President Mohammadu Buhari, former President Goodluck Jonathan and Chairman, Board of Directors, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc and Director of Heirs Holding, Mr. Tony Elumelu, have been named among the “100 most influential Africans of 2015.”
The list published by pan African magazine “New African” presents Africa’s definitive power list and profiles the continent’s top ‘game changers’ in eight different fields. The categories include: Politics (22); Public Office (4); Arts and Culture (21), Business (21), Civil Society (11), Technology (9), Media (7), and Sports (5).
President Buhari and ex-President Jonathan made the list for the significant roles they played in the April, 2015 elections, which saw the first successful transfer of power from a ruling government to an opposition party in Nigeria.
Jonathan’s humility in defeat and Buhari’s magnanimity in victory ensured that Nigeria avoided a post-election crisis.
Other Nigerians recognised include the UN Special Advisor on Post Development Planning, Amina J Mohammed, AfDB’s new President Akinwumi Adesina,and Nigerian Diasporan, UK MP and Labour Party leadership hopeful, Chuka Umunna as well as Arumah Oteh, World Bank Vice President and Treasurer.
Amina Mohammed is Nigeria’s current Minister of Environment. Before her appointment, she was Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning at the United Nations where she contributed to the shaping of the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development across three years of complex negotiations and the most inclusive consultation process in the history of the United Nations, her vision and voice helping to bring people together, enlist new partners to the cause and reach global consensus on the Sustainable Development Goals.
Akinwumi Adesina was Nigeria’s Minister of Agricultural during Jonathan’s tenure when he led a drive to curb corruption of the fertiliser distribution scheme and engineered significant improvement in agricultural production that led to a sharp drop in food imports.
Chuka Umunna was recognised for the significant positive recognition he has brought Nigerians in the UK while Arumah Oteh was recognised for her elevation to one of the most significant positions at the World Bank.
Omar Ben Yedder, Group Publisher, of the New African 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.”
Explaining the selection of Elumelu as one of the most influential Africans, he said “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 recognise you as one “New African’s 100 most influential Africans 2015. We are so proud of everything you have accomplished.”
Elumelu is also the 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. He is Chairman of Transcorp, Nigeria’s largest listed conglomerate; and Seadrill Nigeria Limited.
In 2010, Mr. Elumelu created the Tony Elumelu Foundation, which champions African entrepreneurship. In January 2015 the foundation launched the $100 million Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme to seed and support 10,000 African entrepreneurs over the next decade. The programme represents Tony’s personal commitment to the economic philosophy of “Africapitalism”, a development model he propagated, that sees the African private sector as the catalyst in ensuring Africa’s sustainable social and economic development.