Dr.Kwame Nkuruma Osagyefo and Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere both had a vision for a united Africa, which has been the subject of discussion since 1963.
It has led to the African Union (formerly Organization of African Unity- OAU) coming up with Africa Agenda 2063, which is an ambitious vision for Africa.
In it, as narrated by outgoing AU chair Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, is an Africa that is leading in Trade, e-commerce, innovation, space exploration, technology, Education, Quality infrastructure connecting the whole of Africa, one currency, one leader and a united people without borders or barriers, borderless Africa among many other progressive visions.
Thomas Sankara of the Bukinabbe had a vision for an Africa infested with upright men, before the enemies of progress cut his life short just like they did to Patrice Emery Lumumba of the Du-Congo.
But Africa has never been short of Visionary young men and women, Africa has a crop of quick growing leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators.
They are taking charge of their destiny, transforming the continent and rewriting is future. They are living the African dream and solving critical socio-economic problems like poverty, disease, unemployment, corruption, illiteracy among many other problems.
From the election of no non sense, action on President in Tanzania, to a young lady making bicycles using bamboo in Ghana, we bring to you a list of 40 promising African visionaries in different fields and professions and their stories as of March 2016.
- PRESIDENT DR. JOHN POMBE MAGUFULI
President of Tanzania
Since his election and swearing in in November 2015, he has sent shockwaves across Africa by his actions, in his first week in office, pundits say that he did something his predecessor had not done in 10years, he went on a surprise visit to Muhimbili Hospital which is the biggest public hospital in Tanzania and the state of the hospital was pathetic and wanting, within a week of his visit, the top management of the hospital was sent home and the hospital got a totally new face. His anti-corruption war, and visionary style of leadership has seen him quickly rise to be a role model and an admiration in Africa and the whole world. If he keeps up with that spirit, Tanzania will be the talk of Africa and Africa Agenda 2063 and vision 2030 will be realized sooner than expected. We wish him well and encourage him to keep up the good fight, he is a pillar and a beacon of Africa rising.
2. JOE KARIUKI (KENYAN)
Co-Founder: African women and Beyond (AFWAB)
Joe is a successful businessman, entrepreneur, philanthropist and a co-founder of AFWAB, which he co-founded with Martine Kappel who is also a renowned community empowerment champion and has been helping different communities in Africa through projects and initiatives. AFWAB is an initiative through which they have empowered over 100,000 women from different parts of Africa by giving them capital to start their businesses, mentorship training, market access and bringing them together to network and do business. He is intending to empower over 1 million women to start businesses, connect those in business to help them network so as to open market access for their merchandise to all parts of the world. His initiative is dubbed ‘Amsha Mama’ which translates to support a woman and whose vision is to empower women to venture into business as a means of eradicating poverty and also as a means of achieving Africa inter/intra African trade in-line with Africa Agenda 2063 and vision 2030. He is also the CEO of Candy and Candy Records which is a music record studio that records young African musicians and helps them sell their music. He has been providing scholarships to kids from poor back grounds to get education, recently he gave 120 scholarships to street children in Kenya and also paid for their rehabilitation before starting school. He also has an initiative that has been feeding over 3000 street children besides giving them access to basic education.
3. STRIVE MASIYIWA (ZIMBABWEAN)
Founder and executive Chairman Econet Wireless
Zimbabwean businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Considered one of Africa’s most generous humanitarian, he has won numerous accolades and gained international recognition for his business expertise and philanthropy. He has provided scholarships to over 100,000 young Africans through his family foundation. He supports over 40,000 orphans with educational initiatives, as well as sponsoring students at universities in America, The United Kingdom, and China. Masiyiwa also funds initiatives in public health and agriculture across the African continent. He has been named as one of the most influential business leaders in the world and has received the Freedom Award among many other awards. His company Econet wireless is operating in different countries in Africa and abroad, and in-turn he has created employment to over one million people thus reducing poverty tremendously and improving the quality of life. Strive is a visionary, because in his journey, has suffered a lot of setbacks but he never loosed hope, he has proved to be a beacon of hope and promise of a better Africa. He urges all African countries to review and revamp their wealth creation model to match the likes of Japan and Singapore. He is also an Anti-Corruption crusader.
4. TONY ONYEMAECHI ELUMELU (NIGERIAN)
Chairman Heirs Holdings, UBA,Transcorp and Founder of TEF
Elumelu is an economist by training, a visionary entrepreneur and a philanthropist. He was recently listed by the New Africa Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in Africa and also recognised as one of “Africa’s 20 Most Powerful People in 2012” by Forbes Magazine. Through his foundation, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, an Africa-based and African-funded philanthropic organisation he has been promoting excellence in business leadership and entrepreneurship and enhancing the competitiveness of the private sector across Africa. The Foundation deploy its resources to generate solutions to challenges that inhibit the growth of the African private sector. Through its commitment to catalytic philanthropy, the Tony Elumelu Foundation seeks to achieve its mission by enhancing the capacity of African businesses, supporting and driving policies that promote competitiveness, deploying financial capital through impact investments, and educating public and private sector actors through rigorous research. Elumelu is the originator of the term Africapitalism which according to him is an economic philosophy that embodies the private sector’s commitment to the economic transformation of Africa through long-term investments that create both economic prosperity and social wealth. Elumelu sees Africans taking charge of the value-adding sectors and ensuring that those value-added processes happen in Africa, not through nationalization or government policies, but because there is a generation of private sector entrepreneurs who have the vision, the tools and the opportunity to shape the destiny of the continent. He insists that Africapitalism is not capitalism with an African twist; it is a rallying cry for empowering the private sector to drive Africa’s economic and social growth.
5. FADUMO DAYIB (SOMALIA)
Somalia’s future president
Somalia could soon have its first female candidate for the upcoming presidential elections. Fadumo Dayib wants to become Somalia’s first elected female president who would put an end to the al-Shabab insurgency which is tying down 22,000 African Union peacekeepers. She has no illusions about the difficulties she faces in trying to realize her ambition to become president, especially as a woman in a traditional male-dominated society. She believes it’s a moral obligation and a civic duty to us to prevent further bloodshed in Somalia. Somalia is a male dominated society, but, nonetheless, there is a new generation that believes that gender of the person doesn’t matter. What matters is what they can bring on the table, their competencies and their leadership skills rather than their gender. Fadumo Dayib plans to run as a candidate in the Somali presidential election in August 2016, and we wish her all the best as she rewrites Somalia’s history.
6. ALIKO DANGOTE (NIGERIAN)
Chairman Dangote Group
Dangote is ranked by Forbes magazine as the 67th richest person in the world and the richest in Africa; according to Dangote, nothing is going to help Africa like Africans in diaspora bringing back their money. “If you give me $5 billion today, I will invest everything here in Nigeria. Let us put our heads together and work.” In 2014, Dangote had donated 150 million Naira (US$750,000) to halt the spread of ebola. He believes Africa must churn its own path and stop depending on aid, and above everything, we must stop corruption.
7. PLO LUMUMBA (KENYA)
Director: Kenya School of Law
Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba is a Pan Africanist, a lawyer by profession and an anti-corruption crusader. He served as the Director of Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission and is currently the Director of The Kenya School of Laws. As an eloquent Pan Africanist, he travels the continent giving talks on the solution to Africa’s problems.
8. MOHAMED “MO” IBRAHIM (SUDAN)
Dr Mohamed “Mo” Ibrahim is a Sudanese-British mobile communications entrepreneur and billionaire. He worked for several other 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 Mo Ibrahim Index, to evaluate nations’ performance. In 2007 he initiated the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, which awards a $5 million initial payment, and a $200,000 annual payment for life to African heads of state who deliver security, health, education and economic development to their constituents and democratically transfer power to their successors. Dr Ibrahim has pledged to give at least half of his wealth to charity by joining The Giving Pledge. A respected international philanthropist, Mo Ibrahim is credited with “transforming a continent” and is thought to be the “most powerful black man in Britain”.
In 2007, Mo Foundation inaugurated the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, with the first recipient former president Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique.The Foundation publishes the Ibrahim Index of African Governance, ranking the performance of all 54 African countries. Until 2009, the Index took into account only the 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa
9. NKOSAZANA DLAMINI ZUMA(SOUTH AFRICA)
Chairperson African Union (AU)
Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma is a South African politician and anti-apartheid activist. She was South Africa’s Minister of Health, under President Nelson Mandela, then Minister of Foreign Affairs, under presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Molanthe. She was moved to the position of Minister of Home Affairs in the Cabinet of President Jacob Zuma, her ex-husband, on 10 May 2009 a capacity in which she served until her resignation on 2 October 2012. On 15 July 2012, Dlamini-Zuma was elected by the African Union Commission as its chairperson, making her the first woman to lead the organization (including its predecessor, the Organization of African Unity). She took office on 15 October 2012. She has been tipped as a future leader of the African National Congress. She has been advocating for leaders to embrace Africa Agenda 2063.
10. BERNICE DAPAA (GHANAIAN)
Founder and Executive Director Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative
Bernice Dapaah is the Executive Director of the Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative. Under her leadership, the initiative developed from a project idea to an award-winning social enterprise that has won several international awards, including the 2013 UNFCCC Momentum For Change Light House Activity Award (Women For Results Category), World Business and Development Award 2012, UN Habitat/Dubai International Best Practice Award 2012, Samsung/Generations For Peace Impact Award 2012, GIZ Impact Business Award 2011, and UNEP SEED Initiative Award 2010. In 2013, Dapaah was named a Vital Voices Lead Fellow and won the 2013 International Women Alliance World of Difference Award. She sits on the advisory board of the World Intellectual Property Organization GREEN in Switzerland. Dapaah is a graduate of the Christian Service University in Ghana. With women like her, Africa’s future is bright.
11. THULISILE NOMKHOSI “THULI” MADONSELA (SOUTH AFRICAN)
Madonsela is an ordinary member of the Pretoria branch of the African National Congress (ANC). During the apartheid era Madonsela served in the ANC and in the United Democratic Front anti-apartheid organization. She believes that holding political office would not be her “best contribution as a human being”. In 1994 she declined the position of ANC MP in South Africa’s first post-apartheid Parliament. In January 2014 it was reported that several ANC branches in Gauteng had unsuccessfully nominated her as a candidate to represent the ANC in the National Assembly or one of the provincial legislatures in the 2014 general election. Her spokesperson said she was unaware of the nomination and would not have accepted it.
Madonsela was appointed Public Protector by President Jacob Zuma for a non-renewable seven-year term, in 2012, she investigated “kickbacks” received by Julius Malema in the context of traffic department contracts given to external contractor On-Point Engineering. As Public Protector Madonsela also investigated complaints regarding public spending on Zuma’s private homestead in the KwaZulu-Natal town of Nkandla. Her final report on security upgrades to Zuma’s homestead titled Secure in Comfort was published on 19 March 2014. Madonsela found that Zuma had benefited unduly from the R246 million the state had spent on the upgrades. Her report has been met with much criticism and opposition from representatives of the ANC ruling party. Shortly before her final report was made public, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe and cabinet minister Lindiwe Sisulu made public statements undermining Madonsela and her report, with Mantashe calling it a “political report”. Opposition parties Economic Freedom Fighters and Democratic Alliance approached the Constitutional Court to enforce Madonsela’s findings after they were ignored by Zuma and dismissed in Parliament. On 31 March 2016, the Constitutional Court delivered a unanimous judgement stating that the Public Protector’s report was binding and Zuma and the National Assembly failed to uphold the country’s constitution. The court ordered National Treasury to determine the amount that Zuma must pay back and ordered Zuma to do so within 45 days of the court’s approval of the National Treasury report.
Africa needs more people like her, who do their job without fear or favor.
12. DAMBISA MOYO(ZAMBIAN)
Dambisa Moyo is a Zambian-born international economist and author who analyzes the macroeconomy and global affairs. She worked for two years at the World Bank and eight years at Goldman Sachs before becoming an author and international public speaker. She has written three New York Times bestselling books: Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa (2009), How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly – And the Stark Choices that Lie Ahead (2011), and Winner Take All: China’s Race for Resources and What It Means for the World (2012). Her first book, Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa, was published in early 2009 and was a New York Times bestseller. Dead Aid catapulted Moyo into the public eye and made her a sought-after speaker, pundit, and author. In 2009 she was named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, one of TIME’s 100, and one of Oprah Winfrey’s “20 remarkable visionaries”. In a 2013 interview Bill Gates was asked for his views on Dead Aid’s illustration that aid to African governments has not alleviated poverty but has instead kept the African economy crippled rather than supporting sustainable African business. He claimed to have read the book and stated “books like that – they’re promoting evil”. Responding on her website, Moyo stated “To cast aside the arguments I raised in Dead Aid at a time when we have witnessed the transformative economic success of countries like China, Brazil and India, belittles my experiences, and those of hundreds of millions of Africans”. If Africa embraced her ideas on Aid, then and then only, shall we progress at a tremendous speed.
13. ANAS AREMEYAW ANAS (GHANA)
Anas Aremeyaw Anas is a Ghanaian investigative journalist .Anas’s motto is “name, shame and jail” and he is famous for utilizing his anonymity as a tool in his investigative arsenal, and very few people had seen his face until “unmasking” during a BBC interview in November 2015 – however that too turned out to be a clever prosthetic . A politically non-aligned multimedia journalist who specializes in print media and documentary, Anas focuses on issues of human rights and anti-corruption in Ghana and sub-Saharan Africa. Anas has won critical acclaim for his work advocating for basic human rights such as the right to not be held in human slavery or servitude and for his work exposing corruption. His investigative works have won him worldwide acclaim, including President Barack Obama highlighting his virtues in a speech during a 2009 visit to Ghana: “An independent press. A vibrant private sector. A civil society. Those are the things that give life to democracy. We see that spirit in courageous journalists like Anas Aremeyaw Anas, who risked his life to report the truth. Anas has won over fourteen international awards for his investigative work. He was polled as the 5th most influential Ghanaian in 2011 by ETV, and named one of the “Most Influential Africans of the Year “by the New African Magazine. In March 2016, Anas was invited by Harvard law school as a key note speaker to share his experiences as an international undercover journalist creating change on the continent of Africa in 2016. He has won dozens of accolades and is shaping the future of Africa’s investigative journalism, and inspire change through naming and shaming the corrupt in the society.
14. PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI (NIGERIA)
President of Nigeria
Is the incumbent President of Nigeria, in office since 2015. He is a retired Nigerian Army major general and was Head of State of Nigeria from 31 December 1983 to 27 August 1985, after taking power in a military coup d’état. The term Buharism is ascribed to the Buhari military government. After his recent election that saw the incumbent president loose power to an opposition leader in Nigeria’s history, he took an Anti-corruption approach, and is fighting corruption cartels in Nigeria. Pundits describe his style of leadership as authoritarian and dictatorial, but recently, he acknowledged that some forces comprising of powerful men who served in the Jonathan government were sabotaging his government. If his vision for Nigeria works, then Nigeria which was once named as the most corrupt country in the world will be among the few corruption free countries in the world.
15. TAKUNDA CHINGONZO (ZIMBABWEAN)
Takunda is a tech entrepreneur who is mostly remembered as the NUST student from his Q & A with Barack Obama, where he pointed out how sanctions are hurting tech startups. In the same year, his startup, Saisai, was selected to represent Zimbabwe at DEMO Africa in Nigeria where the team managed to walk away with the SWELL Award for innovation. There’s been more of Takunda though. Last month he was mentioned in the Huffington Post as one of four African innovators you should know. This month, he has graced the cover of Forbes Africa after making it to the Forbes 30 under 30 list as part of our continent’s next generation of billionaires. Also making it to the list was another Zimbabwean tech entrepreneur and founder of Esaja.com, Clinton Mutambo. It’s interesting to note how there’s a lot of confidence being thrown behind tech entrepreneurship as the next wave of massive wealth creation. With disruption being expected from entrepreneurs like Takunda, it is time to focus more attention and resources on tech innovation as a way of ending unemployment and poverty.
Seyi Oyesola is a Nigerian doctor, who co-invented “hospital in a box”. Fed up with hospitals that were always short in supplies and prone to outages, Dr. Oyesola co-invented hospital in a box, a mini hospital run with solar energy or off grid and completely mobile. Since the CompactOR portable operating theater was launched in 2007, it has transformed the medical care that is available in rural areas, including those that are inaccessible by road, because the “hospital in a box” can be delivered by jeep or by helicopter and set up in ten minutes. The portable hospital is a complete operating room with all the tools necessary including defibrillators, EKG monitoring, anesthesia, and surgical lighting. It, like the products supplied through Practice. Dr. Oyesola sought SUSTAINABLE solutions to medical problems. Much of the equipment in his mobile hospital can be repaired by those using it. Dr. Oyesola is not opposed to foreign aid, but believes that much of it has been ineffective because it was not CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE. He believes that the best advances are likely to come from AFRICAN SOLUTIONS, on which there has been too little focus, to AFRICAN PROBLEMS, for which there has been too much mass media attention. Dr. Oyesola believes in COLLABORATION and TEAM WORK. He knows that what we can achieve collectively is greater than the sum of the individual contributions. Although designed for use in rural Africa, hospital in a box has potential applications well beyond, including in disaster zones and military situations worldwide.
17. WILLIAM KAMKWAMBA (MALAWIAN)
Is a Malawian innovator, engineer and author. He gained fame in his country when, in 2002, he built a windmill to power a few electrical appliances in his family’s house in Wimbe (20 miles east of Kasungu) using blue gum trees, bicycle parts, and materials collected in a local scrapyard. Since then, he has built a solar-powered water pump that supplies the first drinking water in his village and two other windmills (the tallest standing at 39 feet) and is planning two more, including one in Lilongwe, the political capital of Malawi. In 2013 Time Magazine named William one of the “30 People Under 30 Changing The World. In 2014, it was selected as the common book at Auburn University and University of Michigan College of Engineering, as well. William made an appearance at each university to discuss his book and life.
18. SAKI MAFUNDIKWA (ZIMBABWE)
Saki Mafundikwa is a maverick visionary who left a successful design career in New York to return to his native Zimbabwe and open that country’s first school of graphic design and new media. Mafundikwa is the author of Afrikan Alphabets, a comprehensive review of African writing systems. He has participated in exhibitions and workshops around the world, contributed to a variety of publications and lectured about the globalization of design and the African aesthetic. In going home and opening his school, Mafundikwa’s ambition is nothing less than to jump-start an African renaissance.
Zimbabwe currently suffers from an economic, political and social crisis, which can be attributed to its government. Scores of supporters of the opposition have been arrested and displaced. In April 2008, The New York Times published the indelible image of a woman with a child strapped to her back crawling under a barbed-wire border fence to escape. But while others flee, Mafundikwa remains committed to his country and his cause. He says, “We all live on this thread of hope that change is going to come. That’s why I’m still here. Those that are not eternal optimists like me—they left a long time ago. I believe in this country.”
19. JULIUS SELLO MALEMA
FUTURE PRESIDENT OF SOUTH AFRICAN
Love him or hate him, he is the President of the Economic Freedom Fighters, a South African political party, which he founded in July 2013. He previously served as President of the African National Congress Youth League from 2008 to 2012. Malema was a member of the ANC until his expulsion from the party in April 2012. He occupies a notably controversial position in South African public and political life, having risen to prominence with his support for African National Congress president, and later President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma. He has been described by both Zuma and the Premier of Limpopo Province as the “future leader” of South Africa. Less favorable portraits paint him as a “reckless populist” with the potential to destabilize South Africa and to spark racial conflict. His vision is for black South Africans to take over control of white dominated mines and farmlands.
20. FRED SWANIKER (GHANA)
Founder & Executive Chairman, ALA
Fred is deeply passionate about Africa and believes that the missing ingredient on the continent is good leadership. In line with this, he has founded two organizations that aim to catalyze a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial African leaders: African Leadership Academy and the African Leadership Network.
In recognition of his work in developing Africa’s future leaders, Fred was selected as one of 115 young leaders to meet US President Obama at the first-ever President’s Forum for Young African Leaders held at the White House in 2010. He has been recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and was listed by Forbes Magazine among the top ten young ‘power men’ in Africa in 2011. Fred was also recognized by Echoing Green as one of fifteen “best emerging social entrepreneurs in the world” in 2006. He was a 2009 TED Fellow and is a Fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network.
21. PATRICK AWUAH (Ghanaian)
Engineer, Educator, and entrepreneur.
Awuah established Ashesi University in 2002. He was awarded a MacArthur fellowship in 2015 for his work with Ashesi. In 1997, Patrick Awuah left Microsoft with the goal of returning to Ghana to educate the next generation of African leaders. He enrolled at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, focusing his work on preparing a business plan for Ashesi. Awuah, Nina Marini, and other graduate students from Berkeley went to Ghana to do a feasibility study for opening a private university there. Awuah graduated with his MBA in 1999. That same year, he moved back Ghana with his family to found Ashesi University which is a non profit making university, but focuses on giving quality university education to students from poor background.
22. ISSAM CHLEUH (MALIAN)
Founder: Africa Impact Group
Issam is the founder of the Africa Impact Group, an international organization focused on directing investment to socially and environmentally beneficial ventures, an asset class called Impact investing. The company’s services include data and research, news, advisory services, and startup incubation. Africa Impact Group’s clients include Impact investors, Private equity firms, Family offices, Leading African corporations, governments and non-profits.
23. BEST AYIORWORTH (UGANDAN)
Often in Uganda when families struggle to put their children through school, the girl is forced to stay at home while the boy completes school. Ayiorworth could afford to go to school following the death of her father. She started a micro lending business so other girls can. Girl power Micro lending Organization (Gipmo) is a business tied to loans where mothers take out loans to start their own small businesses and in return they must make sure their daughters attend school. This project gained Ayiorworth the Anzisha Price in 2013 for Young African Entrepreneurs. She ploughed her winnings back into her micro lending business.
24. SAMUEL O. OTUKOL (Uganda)
Samuel has developed a water distillation system and process which proposes an alternative source of viable drinkable water in areas of water shortage or where only sea water is available. Salty water is evaporated at low temperatures (30 to 50 degrees Celsius) and then condensed into fresh water at lower costs than incurred using reverse osmosis. The proposed process can also use solar energy in remote areas. It helps water shortages in drought-stricken areas, or where existing desalination methods have proved ineffective. His innovation has solved a very big problem that has been affecting nearly 50% of Africans.
25. BONIFACE MWANGI (KENYAN)
Award winning photo journalist and activist
Boniface Mwangi is an award-winning Kenyan photojournalist involved in social-political activism through his initiative Kenya Ni Kwetu (Kenya is our Home). He is known for his images of the post-election violence that hit Kenya in 2007–2008. He is also the founder of Picha Mtaani, a youth-led peace initiative that primarily seeks to create space for young people to reconcile and become agents of reconciliation to their respective communities.
He was awarded the 2008 and 2010 CNN Africa Photojournalist of the Year Award. However, he put his photography career on hold, to work on Kenyan social justice.
In some quarters he is referred to as a professional activist because of his street demonstrations against bad governance. His latest initiative is Pawa 254, a hub and space for artists and activists to work together towards social change and advancing human rights in Kenyan society.
26. CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE (NIGERIAN)
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian novelist, nonfiction writer and short story writer. A MacArthur Genius Grant recipient, Adichie has been called “the most prominent” of a “procession of critically acclaimed young anglophone authors [that] is succeeding in attracting a new generation of readers to African literature”. Her first novel, Purple Hibiscus (2003), received wide critical acclaim; it was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction (2004) and was awarded the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book (2005). Named among 39 others as one of 39 writers aged under 40 in the Hay Festival and Rainbow Book Club project Africa39, celebrating Port Harcourt UNESCO World Book Capital 2014. In 2015, she was co-curator of the PEN World Voices Festival. Adichie says on feminism and writing, “I think of myself as a storyteller, but I would not mind at all if someone were to think of me as a feminist writer… I’m very feminist in the way I look at the world, and that world view must somehow be part of my work.” Adichie spoke on “The Danger of a Single Story” for TED.
We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller, We say to girls: “You can have ambition, but not too much, You should aim to be successful, but not too successful, Otherwise, you will threaten the man” Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage, I am expected to make my life choices, Always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important
Now, marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support, But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage, And we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors, Not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing
But for the attention of men,We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are Feminist: a person who believes in the social, Political, and economic equality of the sexes.
27 NELSON ODUMA (KENYAN)
Founder and President: International Youth Network Against Corruption (IYNAC)
Is the founder and President of IYNAC, a network of youths from across the world, all united with one purpose of fighting corruption and bad governance. The network currently has over 100,000 members from all across the world, and the network is still growing. They are on a mission to mentor a million youth to be Anti-corruption Crusaders by the year 2020. He believes corruption will be eradicated by the year 2030 if everyone takes that one step and say no to corruption.to him changing the mentality of the youth at an early age is very critical, of which they have an initiative under IYNAC dubbed Youth Talk On corruption (#YouthTalkOnCorruption) which creates an engagement with youth in small forums with an aim of creating vibrancy on the talk about corruption and at the same time trying to get a sustainable and a long lasting solution to corruption. The youth talk on corruption is also geared towards mentoring high school and university students to become Anti-corruption Ambassadors. Nelson is also a philanthropist and through his foundation the Nelson Oduma Foundation, has been helping poor people in Kenya, he has sponsored over 300 children to access basic education and is currently sponsoring 1,500 women to learn basic computer skills(IT Literacy).
28. SANGU DELLE (GHANIAN)
Founder: Golden Plan Investments
Is a co-founder of Golden Plan Investments, a holding company that invests in early stage venture and growth financing across Africa with a strong bias for Real estate, healthcare, agribusiness and technology. GPI has backed startups such as Solo Mobile in Nigeria, mPharma in Ghana and Zamsolar in Zambia. He is also a co-founder of cleanacwa, a non-profit working to provide access to clean water in Ghana’s underdeveloped regions.
29.EMEKA AKANO (NIGERIAN)
Finding a perfect match is never easy but Akano and his co-partner, Chinedu Onyeaso, have made it easier through Founder2Be. The cupids of commerce introduced a match-making service for business owners in Africa. Like online dating, a deal is just a click away. These Nigerians are not strangers to entrepreneurship; the two co-founder also started Entarado, a web development company empowering small businesses with web and mobile solutions.
30. ATHUR ZANG (CAMEROONIAN)
Engineer Zang is the inventor of the cardiopad, a touch screen medical tablet that enables heart examinations such as the electrocardiogram (EGG) to be performed at rural locations while the results of the test are transferred wirelessly to specialists who can interpret them. The device spares African patients, living in remote areas, the trouble of having to travel to urban areas to seek medical examinations. Zang is the founder of Himore Medical Equipment, the company that owns the rights to the cardiopad.
31. ELLEN CHILEMBA (MALAWI)
Chilemba is easing the difficult circumstances that women in Malawi face with Tiwale, her for-profit social enterprise she started when she was 17. Tiwale trains women as entrepreneurs or finds them jobs that suit their skills. It also has a micro finance program. Tiwakes’s Design Project trains women to do traditional fabric dye-printing. Some of the revenue from this is used to fund other programs offered by the organization that give women opportunities to support themselves. These include a school grant program that covers fees, transportation costs, school supplies and offers a small stipend
32. CLARISSE IRIBAGIZE (RWANDAN)
Founder: HEHe Ltd
Iribagize runs Kigali-based mobile technology company HeHe Limited, which builds custom mobile applications for businesses, provides 24/7 online and offline support and cloud storage services. Iribagize clientele includes a number of government agencies in Rwanda
33. CHRISTIAN NGAN (CAMEROONIAN)
Founder Madlyn Cazalis
Ngan is the founder of Madlyn Cazalis, an African hand-made bio cosmetic company that produces body oils, natural lotions, creams, scrubs, masks and soaps. Madlyn Cazalis products are sold and distributed across more than 30 chemist stores, beauty institutes and retail outlets in Cameroon and neighbouring countries in Central Africa.
34. UCHE PEDRO (NIGERIAN)
Pedro is one of the most popular new media entrepreneurs. BellaNija, the Nigerian lifestyle, entertainment and fashion website which she founded, attracts more than 10 million page views every month from readers all across the world.
35. IYINOLUWA ABOYEJI
Aboyeji, is a co-founder at Andela, a global talent accelerator that trains young intelligent Africans to be world-class developers and then connects them wuth top employers around the world looking for top technical talent. Andela’s backers include the founders of Facebook, eBay, and AOL.
36. ALAIN NTEFF
Founder: Gifted Mom
Nteff was alarmed by the high death rate of newborn babies and pregnant women in his community. When he was 20, he developed a mobile app to help solve this problem. The app helps teenage mothers and health workers calculate due dates, collect and send information to women in the community. His app has 500 downloads and is integrated with locally made phones. Nteff is also working 200 medical students to reduce brain drain in Cameroon.
37. VERONR MANKOU (CONGOLESE)
Founder &CEO: VMK
Mankou is the founder of VMK and the creator of the first African-made mobile phone, Elikia. He is also the inventor of Way-C tablet, Africa’s version of the iPad. Monkou provides affordable smart devices in Africa and increases internet access in the Republic of Congo. Before receiving $700,000 from the Congolese government, Monkou had to finance his project himself. Banks refused him because he was too young and “a little bit crazy”, he says.
38. CLINTON MUTAMBO (ZIMBABWE)
Mutambo describes himself as an entrepreneur, marketing whiz and all round blogger. He is also the brains behind the recently launched essaja.com-a business network that is dedicated to intra-Africa trade. Esaja stands for empowering solutions and joint action.
39. ERIC KINOTI (KENYAN)
Founder: Shades System East Africa
Kinoti is the founder of Shades System East Africa, a $1 million (annual sales) company that manufactures military and relief tents, branded gazebos, restaurant canopies, car parking shades, luxury tents, weddind party tents canvas seats and bouncing castles across the region. The company’s biggest clients are non-governmental and humanitarian organizations. Based in Nairobi, Shades System exports its products to Somalia, Congo and Rwanda.
40. MARK ESSIEN (NIGERIAN)
Essien is the founder of Hotels.ng Nigeria’s largest hotel booking website. The online portal allows users from all over the world to book rooms from a selection of over 6,000 hotels, The Company has so far raised more than $250,000 in funding from Spark Fund among other investors