President Muhammadu Buhari, his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, and several other prominent Nigerians have been named among “100 most influential Africans of 2015”.
The list and profiles of the continent’s top game changers published by the pan-African news magazine, “New African”, covers top players in eight different professional fields.
They include 22 in politics; 21 each in arts & culture and business as well as 11 in civil society. Nine others are in technology; seven in media; five in sports and four in public office.
Both leaders made the list for the significant roles they played during the last Nigeria’s 2015 elections which saw the first successful transfer of power from a ruling government to an opposition party in Nigeria’s political history.
Mr. Buhari was acknowledged for his magnanimity in victory, while Mr. Jonathan was commended for his humility in defeat, which ensured that Nigeria avoided a post-election crisis.
Other Nigerians also recognized include the president of the African Development Bank, AfDB, Akinwumi Adesina; current Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, who was the Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning at the United Nations, where she helped in shaping the new 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
The magazine said during her tenure, Ms. Mohammed’s vision and voice helped bring people together and enlisted new partners to the cause in three years of complex negotiations that resulted in the most inclusive consultation process in the history of the United Nations towards a global consensus on the Sustainable Development Goals.
Mr. Adesina is Nigeria’s former Minister of Agriculture, who led a drive to curb corruption in fertilizer distribution scheme, leading to significant improvement in agricultural production that led to a sharp drop in food imports in the country.
The list also includes the Nigerian Diasporan, who is the UK Member of Parliament, MP and Labour Party leadership hopeful, Chuka Umunna; Chairman, Board of Directors, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Tony Elumelu, and World Bank Vice President and Treasurer, Arumah Oteh.
Mr. Umunna was recognized for the significant positive recognition he has brought Nigerians in the UK, while Ms. Oteh was recognized for her elevation to one of the most significant positions at the World Bank.
Group Publisher, of the New African, Omar Yedder, said the list of “100 Most Influential Africans” celebrates the “men, women and organisations that have shaped our beloved continent, the trail blazers, influencers and the rising stars who are redefining Africa’s future in the various spheres in which they operate.”
Mr. Elumelu made the list as one of the most influential Africans for his accomplishments in business, particularly as Founder and Chairman of Heirs Holdings, a privately held investment firm, with interests in the power, oil and gas, financial services and hospitality sectors across Africa.
“In this increasingly global and interconnected world, we need champions; those game changers who are making a difference, changing perceptions and shaping our definition of what is possible. This is why it is our honour to recognize these “New African’s 100 most influential Africans 2015,” Mr. Yedder explained.