Nigerians Dominate Africa Person of the Year Shortlist

Nigerians Dominate Africa Person of the Year Shortlist

Three Nigerians, a South African and a Zimbabwean are on Forbes’ shortlist for Africa Person of the Year 2013, BizTechAfrica reports.

The awards celebrate “the individual who, for better or worse, has had the most influence on events of the year gone by,” the report said.

Forbes Africa announced today it has narrowed down a shortlist, dominated by Nigerians. The awards are scheduled in Nairobi, Kenya in December.

“We want to honor the big hitters of the continent who are making a difference in people’s lives and we hope that in doing so, it will inspire others,” said Chris Bishop, managing editor of Forbes Africa magazine, in the report.

The nominees include:

1. South African mining magnate, Patrice Motsepe, who has said he plans on giving away more than half his fortune over the next five years.

2. Akinwunmi Adesina, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture: his vision is to make Nigeria a self-sustaining, food-producing nation and register 20 million farmers by 2015.

3. Aliko Dangote is Africa’s richest billionaire. His net worth has significantly increased on the back of his continued business success, allowing him to better the lives of millions, the report said. Dangote’s personal fortune is said to be more than $19 billion, according to Forbes.com. Most of it lies in shares of publicly traded Dangote Cement. In May, Dangote raised $4.5 billion from a consortium of Nigerian banks to invest in Nigeria’s first private oil refinery. The $9 billion refinery and petrochemical complex is expected to decrease Nigeria’s dependence on oil imports and boost Dangote’s fortune significantly.

4. Zimbabwean Strive Masiyiwa is the founder of global telecoms group, Econet Wireless. Through Capernaum Trust he educates tens of thousands of Zimbabwean orphans. An entrepreneur known for fighting corruption, he said he has been solicited for bribes by government officials, the private sector and even presidents as he built his businesses in Africa. On a social network posting that went viral last week, Strive Masiyiwa said his weapon against corruption was the word “no.”

5. Jim Ovia established Zenith Bank Group in 1990 – now West Africa’s second largest financial services provider. His focus has turned to helping grow Africa’s budding “techpreneurs.”