A majority of the 100 Most Influential Africans of 2015 are from Nigeria, with South Africa following a close second.
The annual 100 Most Influential Africans of 2015 presents the continent’s definitive power list and profiles the continent’s top game changers in eight different fields: Politics (22); Public Office (4); Arts and Culture (21); Business (21); Civil Society (11); Technology (9); Media (7); and Sports (5).
Among the 30 countries represented, Nigerians and South Africans dominate the list, with 20 and 16 personalities respectively. Kenya, Uganda and Cameroon also feature strongly with eight and six entries respectively. Of the top 100 personalities 65 are men and 32 are women, with the other three being groups of people. South Africa’s students, for example, were recognised this year for their role in South Africa’s #FeesMustFall and #Rhodesmustfall campaigns.
In one of the continent’s most dramatic and unusual elections of 2015, and Nigeria’s most significant in recent history, Muhammadu Buhari defeated his opponent Goodluck Jonathan. Both are recognised in New African. Other Nigerians recognised include the UN Special Advisor on Post Development Planning, Amina J Mohammed, AfDB’s new President Akinwumi Adesina, and a surprising addition in the form of Nigerian Diasporan, UK MP and Labour Party leadership hopeful, Chuka Umunna.
South Africa has its fair share of political influencers, among them “the black leader of South Africa’s ‘white’ opposition party”, the DA’s youthful Mmusi Maimane, who makes the list as one to watch during the next elections. Prominent women making the list are UN Women’s Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and fellow South African Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the current Chairperson of the AU Commission, widely tipped to be a potential successor to her former husband, President Jacob Zuma.
Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is recognised together with her fellow heads of States, Alpha Conde of Guinea and Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone for beating the odds to win the war against Ebola in 2015.
African financial giant and Credit Suisse boss, Tidjane Thiam from Côte d’Ivoire, makes this year’s Most Influential list for Business and Economy, where he is joined by new World Bank VP and Treasurer, Arunma Oteh, Kenyan ‘DJ’ businessman Chris Kirubi and the entrepreneur and innovator behind Tesla cars, Elon Musk, among others. Nigerian industrialist Aliko Dangote also makes the list.