THERE is now a new conversation about the bright economic prospects for Africa, African Development Bank president Donald Kaberuka has said.
Kaberuka, who was named among the 100 most influential Africans together with three Zimbabweans by London-based New African Magazine, said: “I know people have a habit of running this continent down, but colonial powers who were in Africa from 1884 to the 1960s left a legacy in many countries of maybe five doctors, a couple of university graduates, old infrastructure, no universities, few schools. Today the things you see in the continent have been done by us, we Africans.”
In an interview with New African Kaberuka said: “So I think we need to figure out how to resolve inequalities, job creation and conflict resolution. If we do that we will be on the next level of the value chain.”
The three enterprising Zimbabweans who made it on the final list of 100 most influential Africans are novelist Noviolet Bulawayo, media entrepreneur Trevor Ncube and Econet Wireless founder Strive Masiyiwa.
In the top 100, made up of people from business, churches, politics, sports and other areas, Nigeria leads the way as the country which has the highest number of influential figures, making up 23% of the list. Nigeria is followed by South Africa, taking up 22% of the list.
Ncube is the chairman of Alpha Media Holdings, publishers of NewsDay, Southern Eye, Zimbabwe Independent and The Standard. Ncube told New African that: “I think what keeps me on fire is my conviction that things can get better. Waking up in the morning, the enormity of the question, ‘How do we do this?’ excites me to stay on the cutting edge of enabling Africa to talk to itself.”
He added: “Enabling Africa to tell its own story and convincing the world that we are not second-rate citizens, but we are world-class.”
There are 32 women on the list, with the youngest being Nigerian girl Zuriel Oduwole, aged only 11.
In a statement, New African said Oduwole had made waves across the continent in the fight for women’s education and competently interviewing eight African Heads of State apart from launching a mentorship programme for girls, to name, but a fraction of her many achievements at a tender age.
Oldest on the list is 76-year-old Edna Adan, former Somaliland Foreign Affairs minister and pioneer for women’s rights and women’s health, as director and founder of the Edna Adan Maternity Hospital and an activist in the struggle for the abolition of female circumcision.
Also included are some of the wealthiest men and women on the continent, such as Nigerian Aliko Dangote, South African Johann Rupert and Angolan Isabel dos Santos.
There are only three Heads of State on the list, including Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Gabonese President Ali Bongo and Joyce Banda of Malawi.
South African Democratic Alliance politician Lindize Mazibuko, Nigerian prophet Temitope Bolugun Joshua (popularly known as TB Joshua) and South African Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu made it to the list. Former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki, expelled African National Congress youth leader Julius Malema, South Africa’s public protector Thuli Madonsela, football star Yaya Toure of Ivory Coast and Nigerian soccer coach Stephen Keshi, Zuma’s former wife Nkosazana Dhlamini-Zuma also make up the list.
P Square, Trevor Noah, Mo Farah and mining magnate Patrice Motsepe’s wife Precious made it onto the list.
The Democratic Republic of Congo-based Gecamines chairman Albert Yum Muliba are also among the top 100.