By Dipo Olowookere
Rwanda’s President, Mr Paul Kagame, has emerged winner of the African of the year 2017 at the African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Awards.
Mr Kagame clinched the coveted award after defeating the likes of President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, President John Magafuli of Tanzania, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia in the category through a public voting system.
Winners of the awards were unveiled recently by the African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Awards committee after the polls.
A statement made available to Business Post by the organisers said the winners were unveiled by Publisher of the Magazine, Dr Ken Giami, at the UK Head Office of the group, after the awards committee working with the editorial team concluded the collation of both online and offline votes and submissions from the over 1 million subscribers/followership base of the publication.
They would be decorated on February 24, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Other winners were Bethlehem Tilahum Alemu, Founder soleRebels, Ethiopia, and Ms Suzan Mashibe, Executive Director, Tanjet Aviation, Tanzania as African Female Leader of the Year 2017; Strive Masayiwa, Founder Econet, Zimbabwe as ALM Person of the Year 2017-Educational Development; and Kwame Nana Bediako, President, Founder & CEO, Petronia Ghana as ALM Person of the Year 2017 – Employment Generation.
In addition, Marc Ravalomanana, Former President of Madagascar was announced ALM Person of the Year 2017 – Political Leadership; Manu Chandaria, Chairman, Comcraft Group, Kenya as ALM Person of the Year 2017 – Philanthropy & Charitable Contributions to Society; and Joel Macharia, Founder / CEO, Abacus Kenya as ALM Young Person of the Year 2017.
A total of 288,958 votes were received from around the world against 85,000 votes got from the previous year.
In addition to the winners, a special commendation citation would be presented to the most distinguished runners up, which includes Linah Mohohlo, Governor, Bank of Botswana; Fred Swaniker, Founder, African Leadership Academy, South Africa & African Leadership University, Mauritius; and Tony Elumelu, Chairman, Heirs Holdings Nigeria.
Publisher of the Magazine, Mr Ken Giami, reiterated the group’s position, that all nominees in the various categories are all winners, given their individual contributions to the continent’s growth and development.
In his words, “to be chosen out of the over 1.2 billion people on the continent, speaks volumes.”
He further stated that, “The nominees have elevated and redefined benchmarks of service to the humanity on the continent.
“They are all true lovers of Africa, contributing passionately, sometimes imperfectly, but all determined to impacting society, making Africa a better place for its people.”
The African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year which is in its 6th run, 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 is selected from results gathered via a Call for nomination – traditionally promoted via a 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.
Remarkably, this year, the selection committee considered, among others, three key themes – Africans whose activities, policies and actions have contributed to ‘creating jobs & wealth creation; promotion, defense and delivering of democratic values; & the promotion of Africa’s image globally’; in arriving at their decisions.
With Africa’s population tipped to double by the year 2050, and unemployment at the centre of the problems confronting the continent, jobs and wealth creators deserve to be especially encouraged and supported.
Past recipients of the prestigious African Person of the Year Awards have included Dr Mo Ibrahim, founder, Ibrahim Prize for Leadership, 2010; Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, 2011; Mr Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President of Nigeria 2012; Xavier Luc-Duval, Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius & Minister of Finance (2013) President Jakaya Kikwete, former President of Tanzania, 2014; Mr Goodluck Jonathan, former President of Nigeria, 2015; Mr Mo Dewji, CEO, MeTL, Tanzania, 2016.
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