa, House of Tara International and Afterschool Graduate Development Centre (AGDC), a facility which she promoted to help address youth employability and enterprise issues in Nigeria. She sits on the boards of Cadbury Nigeria Plc. Digital Jewel Limited and Convention on Business Integrity (CBI). She was Chairman,
FBN Life Assurance Limited, FBN Capital Limited and Kakawa Discount House Limited. She also served on the board of Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).
42. Isatou Ceesay
Isatou Ceesay (born 1972) is a Gambian activist and social entrepreneur, popularly referred to as the Queen of Recycling. She initiated a recycling movement called One Plastic Bag in the Gambia. Through this movement, she educated women in The Gambia to recycle plastic waste into sellable products that earned them income. In Washington, DC, the United States, she received the International Alliance for Women Difference Maker Award in 2012. Her narrative was included in a book with illustrations by Elizabeth Zunon and writing by Miranda Paul.
43. Jahman Oladejo Anikulapo.
Jahman Oladejo Anikulapo one of Nigeria’s most assiduous Art, Culture activists, curators and Journalist. Such that the Nigeria’s Arts and Culture community has literally declared January 2013 as The Jahman Anikulapo Month. Jahman is a cultural activist involved in the Committee for Relevant Art, CORA, which has been organizing the quarterly Art Stampede aka Artists Parliament since June 1991. In 2011, Jahman created IIREP, a documentary film festival, with former President of the Independent Television Producers Association of Nigeria, Femi Odugbemi, and Director of the Lagos Makin Film Bureau. Soyinka. They are all members of the West African Documentary Film Forum (WADFF). He is currently president / director of CORA, which won the 10th anniversary of the founding of Prince Claus for the cultural debate in 2006. He is a Member of the subcommittee on culture of the Tony Blair Commission for Africa; Member of the Culture Review Committee of the Commonwealth Foundation; Resource person for UNESCO review of Cultural Policies, and several other cultural organizing committees.
He is also a Stage Actor, Manager, Director, producer on national and international productions. Some are: Agip Theatre Festival Italy 1987; Chieri International Theatre Festival, Italy 1992; Afrika Projekt 1996-2002 (Germany and Nigeria); Cervantino Festival in Mexico (2004); Gwanju Biennale South Korea (2005); Milan Film Festival (2005); Pant-African Film Festival, South Africa (1996); Real Life Film Festival, Accra (2005- to date); Nigerian International Film Festival (1992; 2002); French Film Festival, Tubingen, Germany as an International Jury (2008)etc etc
44. Jeanette Marais.
Jeanette, who has a strong track record of building profitable businesses at various financial institutions, is also the Chief Executive Officer of Momentum Investments. She started her career at Momentum in 1990, filling multiple roles in actuarial product development and marketing and as part of the team that launched Momentum Administration Services, pioneering investment platforms in South Africa. She filled executive-level positions at PSG, Stanlib and Old Mutual before joining Allan Gray in 2009 as co-head of retail business, where she became executive director. She is passionate about the upliftment of women and making financial services accessible to all South Africans.
45. Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum
Congolese microbiologist Jean-Jacques Muyembe works there. He is the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Institut National pour la Recherche Biomedicale (INRB) general director. In 2016, he oversaw the research team that created mAb114, one of the most promising Ebola treatments, in collaboration with scientists from the INRB and the National Institute of Health Vaccine Research Centre in the US. On the specific request of Dr. Oly Ilunga, the DRC’s Minister of Health at the time, the medication was successfully tested during recent outbreaks in the country. In 1978, he was named the University of Kinshasa Medical School’s dean. Muyembe began working with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Senegal’s Institute Pasteur de Dakar in 1981, where he studied the Marburg and Ebola viruses. He was appointed director of the National Institute for Biomedical Research of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1998.He has served as a consultant to the World Health Organization’s Ebola Emergency Committee. Here, he oversees 15 researchers who are investigating the Ebola virus, sleeping sickness, and the Bas-Congo virus. He has given West African political leadership advice.
46. Jimmy Volmink
He is Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University and Founding Director of the South African Cochrane Centre hosted by the Medical Research Council of South Africa. His previous positions include Deputy Dean for Research at Stellenbosch University, GlaxoWellcome Chair of Primary Health Care at the University of Cape Town, and Director of Research and Analysis of the Global Health Council in Washington DC. Prof Volmink is currently Interim President of the Southern African Epidemiological Association, Chair of the Governing Board of the Chronic Diseases Initiative in Africa and Chair of ASSAf’s Consensus Study Panel on “Reconceptualising education and training of an appropriate health workforce for the improved health of the nation.” In addition, he serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Inter Academy Medical Panel – the global network of the world’s medical academies and medical divisions within science academies, and the Scientific Advisory Board of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa.
47. Joseph Nyumah Boakai.
His Excellency Joseph Nyumah Boakai (born 30 November 1944) is a Liberian politician who is the president-elect of Liberia.Boakai previously served as the 29th vice president of Liberia from 2006 to 2018, under President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. He previously served as the Minister of Agriculture from 1983 to 1985. Boakai ran for president in 2017, losing the election to George Weah. He went on to defeat Weah in the 2023 election. Boakai went on to work in both the public and private sectors. He worked as a resident manager (1973–1980) and managing director (1980–1982) for the Liberia Produce Marketing Corporation (LPMC). From 1983 to 1985, he served as Minister of Agriculture under President Samuel Doe. While Minister of Agriculture, Boakai chaired the 15 nation West African Rice Development Association. In 1992, he was the managing director of the Liberia Petroleum
Refinery Company (LPRC). He later worked as a consultant to the World Bank in Washington and founded a firm dealing in agricultural equipment and consultancy. He has served as board chairman of the Liberia Wood Management Corporation and the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company.
48. Juldeh Camara.
Juldeh Camara (born 1966, Basse, Gambia) is a griot, as well as an internationally followed blues musician and recording artist who has appeared on 21 albums. He is known for his instrumental virtuosity and for his collaborations with European, African, and other artists. His instrument is an African one-string fiddle, known as Nyanyero in his native Fula language or Riti in the Wolof language. Growing up in upper Gambia to a legendary ritti player Sheriff Camara, it was not until age 5, Juldeh Camara began watching his father play the nyanyeru, the ritti. It came a point the young Juldeh cried whenever his father refused to give the ritti to fiddle with it. As the father, Sheriff Camara continued his musical tours in Basse sometimes with reputable politicians like the former vice president of the Gambia Assan Musa Camara, by now Camara had started to fine-tune his fingers with the rhythm of the nyanyeru. In June 2014, after touring with the band since late 2012, Camara appeared as part of the Sensational Space Shifters with Robert Plant at the 2014 Glastonbury Extravaganza.
49. Julian Kyula
Pastor Julian is an internationally accomplished business leader and serial FinTech entrepreneur. In 2010, he founded the MODE Group, a FinTech company spanning over 26 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. As Founder and Chairman of Beulah City, Julian was a key negotiator in a Government of Kenya and UNOPS agreement to deliver 100,000 affordable homes in Kenya. Julian sits on several boards across the world with links to global leaders in various sectors. He was recognized as the 2015 CNBC East Africa Entrepreneur of the Year, 2012 IBM Global Entrepreneur and a Top 40 under 40 Kenyan entrepreneur on 2 occasions. He featured in Forbes Magazine, Bloomberg International and the New York Times. Julian is also a sought after speaker and has spoken at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi with President Barack Obama. In addition, Julian is a reverend and the senior pastor of the Nairobi-based Purpose Centre Church.
50. Jumoke Oduwole.
Dr. Jumoke Oduwole is an academic, former government advisor, and advocate. She is currently a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government. Prior to this, she served as Special Adviser to the President of Nigeria on Ease of Doing Business from August 2019 to May 2023. Before her appointment to this role, Jumoke was Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade & Investment in the Office of the Vice President. Her team was responsible for Nigeria moving up an unprecedented 39 places in the World Bank’s flagship Doing Business Report over the last three years, among other notable achievements. She is currently on leave of absence from the Department of Jurisprudence and International Law, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, Nigeria, where she is a Senior Lecturer. Jumoke is a respected global thought leader in her field. She was the only African nominated onto the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Trade and Investment in 2016 and is a highly sought-after speaker.
51. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkellah.
Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella is a Sierra Leonean agricultural economist, politician, and the former United Nations Under-Secretary-General and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All. He was also the chief executive officer of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative. Yumkella is a former Chairman of UN- Energy and a two-term former Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). In December 2005, Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella was appointed Director-General of the United
Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), having previously worked in various high-level policy positions in UNIDO. He was re-appointed for a second four-year term in office in December 2009. Prior to working for UNIDO, Yumkella was the Minister for Trade and Industry of Sierra Leone from 1994 to 1995. From 1987 to 1996, he held various academic positions at Michigan State University and the University of Illinois in the United States. In recognition of his leadership and his passion for energy and environment-related
causes, Yumkella was appointed as Chair of UN-Energy in 2008 by the UN Secretary-General.
52. Kennedy Odede.
Kenyan social entrepreneur Kennedy Odede is also a best-selling memoirist in the New York Times. At Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), a movement with headquarters in New York, USA, and Nairobi, Kenya, Odede is the CEO and co-founder. 2010 saw Odede receive the Echoing Green Fellowship, and in 2014, Forbes under 30 listed him as one of the leading social entrepreneurs. He participates in the Clinton Global Initiative as well. President Bill Clinton, Madonna, Beyoncé, and Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times, as well as his book A Path Appears, have all highlighted his work. Odede’s own writing has been published in The Guardian, Project Syndicate, CNN, The New York Times, and other op-ed sections.
53. Kenneth Sharpe.
He is a Zimbabwean businessman, philanthropist and real estatedeveloper. He is the CEO and Chairman of the board at West Property Zimbabwe He is alsothe first Zimbabwean to receive Forbes Africa Best of Africa Most Innovative CEO Award. Sharpe started his business career in 1991 when he established the West Group, a
confectionary and food distribution company which had operations in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa. With operations in South Africa, he also established InterAfrica Franchise Bottlers in South Africa. In 2006, West Group in partnership with a Ukrainian businessman Oleksandr Sheremet, was
renamed to West Property Company, which is a real estate development company with two notable projects, Kuwadzana 4 Extension a housing project of approximately 4,500 residential homes and Mainway Meadows of 2,300 homes. His company WestProp won the awards in Best Residential Development 20+units Zimbabwe and top Developers Zimbabwe categories at the African and Arabian Laufen International Property Awards 2022, in Dubai.
54. Khairy Beshara
He is an Egyptian film director active in the Egyptian filmindustry since the 1970s.
He is considered one of the Egyptian directors who re-defined realism in Egyptian cinema in the 1980s. In a recent book published by Bibliotheca Alexandrina in 2007 about the most important 100 films in the history of Egyptian cinema,
three of his movies were listed: The Collar and the Bracelet, Bitter Day, Sweet Day, and Ice Cream in Gleem.
55. Ladisias Prosper Agbesi
Seventeen (17) years ago, Dr. Ladislas Prosper Agbesi launched Lash Group in Ghana with the goal of advancing the continent’s development. With five offices across the globe now, Lash Consult Investments is present in Benin, Ghana, Germany, the United States, and South Africa. He currently serves as Kudi Financial Services’ group chairman. Lash Group provides investment finance and consulting services in West Africa. At the 16th Africa Security Watch Award 2019, Dr. Ladislas Prosper Agbesi received an award from Africa Security Watch for
being “The most outstanding peace and security personality in West and Central Africa.”
56. Leymah Roberta Gbowee.
She is a Liberian peace activist responsible for leading a women’s nonviolent peace movement, Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace that helped bring an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. Her efforts to end the war, along with her collaborator Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, helped usher in a period of peace and enabled a free election in 2005 that Sirleaf won. Gbowee and Sirleaf, along with Tawakkul Karman, were awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.
57. Mahmood Mamdani.
Mahmood Mamdani is a Ugandan scholar, writer, and political analyst of Indian descent. At present, he holds the position of Chancellor at Kampala International University located in Uganda. From 2010 to February 2022, he served as the director of the Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR).
In addition, he held the positions of Professor of Anthropology, Political Science, and African Studies at Columbia University, as well as the Herbert Lehman Professor of Government at the School of International and Public Affairs.
Mamdani is an expert in the fields of colonialism and post-colonialism, politics of knowledge production, and African and global politics. His writings examine the relationship between politics and culture, the history of African civil wars and genocides, the Cold War and the War on Terror, the philosophy and practice of human rights, and a comparative analysis of colonialism from 1452.
58. Mahmood Mamdani.
Tcheka (Manuel Lopes Andrade; born in Ribeira da Barca, Santiago, Cape Verde, is a Cape Verdean singer, songwriter and guitarist, who is well known for his work in transposing the traditional genre batuque to the electro-acoustic guitar.
Tcheka expanded his musical horizons, which brought him to maturity as an artist and led to the release of his first CD in 2003 entitled Argui, by the record label Lusafrica. He performed in several European countries and he even recorded a live concert DVD in 2004. In 2005, Tcheka recorded his second album entitled Nu Monda, which was met with very good reviews and won him the Radio France International Music of the World Awards for Artist of the Year. Tcheka was a featured artist at the World Music Expo (WOMEX) in Seville, Spain. In 2015 he started a cooperation with South African guitarist Derek Gripper that they brought to Busara Festival (Zanzibar), HIFA (Zimbabwe) and Cape Town World Music Festival (South Africa).
59. Masenate Mohato Seeiso.
Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso (born Anna Karabo Motšoeneng,) is Queen of Lesotho as the wife of King Letsie III of Lesotho. She was the first commoner in modern history to marry into the royal family of Lesotho.
Since becoming queen, she has become the patron of several charities and has worked to promote the work of projects related to HIV/AIDS. She has a strong interest in enabling the work undertaken with HIV/AIDS patients to be
spoken of publicly, and has been involved in several awareness programmes in Lesotho. Queen ‘Masenate has also undertaken visits to a variety of AIDS projects around the country, including orphanages. She also holds a First Aid Certificate.
60. Maud Chifamba.
In 2012 Maud Chifamba was the youngest university student in Africa. She was born in Zimbabwe and was accepted to the University of Zimbabwe to study for an accounting degree at the age of 14. She began attending in 2012. Her degree was financed through a US$9,933 scholarship from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority Chairman’s Charity Fund. 2007 Chifamba was named the best student under the most difficult conditions in the
Midlands Province of Zimbabwe In December 2012; Chifamba was 5th on Forbes’ list of Top 100 Youngest Powerful Women in Africa. She was mentioned in the Book of African Records as the youngest university student in the continent.
61. Mensa Otabil (Dr)
Dr Mensa Otabil is a Ghanaian theologian, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur. He is the founder of International Central Gospel Church headquartered in Accra, Ghana. He is also the founder and Chancellor of Central University College, and CEO of Otabil and Associates, an executive and Leadership Growth Consultancy.
In March 2018, Otabil, with Kofi Annan and Martin Amidu made it to the list of 100 Most Reputable Africans. The list also featured individuals from diverse sectors including Leadership, Entertainment, Advocacy, Education and Business. In 2015, Ghanaians voted him as the “Most Influential Person in Ghana”, according to a list published by ETV Ghana. He was, in 2013, considered the twenty-fourth most influential Ghanaian, in a poll run by ETV Ghana.
62. Mike Jocktane.
Mike Jocktane, a former presidential candidate in Gabon, played an active role in the last presidential elections and he believes that the future of GABON is very bright in the coming years. Alongside his political career, he is also a bishop, having been ordained a Minister of the Gospel on 17 January 1994. He made history by becoming the first consecrated bishop from Pentecostal and charismatic backgrounds in Gabon on 22 March 2003. Mike Jocktane is the founding chairman of the “Gabon Nouveau” political party, which will be created in 2019. He was chief of staff to President Oma Bongo Ondimba in 2009, and then served as campaign manager for opponent André MBA OBAME during the 2009 presidential election. In 2016, he was elected vice-president of the opposition party Union Nationale. Mike Jocktane’s academic background includes an honorary doctorate from HIGHSTONE International University in California, a bachelor’s degree in theology from Oral Roberts University, and certification from the Christ for Nations Institute in Dallas. Recognised for his influence and impact, Mike Jocktane has been named by Forbes magazine as one of Africa’s 100 Most Powerful People in 2023. In addition to his professional career, Mike Jocktane places great importance on his family values. Married with children, he balances his political, religious and family commitments.
63. Mohammed Fathi Ahmed Ibrahim.
Sir Mohammed Fathi Ahmed Ibrahim KCMG is a Sudanese- British billionaire businessman. He worked for several telecommunications companies, before founding Celtel, which, when sold, had over 24 million mobile phone subscribers in 14 African countries. After selling Celtel in 2005 for $3.4 billion, he set up the Mo Ibrahim Foundation to encourage better governance in Africa, as well as creating the Ibrahim Index of African Governance, to evaluate nations’ performance. He is also a member of the Africa regional advisory board of London Business School. In 2007 he initiated the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, which awards $5 million to African heads of state who deliver security, health, education and economic development to their constituents
and democratically transfer power to their successors. Ibrahim has pledged to give at least half of his wealth to charity by joining The Giving Pledge.According to the Forbes 2011 Billionaire List, Mo Ibrahim is worth $1.8 billion, making him
the 692nd richest person in the world. Mo Ibrahim was also selected for the TIME “Top 100”
ist in 2008 and was ranked first in the annual Power list of influential Black Britons.
64. Modupe Adefeso-Olateju.
She is a recognized organizational leader and policy expert specializing in public-private partnerships and citizen-led assessments in education and works as the managing director of The Education Partnership Centre, which is Nigeria’s pioneering education-partnership organization. Mo advises policymakers, corporations and international think tanks, and leads work streams on a range of education sector support initiatives funded by multilateral
organizations and corporate funders. She is a member of the team that is drafting Nigeria’s mid- and long-term strategic plans. Mo sits on the boards of Malala Fund, Slum2School Africa, and Unveiling Africa Foundation, and is an advisory board member of the People’s Action for Learning (PAL) Network. She offers technical advice on scaling education innovation to the Brookings Institution’s Center for Universal Education Millions Learning
project and the Global Schools Forum Learning Labs. As a Centenary Scholar, she graduated from the UCL Institute of Education with a PhD in Education and International Development and is a Fellow of the Asia-Global Institute in Hong Kong.
65. Mogoeng Mogoeng.
He is a South African jurist who served as the Chief Justice of South Africa from 8 September 2011 until his retirement on 11 October 2021. In 1997, Mogoeng accepted an appointment to the North West High Court, though he had felt initially that he was too inexperienced to be made a judge. He became a judge of the Labour Appeal Court in 2000 and the Judge President of the North West High Court in 2002. In October 2009, in President Jacob Zuma’s first raft of judicial appointments, Mogoeng was elevated to the highest court in South Africa, its Constitutional Court. He was appointed simultaneouslywith Chris Jafta, Sisi Khampepe and Johan Froneman.
66. Mohamed Hag Ali Hag el Hassan
Hassan is President of TWAS and of the Sudanese National Academy of Sciences; and Chair of the Governing Council of the United Nations Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries, and of the International Advisory Board of the Centre for Development Research, Germany. He covered many high-level positions, such as President of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP); founding Executive Director of TWAS; President of the African Academy of Sciences; founding President of the Network of African Science Academies, and Chair of the Council of United Nations University. After obtaining his PhD in mathematics from the University of Oxford, he returned to the Sudan and later became Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Mathematical Sciences at Khartoum University. Among his honours are: Comendador and Grand Cross of the Brazilian Order of the National Scientific Merit, and Officer of the Order of Merit of Italy. He is a member of several scientific academies, including the Belgian, Colombian, Cuban, Moroccan, Pakistani, South African and the Pontifical. He is the recipient of the G77 Leadership Award and of the Abdus Salam Medal for Science and Technology.
67. Mohamed Osman Baloola
In 2009, Eng. Mohamed Baloola received a B.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering from Ajman University in Ajman, United Arab Emirates. In 2022, he earned a Master of Engineering Science in Biomedical Engineering from Universiti Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He joined Ajman University in October 2010 as an Assistant Instructor in the College of Engineering and IT (CEIT) from 2010 to 2022. In September 2022, he became an Instructor at CEIT. Since 2017, he has served as the Deputy Director of the Ajman University Innovation Center (AUIC). He was selected among the World’s 500 Most influential Arabs as Scientist and Inventor. In 2022, he was selected among the Top 100 Content Creators on LinkedIn. He was named Ambassador of Talent and Ambassador of Goodwill for the Physically Disabled.
68. Dr. Monique Nsanzabaganwa
H.E. Dr. Monique Nsanzabaganwa is the Deputy Chairperson (DCP) for the African Union Commission. She is in charge of Administration and Finance and assists the Chairperson in the execution of his functions to ensure the smooth running of the Commission, and acts as the Chairperson in his absence. Dr. Nsanzabaganwa holds a Ph.D. in Economics, and Honorary Doctorate of Commerce, University of Stellenbosch. She has over twenty years’
experience developing and leading programs that drive financial inclusion and economic prosperity. Prior to her election she held senior positions in the Government of the Republicof Rwanda including Minister of State in charge of Economic Planning, Minister of Tradeand Industry and Deputy Governor of the Central Bank. Dr. Nsanzabaganwa has supportedvarious Gender Empowerment initiatives through her memberships in the Alliance for
Financial Inclusion Gender committee, Women’s World Banking African Advisory Council,the Graça Machel Trust Expert Group on women’s financial inclusion and the digitaleconomy in Africa, New Faces New Voices Rwanda chapter, Unity Club amongst others.Dr. Nsanzabaganwa was elected by the 34th African Union Assembly for a four-year termrenewable once. She is the first woman to hold the position of Deputy Chairperson of the
African Union Commission.
69. Muhammed Bulama
Dr. Muhammed Bulama, was the Deputy Director, Multi-Media of the APC Presidential Campaign for the 2023 presidential elections. He was a Special Adviser to the Governor of Borno State on Research, Documentation and Strategy, and former Commisioner of Information, Borno State. Dr. Mohammed Bulama was born on January 13, 1949, in Nguru, Borno State. He is an elected member of the Constituent Assembly representing Damboa Federal Constituency. hadhis primary education at Jimeta 1956—59 and the Senior Primary School in Maiduguri
between 1960-1962. He attended Government Secondary School, Maiduguri, from 1963— 1967 and Kaduna Polytechnic, 1971-1972.
70. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah
Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah (born 29 October 1952) is a Namibian politician who is the Deputy-Prime Minister of Namibia since March 2015. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwa, the current SWAPO vice president, has retained her position, and she is set to become the party’s first female presidential candidate in November 2024. She has also been serving as Namibia’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation since December 2012. From March 2010 to December 2012, she was Minister of Environment and Tourism. Nandi-Ndaitwah is a member of SWAPO, Namibia’s ruling party, and a long-time member of the National Assembly. In 2017, Nandi-Ndaitwah was elected vice-president of the Swapo Party at the party’s 6th Congress. She is the first woman to serve in that position.
71. Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala took office as WTO Director-General on 1 March 2021. She is a global finance expert, an economist and international development professional with over 40 years of experience working in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America. Dr Okonjo-Iweala was formerly Chair of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. She was previously on the Boards of Standard Chartered PLC and Twitter Inc. She was appointed as African Union (AU) Special Envoy to mobilise international financial support for the fight against COVID-19 and WHO Special Envoy for Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator. She is a skilled negotiator and has brokered numerous agreements which have produced win-win outcomes in negotiations. She is regarded as an effective consensus builder and an honest broker enjoying the trust and confidence of governments and other stakeholders.
Previously, Dr Okonjo-Iweala twice served as Nigeria’s Finance Minister (2003-2006 and 2011-2015) and briefly acted as Foreign Minister in 2006, the first woman to hold both positions. She distinguished herself by carrying out major reforms which improved the effectiveness of these two Ministries and the functioning of the government machinery. She had a 25-year career at the World Bank as a development economist, rising to the No. 2 position of Managing Director, Operations. As a development economist and Finance Minister, Dr Okonjo-Iweala steered her country through various reforms ranging from macroeconomic to trade, financial and real sector issues.
72. Nnenna Nnannaya Oti
Professor (Mrs.) Nnenna Nnannaya Oti is from Afikpo, Ebonyi State. A highly seasoned, versatile and accomplished scholar, Nnenna is a Professor of Soil Science and Environmental Conservation, who was recently appointed the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO).
Prof. Nnenna Oti made a First Class Honours Degree in Soil Science, and has an M.Sc in Soil Microbiology/Biochemistry from the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), before proceeding to the Katholieke Universitiet Leuven, Belgium, where she bagged a PGD (Distinction) in Irrigation Engineering. In 2002, Nnenna broke an unusual record when she won the NUC – Best PhD in Nigeria Award.
She transferred her services from UNN to FUTO 30 years ago. Her service in FUTO includes 3 cycles as the Head of Department of Soil Science and Technology; 4 years as Dean of Post Graduate School and Chairman, Committee of Deans. Her duties have also included membership of University Senate, joint Council/Senate Committees, Faculty and Departmental Boards and Chairmanship of several Committees.
With over 70 peer-reviewed national and international publications, Nnenna has also delivered over 100 invited papers at local, national and international platforms on Gender Issues, Youth Empowerment, National Development, Good Governance and Leadership. This responsible union advocate is driven by her passion to create a just and fair world for all.
73. Nuhu Ribadu
Mallam Nuhu Ribadu is a highly accomplished legal practitioner, a public servant, and an anti-corruption crusader who has made significant contributions to the development of Nigeria’s legal and political landscape. He was born on November 21, 1960, in Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria, and is a proud alumnus of Ahmadu Bello University, where he obtained his LL.B. degree in 1983. Ribadu began his career as a police officer in the Nigeria Police Force and rose through the ranks to become an Assistant Inspector General of Police before retiring in 2008. During his time in the police force, he served in various capacities, including as a prosecutor, detective, and commander. Ribadu’s biggest impact, however, came during his tenure as the pioneer chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria’s foremost anti-corruption agency. Under his leadership, the EFCC became known for its aggressive pursuit of corrupt individuals, both in the public and private sectors. His work at the EFCC earned him national and international recognition, including the 2007 Time Magazine Person of the Year award, which named him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Apart from his work in law enforcement, Ribadu has also served as a lecturer at the Nigerian Law School, where he taught criminal law and procedure. He has also been a visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington DC, where he contributed to policy debates on issues relating to governance, development, and anti-corruption.
74. Okello Oculli
Okello Oculli is a Ugandan novelist, poet, and chronicler of rural African village life. Currently, he is a private political and social consultant based in Abuja, Nigeria. Before that,,he served as Professor of Social & Economic Research at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria. His writing is filled with authentic snatches of conversation, proverbs, and folk wisdom. His poetry, like that of Okot p’Bitek and Joseph Buruga, seeks to re-assert the cultural heritage of Africa with a critique of foreign influences in East Africa.
75. Okello Oculli
In 2006 she co-founded the parliamentary watchdog site Mzalendo (Swahili: “Patriot”).The site sought to increase government accountability by systematically recording bills, speeches, MPs, standing orders, etc.When Kenya was engulfed in violence following a disputed presidential election in 2007, Okolloh co-created Ushahidi (Swahili: “Witness”), a website and tool that collected and recorded eyewitness reports of violence using text messages and Google Maps. The technology has since been adapted for expanded purposes (including monitoring elections and tracking pharmaceutical availability) and used in a number of other countries.Okolloh has a personal blog, Kenyan Pundit, which was featured on Global Voices Online.She has worked as a legal consultant for NGOs and has worked at Covington and Burling, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, and the World Bank.Okolloh was appointed to the Board of Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company, the body that acts as a guardian of the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles in May 2015.
76. Pedro Verona Rodrigues Pires
In 2014, Pedro Pires launched the Pedro Pires Leadership Institute which focusses on fostering innovative approaches to the discrepancies and challenges faced by political and leadership institutions in Cabo Verde and in Africa. Activities include research, strategic dialogue and capacity-building, focussing on issues of governance, rule of law as well as political and social leadership in Cabo Verde and in Africa.
He chairs the Amilcar Cabral Foundation.
Pires is a member of the Africa Forum, UN Ambassador of Drylands, Member of the Committee on Combating Drugs in West Africa of the Ko Annan Foundation, Member of the Advisory Council of Honour of the African Foundation for Leadership and Governance, Member of the Jury of the Calouste Gulbenkian Prize and Member of the Prize Jose Marti Cuba/ UNESCO.
77. Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson
Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson is a Ghanaian prelate and cardinal of the Catholic Church who has served as chancellor of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences since 2022. He was president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace from 2009 to 2017 and the inaugural prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development from 2017 to 2021.
Turkson was Archbishop of Cape Coast from 1992 to 2009. He was made a cardinal by Pope John Paul II in 2003. He has been widely regarded as papabile, that is, a candidate for election to the papacy. The Tablet described him in 2013 as “one of Africa’s most energetic church leaders”.
78. Polycarp Pengo
Cardinal Polycarp Pengo, Metropolitan Archbishop emeritus of Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania), was born on 5 August 1944 in the parish of Mwazye, diocese of Sumbawanga in Tanzania.From 1959 to 1964 he did his higher secondary schooling at the minor seminary in Kaengesa. In 1965 he entered the major seminary in Kipalapala for three years of philosophy (1965-67) and four years of theology (1968-71).He was ordained a priest in the diocese of Sumbawanga on 20 June 1971 and for two years – from June 1971 to July 1973 – he was Secretary to the Bishop.From 1973 to 1977, he studied moral theology in Rome at the Pontifical Lateran University (Academy of St Alphonsus), obtaining a doctorate. After his studies, he returned to Tanzania and taught moral theology at the major seminary in Kipalapala for nine months in 1977. He then was made the first Rector of the major seminary in Segerea, a position which he held from 1978 to 1983.Pope John Paul II named him Bishop of Nachingwea on 11 November 1983 and ordained him on 6 January 1984 on the Feast of the Epiphany in St Peter’s Basilica. He took possession of the diocese on 19 February 1984.
79. Rachid Yazami
Yazami’s research project included a study of graphite intercalation compounds for lithium battery applications. In 1985, he joined the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) as a research associate. He was later promoted to the position of research director and professor in 1998.
In 1980, Yazami was the first scientist to establish the reversible intercalation of lithium into graphite in an electrochemical cell using a polymer electrolyte. Eventually, his discovery led to the lithium-graphite anode which is now used in commercial lithium-ion batteries, a product with over $80 billion in market value. Yazami also worked on other forms of graphite materials for cathode applications in lithium batteries, including graphite oxide and graphite fluoride. In 2007, he founded a start-up company in California to develop and commercialize his patented discoveries, particularly on fluoride ion batteries (FIBs).
Ghanimi is the first Arab in the world to claim such title. The Moroccan physician was nominated for the prize by the London-based Arabs Group, a private group that encourages and rewards Arab talents who stand out in the fields of science, architecture & Design, arts, tourism industry, TV, music and marketingRajae Ghanimi is a physician and expert in health insurance. She holds a degree in medicine from Rabat’s Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, as well as a certificate of training from the Regional Health Insurance Fund in Lille, France. Ghanimi is currently doctor controller within a leading organization in insurance in Morocco, a position she holds since 2006. She is the first doctor mediator in Morocco, a diploma that was awarded to her by the American institution “The World Justice Project” in collaboration with the International Centre of Mediation and Arbitration (CIMAR) and University Hassan I of Oujda.
81. Rediet Abebe
Rediet Abebe is an Ethiopian computer scientist working in algorithms and artificial intelligence. She is an assistant professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley. Previously, she was a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows.
Abebe’s research develops mathematical and computational frameworks for examining questions related to inequality and distributive justice.She co-founded the multi-institutional interdisciplinary research initiatives Mechanism Design for Social Good (MD4SG) and Black in AI.
93. Sven Thieme.
He is a Namibian businessman. He is currently a chairman of Ohlthaver & List, the largest private company in Namibia. He took over in 2002 after the death of his grandfather and son of the company founder Werner List the CEO of Ohlthaver & List. He has worked since 1998 in the company; 2001 to 2002 as general manager. He also sits several supervisory boards of subsidiaries. Previously, he was from 1994 to 1998 as an auditor for Deloitte & Touche in Luxemburg. In 2004, he was in charge of establishing the Development Bank of Namibia. In 2010 Thieme was in the Supervisory Board of the public broadcaster Namibian Broadcasting Corporation. Since 2014 he presided over the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is considered as one of the most influential Namibians.
94. Tariye Gbadegesin
An investment professional with over 20 years’ experience in finance, principal investments and infrastructure, Tariye has mobilized over US$3 billion of capital for infrastructure projects in Africa.
Tariye was on the founding team to establish the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), a pan African Development Finance Institution with US$ 6 billion under management where she led several of AFC’s investments in the sectors of power, transport, industrials, & telecommunications. Tariye previously led the US$800 million Industrial and Telecommunications Infrastructure business at AFC. Her global experience includes roles at the International Monetary Fund, the Boston Consulting Group, & Price Waterhouse Coopers. Tariye holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Amherst College, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
95. Sister Theopista Namukasa
Sister Theopista NamukasaSt. Mary’s Immaculate Primary School, Kalungu aa teacher making a difference in Uganda.
96. Trevor Noah
Trevor Noah is one of the most successful comedians in the world and was the host of the Emmy® Award-winning “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central for seven years. Under Trevor, “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” broke free from the restraints of a 30-minute linear show, producing engaging social content, award-winning digital series, podcasts and more for its global audience. Last year, “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” landed a record number of seven Emmy Award nominations.
Trevor is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller “Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood” and its young readers adaptation, released in 2019, “It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood,” which also debuted as a New York Times bestseller. The Audible edition of “Born a Crime,” performed by Trevor, was produced by Audible and remains one of the top-selling, highest-rated, and most-commented-on Audible performances of all time. To date, “Born a Crime” has sold over 3 million copies across all formats.
97. Tom Alweendo
Thomas Kavaningilamo Alweendo (born 17 March 1958 in Omusheshe, Oshana Region) is a Namibian politician who has been Minister of Mines and Energy since 2018. In 1997, he became the first Namibian Governor of the Bank of Namibia when he replaced Jafaar bin Ahmad of Malaysia.
Alweendo was appointed to lead the National Planning Commission. When Hage Geingob took office as president in March 2015, he confirmed Alweendo in his position.In a cabinet reshuffle in February 2018, Alweendo became Minister of Mines and Energy, swapping positions with Obeth Kandjoze. In March 2022, Alweendo signed a Joint Declaration of Intent (JDol) with the minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Action of the Federal Republic of Germany, Robert Habeck, to collaborate on accelerating the development of Namibia’s green hydrogen ambitions.
98. Vusi Thembekwayo.
Vusi has come to carry many titles through his work building and transforming hundreds of businesses across Africa and the world. Venture capitalist, elite coach and mentor, keynote speaker and best-selling author of international acclaim, Vusi is in demand as a catalyst for business change.
His successful track record of partnering with C-Suite executives and entrepreneurs has drawn invitations to share his knowledge and expertise through 180 presentations on four continents and in 38 countries since 2015.As a trusted advisor to Fortune 500 companies and blue-chip corporates across the world, Vusi has come to be one of the wealthiest young people in Africa and was the youngest African entrepreneur to grace the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine. He has also appeared on CNBC, Bloomberg and Inc500.
99. Wanjira Mathai.
Wanjira Mathai is the Managing Director for Africa and Global Partnerships at WRI.She formerly served as VP & Regional Director for Africa, Co-chair of WRI’s Global Restoration Council and a Senior Advisor to the Global Restoration Initiative. She is also the current Chair of the Wangari Maathai Foundation and the former Chair of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya. An inspiring leader, Wanjira has over 20 years of experience advocating for social and environmental change on both local and international platforms. Over the years, Wanjira has also served important strategic and advocacy roles raising the prominence and visibility of global issues such as climate change, youth leadership, sustainable energy and landscape restoration at Women Entrepreneurs in Renewables (wPOWER), the Wangari Maathai Foundation (WMF), and the Green Belt Movement (GBM) the organization her mother, Wangari Maathai (2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate) founded in 1977.
Wanjira currently serves on the Board of the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), as a Leadership Council member of the Clean Cooking Alliance and a member of the High-Level Group of the Africa-Europe Foundation. Wanjira is one of a few Six Seconds EQ Practitioners in Kenya and was named one of the 100 Most Influential African Women in 2018, 2020 and 2021.
100. Zainab Hawa Bangura
Zainab Hawa Bangura of Sierra Leone assumed her position as Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict at the level of Under-Secretary-General on 4 September 2012. In this capacity, she serves as Chair of the interagency network, UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict (UN Action).
Ms. Bangura has over 20 years of policy, diplomatic and practical experience in the field of governance, conflict resolution and reconciliation in Africa. She served most recently as Minister of Health and Sanitation for the Government of Sierra Leone, and was previously Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the second woman in Sierra Leone to occupy this position. She was also Chief Adviser and Spokesperson of the President on bilateral and international issues. Ms. Bangura has been instrumental in developing national programmes on affordable health, advocating for the elimination of genital mutilation, managing the country’s Peace Building Commission and contributing to the multilateral and bilateral relations with the international community. She has deep experience engaging with State and non-State actors on issues relevant to sexual violence, including engaging with rebel groups.
Ms. Bangura has on-the-ground experience with peacekeeping operations from within the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), where she managed the largest civilian component of the Mission, promoting capacity-building of government institutions and community reconciliation.