As many as 10 Africans have made it to TIME magazine’s list of 100 ‘Most Influential People’ for 2014, with two hailing from Kenya and Nigeria each.
From Kenya, author Binyavanga Wainaina and Director of Investments at Omidyar Network, Ory Okolloh, have made it to the list. Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Africa’s wealthiest man and President of Nigerian conglomerate Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote also feature in the list, showing that the balance of power is shifting towards these frontier economies in the emerging continent.
Each person selected had a few paragraphs about their influence written by recognizable names, including Microsoft Founder Bill Gates who wrote a tribute for Dangote. Bono, a lead singer of U2 and a co-founder of One and (RED), wrote on Okonjo-Iwealato to commemorate her listing by the magazine.
Besides, joining Binyavanga Wainaina and Aliko Dangote at the top 100 table from Africa are Egypt’s Defence Minister Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, President of the Central African Islamic Community Imam Obar Kobine Layama, Dieudonné Nzapalainga, the Archbishop of Bangui; and Nicolas Guérékoyame-Gbangou, president of the Evangelical Alliance of the Central African Republic.
South Africa’s fearless public advocate Thuli Madonsela and Uganda’s Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe join Ory Okolloh and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the other ladies to make it to the list from the African continent.
Also, this year, a record number of women have made it to the list, 41 in all, demonstrating that gender equality may soon be a concrete reality rather than merely an ideal vision.
Interestingly, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden appears on the list for exposing the global surveillance system by leaking NSA documents to journalists, making him, at 30, one of the youngest people on the list. Education activist Malala Yousafzai, who is all of 16, is the youngest person to appear on the list.
Finally, it has been observed that the 11th annual list of the world’s most influential people leans heavily towards the arts, though commerce and politics are not too far behind.
To showcase the high weightage given to artists by the magazine rankings, American R&B artist Beyoncé graces the cover of the 2014 TIME 100 issue.
Also, TIME’s breakdown by professional affiliation shows that a whopping 27 come from an arts background. The next largest professional affiliation of most influential people numbers 26 and counts government workers. The third was business, contributing 18 people to the list while the professional categories with the least amount of influential people was a tie between science, religion and sports, which had just five each.
Time 100 is an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world assembled by the American news magazine TIME.
First published in 1999 as the result of a debate among American academics, politicians, and journalists, the list is now an annual event.
Although appearing on the list is often seen as an honour, TIME makes it clear that entrants are recognised for changing the world, regardless of the consequences of their actions.
Image (TIME): This year, a record number of women have made it to the list, 41 in all, with Africa contributing four: Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Kenya’s Ory Okolloh, Director of Investments at Omidyar Network, South Africa’s fearless public advocate Thuli Madonsela and Uganda’s Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe.
More business news on AfricaMoney