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WHO DG, Tedros Ghebreyesus, Ghana’s President, Akufo-Addo, Mo Ibrahim, Graca Machel, Others, Emerge Winners in the African Leadership Magazine (ALM) Persons of the Year 2020 Awards

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The African Leadership Magazine (www.AfricanLeadershipMagazine.co.uk) Persons of the Year Awards committee has unveiled the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the African of the year 2020; the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, as the African Political leader of the year 2020; Graca Michel as the African Climate Champion of the year 2020, alongside 10 other distinguished Africans in a keenly contested poll.  The poll attracted over 120,000 votes on the ALM website; over 7 million active online engagement during the voting period; and over 5000 votes via email.

The winners shall be decorated and presented with honour instruments on February 26th, 2021, during the annual African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Award ceremony. This year, the event is billed to hold virtually and set to host influential Africans in business, politics, and all spheres of African leadership spectrum. As has been the tradition, the winners were unveiled by the Publisher of the Magazine, Dr Ken Giami, at the U.K. Head Office of the group. The announcement of the winners was preceded by the awards committee working with the editorial team to collate online and offline votes and submissions from the over 1 million subscribers/followership base of the publication. 

The full list of winners as below:

African of the Year 2020: 

1.    Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, – Winner

2.    Strive Masiyiwa, Founder & Executive Chairman, Econet Group, Zimbabwe – Runner-up

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African Political Leader of the Year 2020: 

1.    H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana – Winner

2.    H.E. John Magufuli, President of Tanzania – Runner-up

African Female Leader of the Year 2020: 

1.    Tiguidanke Camara, Chairman & CEO, TMG Group, Guinea – Winner

2.    Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Africa – Runner-up        

African Educationist of the Year 2020 

1.    Professor Samuel Edoumiekumo, Vice-Chancellor, Niger Delta University, Nigeria – Winner

2.    Dr Patrick Awuah Jr. Founder & President, Ashesi University, Ghana – Runner-up   

African Industrialist of the Year 2020

1.    Nicky Oppenheimer, Chairman, Oppenheimer Generations, South Africa – Winner 

2.    Abdulsamad Rabiu, Chairman, BUA Group, Nigeria – Runner-up  

African Philanthropist of the Year 2020 

1.    Mo Ibrahim, Founder, Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Sudan – Winner 

2.    Ayo & Helen Oritsejafor, Founders, Eagle Hand Foundation, Nigeria – Runner-up

ALM Young Person of the Year 2020 

1.    Sadio Mane, Footballer, Senegal – Winner 

2.    Eder pale, Founder & CEO, Mozhandlings, Mozambique – Runner-up   

African Agricultural Champion of the Year 2020

1.    Onyeka Akumah, Co-founder, FarmCrowdy, Nigeria – Winner 

2.    Noel Doyle, Chief Executive, Tiger Brand, South Africa – Runner-up 

African Climate Champion of the Year 2020 

1.    Graca Machel, the former first lady and climate activist, Mozambique – Winner

2.    Agnes Matilda Kalibata, President, Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa – Runner-up     

Africa Peace & Security Leader of the Year 2020 

1.    H.E. Goodluck Jonathan, former president of Nigeria – Winner

2.    General Vincent Nundwe, Army Commander, Malawi – Runner-up

African Energy Leader of the Year 2020 

1.    Kwameh Kyei, MD/CEO, Unity Oil Company Ltd, Ghana – Winner 

2.    Nkechi Obi, MD/CEO, Techno Oil, Nigeria – Runner-up

African Public Health Champion of the Year 2020

1.     Dr John Nkengasong, Director General, Africa CDC, Cameroon – Winner 

2.    Jean-Jacques Muvembe, Ebola Vaccine, Congo – Runner-up 

Africa Disruptor of the Year 2020 

1.    Kamal Yakub, Founder, Uber for Tractors, Ghana – Winner 

2.    Ken Njoroge, Co-founder & Group CEO, Cellulant Corporation, Kenya – Runner-up

The African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Awards, which has become the leading vote-based third-party endorsement in the continent, recorded an upsurge of over 50% votes from the previous year, mainly from Africans within and the Diaspora. 

The Publisher, Dr Giami, maintained that 2020 had been a very turbulent year, with the COVID-19 pandemic stretching Africa's fragile health systems and exacerbating poverty in the continent. However, he stressed that certain Africans contributed towards minimizing the impact of the pandemic on the continent and helped in inspiring hope for the future. These Africans are deserving of a special commendation. In his words, “all the nominees for this year's persons of the year have contributed in no small measure towards minimizing the impact of the pandemic on the continent through their work and are deserving of the crown.” Continuing, he stated that, “the nominees have demonstrated great faith in the Africa project, and are 'walking their talk' in their communities, helping in changing the negative narratives about Africa globally.    They all are true lovers of Africa, determinedly contributing, sometimes amidst challenging circumstances but undoubtedly making Africa and the world a better place for all.”

The African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year which is in its 9th year is an annual award reserved for distinguished Africans, who have blazed the trail in the year under review. A shortlist of nominees are selected from results gathered via a Call for the 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.

This year, the selection committee expanded the categories to cover other key themes that are critical to Africa’s future ambition and sustainability aspirations. It included subjects that resonated with the continent in the year 2020, including – individual, institution and group contribution to the fight to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa. Other themes included – Africans whose activities, policies and actions have contributed to 'Investments in Africa's young people, jobs & wealth creation; promotion of sustainable peace & development, delivering democratic values; & the promotion of Africa's image globally.

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