Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (right), and America’s TV global personality Steve Harvey at the Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg, November 2019. The Forum, a brainchild of Adesina, attracted US$79 billion in investment interests into projects in Africa between 2018 and 2019/Photo: AfDB

Akinwumi Adesina, Wizkid, Thakkar bag African leadership awards

The African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Awards committee has unveiled the winners for different categories in the just concluded polls for the publication’s Persons of the Year Awards, with Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, a Nigerian and president of the African Development Bank, emerging African of the Year 2019. Adesina was also recently chosen as the African of the Year at the All African Business Awards 2019.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi won in the African Political Leader of the Year category.

The keenly contested poll, across 7 different categories, attracted over 300,000 entries on the website, entries across our social media platforms and submissions via email, according to the organisers.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, pictured here addressing an African Union Summit, won in the African Political Leader of the Year category/ Photo: African Union Commission


Other winners in the annual African Leadership Magazine (ALM) poll are:

African Female Leader of the Year 2019: Rawya Mansour, Founder, RAMSCO Company (Egypt)

ALM Person of the Year 2019-Educational Development: Dr. Yusuf Karodia, Founder, Regent Business School and MANCOSA (South Africa)

 ALM Person of the Year 2019 – Employment Generation: Ashish Thakkar, CEO, Mara Phone (UK/Uganda)

ALM Person of the Year 2019 – Philanthropy & Charitable Contributions to Society: Femi Otedola, Founder, Femi Otedola Foundation (Nigeria)  

ALM Young Person of the Year 2019: Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, Wizkid, Music Artist (Nigeria)  

Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, Wizkid, is the Young Person of the Year 2019/Photo: Wizkid


In addition to the above winners, a special ALM Commendation citation shall be presented to the most distinguished runners up, which includes:

African of the Year Commendation Award: His Majesty King Mohammed VI, King of Morocco

African Female Leader of the Year Commendation Award: Helen Oritsejafor, MD/CEO, Eagle Heights Group (Nigeria)  

ALM Person of the Year -Educational Development Commendation Award: Afe Babalola, Founder Afe Babalola University (Nigeria)  

 ALM Person of the Year Employment Generation Commendation Award: Abdulsalmad Rabiu, Chief Executive Officer, BUA Group (Nigeria)  

ALM Person of the Year – Political Leadership Commendation Award: H.E. Sahle-Work Zewde, President of Ethiopia

ALM Person of the Year – Philanthropy & Charitable Contributions to Society Commendation Award: Patrice Motsepe, Motesepe Foundation, South Africa

 ALM Young Person of the Year Commendation Award: Isaya Yunge, Founder, SomaApps Technologies Ltd, Tanzania.

Winners shall be decorated and presented with the instruments of honour on the 28th February 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa, at a colourful ceremony that will attract a wide spectrum of African policy, diplomatic and business leaders.

The African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year, which is in its 8th year, is an annual award reserved for distinguished Africans, who are considered to have blazed the trail in the year under review.

A shortlist of nominees are selected from results gathered via a Call for nominations, traditionally promoted via paid online and offline campaigns across the continent, Europe, and the Americas. The call for nomination is the first step in a multi-phased process, which is then followed by the voting process and the eventual announcements of winners.

Report distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) 

About African Leadership Magazine

The African Leadership magazine is published by African Leadership (UK) Limited, a company registered in the United Kingdom. The magazine focuses on bringing the best of Africa to a global audience, telling the African story from an African perspective; while evolving solutions to peculiar challenges being faced by the continent today.

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