The New African magazine has published its 100 Most Influential Africans of 2017. The list gives a fine blend of Africans who are making an impact on the continent and people of African descent who are also excelling in their respective fields.
The end of year compilation which the magazine started five years ago pools together persons who made news headlines in a particular year.
Personalities across thirty-one African countries made the list. Nineteen from Anglophone Africa and the remaining 12 from the Francophone side. The 2017 list also bridged the usually wide gender gap with 42 women (the highest since 2013) as against 58 men.
What our readers will find pleasing, is the almost bewildering diversity of this list – in terms of race, ethnic and national diversity. This list, if nothing else, displays the beauty and power of the diversity that makes the Africa we all love.
This article looks at the African country that dominated the list – Nigeria. Africa’s most populous country produced a little over a fifth of the listed personalities. Their contribution of 21 was followed in a distant second by South Africa which produced 15.
Nigeria produced personalities across each of the six broad categories under which the magazine did its classification.
The categories (number of personalities) are: Politics and Public Service (18); Business and Finance (18); Civil Society and Activism (8); Education (5); Science, Technology and Innovation (12); media (8); Arts and Culture (20); and Sport (11).
“What our readers will find pleasing, is the almost bewildering diversity of this list – in terms of race, ethnic and national diversity. This list, if nothing else, displays the beauty and power of the diversity that makes the Africa we all love,” says Omar Ben Yedder – Group Publisher and Managing Director of IC Publications.
Below are the Nigerians in each category:
POLITICS AND PUBLIC SERVICE
Amina J Mohammed – UN Deputy Secretary General. Yemi Osinbajo – Vice President Akinwumi Adesina – President Africa Development Bank; Winner – World Food Prize 2017 Bola Tinubu – Former Lagos State governor
BUSINESS AND FINANCE
Aliko Dangote – Successful business mogul Africa’s richest man Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu – Minister of State for Petroleum Resources
CIVIL SOCIETY AND ACTIVISM
Dr Fatima Akilu – Psychologists and founder Neem Tree Foundation Rehabilitating Boko Haram victims
Ikponwosa Ero – UN’s Human Rights Council Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of Human Rights by Persons with Albinism.
SCIENCE, TECH & INNOVATION
Adamu Waziri – Founder – Bino and Fino African children’s TV and Youtube animations
Anne-Marie Imafidon – child progidy, co-founder of Stemettes for young women in science and tech (Nigeria/UK)
Iyinoluwa ‘E’ Aboyeji – Founder, Flutterwave
Jelani Aliyu – Design of GM’s electric Chevrolet Volt car, now new Director general of Nigeria’s National Automotive Design and Development Council
EDUCATION AND ACADEMIA
Tom Ilube – Tech entrepreneur and educationist (Nigeria/UK)
Adedoyin Adepitan – Intrepid Paralympian and TV presenter (Nigeria/UK)
ARTS & CULTURE
Roye Okupe – Found YouNeek Studios – which creates African comic books and superheroes
Njideka Akunyili Crosby – Visual Artist
WizKid – Award-winning Afrobeat sensation
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Author, Feminist and Global Icon
Anthony Joshua – the affable Boxing heavyweight Champ – (Nigeria/UK)
Eniola Aluko – the football star who stood up and exposed a racism in the English FA (Nigeria/UK)
Asisat Oshoala – Women’s football royalty.