Barack Obama’s re-election for a 2nd term as President of the United States and therefore Leader of Free World. All eyes were on America the hallmark of democracy and as days led to the historic election the world was watching. Democracy we learned is about ideas rather than intimidation. The country was clearly divided as to the way forward but in the end faith triumphed over fear and the leader whose ideas the American people embraced won the election. Obama focused on education, economy and empowering people to move forward. President Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4th, 1961, to a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas. Growing up, he was also raised by his grandfather, who served in Patton’s army, and his grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to become vice president at a local bank.
After working his way through school with the help of scholarship money and student loans, President Obama moved to Chicago, where he worked as an organizer to help rebuild communities devastated by the closure of local steel plants. He went on to Harvard Law School, where he was elected the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. After graduating, President Obama went on to lead one of the most successful voter registration drives in state history, and continued his legal work as a civil rights lawyer and a professor teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago.
Joyce Banda- became Malawi’s first female President following the death of Bingu waMutharika. Born Joyce Hilda Banda 12 April 1950 in Malema village Malawi. Educated at from Columbus University and in Italy/ United States with a Bachelor’s degree in Education and a diploma in management. Lived in Kenya, Italy, and United States. Joyce Banda is married to the former Supreme Court Justice Richard Banda and they have 3 children. Started businesses Ndekani Garments, (1985), Akajuwe Enterprises (1992), and Kalingidza Bakery (1995 to finance her charities that send young girls to school. 2006-2009 Minister of Foreign Affairs. May 2009 appointed Vice President of Malawi. 2010 Expelled from ruling party Democratic People’s Party (DPP) and formed the People’s Party. Lifelong ambition to empower women to break the cycle of poverty in their lives. April 2011 becomes Malawi’s first Female President.
Thulani Madondo- Madondo was nominated as a 2012 CNN Hero for his work with the Kliptown Youth Program (KYP), which provides meals for children, support with school fees, after-school care as well as educational help and tutoring to about 400 disadvantaged children from the Kliptown area. The organization has also made it possible for 18 youths to pursue higher education. Madondo, 30, grew up in a family of nine and faced many of the same struggles as the children he is helping. Financial pressure forced all of his older siblings to drop out of high school. But Madondo washed cars and worked as a stock boy to earn money to stay in school, and he became the first member of his family to graduate from high school. In spite of his efforts he could not afford to go to college. Five years ago Madondo and several Kliptown natives founded the Kliptown Youth Program to give young people an opportunity to pursue their education without worrying about food and educational resources.
TB Joshua- is the head of Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) and has an estimated net worth of $10 million – $15 million. He is popularly known as T.B Joshua. The church he founded in 1987 now serves over 15,000 worshippers on Sundays. The church currently has branches in Ghana, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Greece. In the past three years, he has given over $20 million to causes in education, healthcare and rehabilitation programs for former Niger Delta militants. He owns Emmanuel TV, a Christian television network, and is close friends with Ghanaian President Atta Mills. In 2011 he is best known for prophesying the death of Malawi’s President.
Maud Chifamba, Zimbabwe, 14-year old University Accounting Student. At 14-years old, Chifamba made history this year when she became the youngest student (male or female) in Zimbabwe and possibly the whole of Southern Africa to enroll at university. The young genius was admitted to the University of Zimbabwe where she will study towards a Bachelor of Accountancy Honors Degree. An orphan, Chifamba’s mother passed away last December, days after she sat for her final exams, and her father nine years ago when she was five years old. Despite this and abject poverty (her two brothers were unable to pay her fees for regular school), Chifamba home schooled herself and broke academic records earning a four-year scholarship of nearly USD$10,000.
Jacob Zuma– President of South Africa who won reelection of his party in a tight race where the future and relevance of the ANC was being questioned by the younger generation. Zuma’s victory was celebrated by some in Zimbabwe who have viewed his immigration policy as being friendly to Zimbabweans and other foreigners living in South Africa. They see Zuma as the key negotiator/ arbitrator to success in Zimbabwe’s upcoming free and fair elections where many hope that democracy will prevail and the people’s voice will be heard.
Jackson Kaguri and the Nyaka School Project- Jackson Kaguri was chosen as a CNN Hero for 2012. Even though he did not make the Top 10 category we still choose to highlight the wonderful work he is doing in Uganda. The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project is working on behalf of HIV/AIDS orphans in rural Uganda to end systemic deprivation, poverty and hunger through a holistic approach to community development, education, and healthcare. Twesigye Jackson Kaguri was born and raised in Uganda in the small village of Nyakagyezi. At a very young age he demonstrated an unquenchable desire to learn, which led him to study at and graduate from Makerere University in Kampala. During this time he co-founded the human rights organization, Human Rights Concerns, to help victims of human rights violations in Uganda and to educate the public about their rights. In the 90s he became a visiting scholar at Columbia
University where he studied Human Rights Advocacy. Over the years he has been involved extensively in international community efforts as a human rights advocate, fundraiser, and inspirational speaker.
Andrew Mupuya, 20 of Uganda is the Founder of YELI- In 2008 the Ugandan government announced that it was considering a ban on the use of polythene plastic bags. Andrew Mupuya, only 16 years old at the time, visualized an opportunity in paper bag production. He was still in high school, and his parents, who were both unemployed, were experiencing great difficulty in paying Mupuya’s school fees. With his savings and small monetary gifts from family and friends, Andrew was able to raise 36,000 Ugandan Shillings ($18) in startup capital- money he used to start making paper bags on a small scale. In 2010 Andrew registered his company, Youth Entrepreneurial Link Investments (YELI), which is now the first local registered paper bag and envelope-producing company in Uganda. The business has grown significantly, and today it employs 14 Ugandans, including a 53 year-old father of eight. YELI supplies paper bags and envelopes to local hospitals, small scale retail outlets, roadside sellers and local flour manufacturers. Within four years of its launch, YELI has produced more than half a million paper bags. From the company’s revenues, Mupuya has been able to pay for his business bachelor’s degree at the prestigious Makerere University of Uganda, support his family and financially support his 14 staff and their families.
Julius Malema is the young ambition and controversial former leader of the ANC Youth League. This year he was prominent in speaking against the shooting of the black miners at Marikana. His vehement opposition to current economic policies in South Africa has made him infamous among ANCs leaders. He is a firebrand with close ties to Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe. He was (born 3 March 1981, in Seshego) is a South African politician, and the former president of the African National Congress Youth League. Malema occupies a notably controversial position in South African public and political life.
Marieme Jamme vision is in IT investment across African continent. CEO of Spot One Global Solutions, assists foreign companies in entering African markets. Mariéme worked as an asset manager at Citibank, JP Morgan and Lloyds TSB and in various software companies such as Primavera INC (now Oracle), Microsoft, Osiatis and CA. Co-founder of Africa Gathering- a great meeting of the minds where experts and entrepreneurs exchange ideas and chart the way forward for Africa. Advocate for education, good governance and health on the African continent. Worked with Google, IBM, Shell, in Africa. Mentor for the black youth in London as part of the Mayor Mentorship program. Judge for Africa Rural Connect, a programme of the US National Peace Corps that pools ideas aimed at meeting the needs of African farmers. Board member of Free Generation International, an organization fighting human trafficking and slavery. Board member of the Hive Colab in Uganda, business accelerator and incubator for East African technologists
Jason Njoku – Piracy was always a problem for Nollywood filmmakers. There were many ‘hustlers’ in the diaspora who made their living off pirating movie and keeping all the profits. The business problem that most filmmakers had was distribution and since their core competency is actually making movies and not distribution. Then came the savvy businessman Jason Njoku who sold the problem and protected the intellectual property rights of the filmmakers. If I was still in business school I would have opted to study Nollywood a perfect African Business School Case Study. Nollywood before Njoku can be compared to the business philosophy of Ford and his Model T where it was all about the product. Of course producers and writers are artists and creativity is their core competency but creativity means nothing without the avenue to get the product to the market. Business savvy and creativity have to be combined so that the creators of intellectual property reap the harvest of their work that they had toiled in the Nigerian sun.
Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma– Chairperson of the AU. She became the first woman in the history of the organization to hold that position in a heavily contested election against Gabonese incumbent Ching.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala– Finance Minister of Nigeria, submitted her nomination for President of the World Bank. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has spent her career shuttling between the rarified world of international economic institutions and the rough-and-tumble politics of her native Nigeria. Most recently, she served for four years as managing director of the World Bank, where she pushed initiatives like “diaspora bonds” that would allow immigrants in the West to invest in their home countries.
In July, the Harvard- and MIT-educated Okonjo-Iweala returned to Nigeria as President Goodluck Jonathan’s finance minister, a job she had held once before. Last time under Okonjo-Wahala, or “Trouble Woman,” as she’s nicknamed, the country cut inflation in half and averaged 6 percent growth per year. This time her focus is on reducing Nigeria’s debt burden and creating jobs, despite the slump in the global economy and considerable challenges at home, including entrenched corruption and a string of terrorist attacks.
Folorunso Alakija is a Nigerian Billionaire. She was born July 15, 1951 and is a Nigerian Billionaire fashion-designer and Executive Director at FAMFA Oil, an indigenous Nigerian oil and gas exploration and production company. After leaving the corporate world in the early 80′s (1984), she left to go the UK to study fashion designing. She came back to Nigeria in 1985 a year after her training and started her fashion house-Supreme Stitches at a 3-Bedroom apartment in Surulere, Lagos and a year after establishing the company, she emerged as the best Designer in the country in 1986. She and her younger sister were sent to school abroad when she was 7 years old to a private school for girls in Northern Wales, and they were the only colored (black) girls in the school. At age 11 she and Doyle moved back to Nigeria at the request of their parents who didn’t want them to lose their African values, culture and tradition. She married in 1976 and has 4 kids, all boys. She became a more religious person at the age of 40 and from then on found passion in caring for the under-privileged. And this passion led to her establishing a foundation-Rose of Sharon Foundation. So her idea is to help provide a platform that aids by helping with interest free loans to at-least start a business or continue with one.
Herman Chinery Hesse- has been called the ‘Bill Gates of Africa’ but we would like to believe that he is his own man. An African with the opportunity to develop software that caters to the needs of Africans and African business. This is our hope for the future of the African continent. In the midst of the global technological revolution, Africa has been mentioned few times because of the scarcity of Internet service which forms the backbone of modern technology. However with the introduction of high speed Internet service in the recent past, Africans are beginning to see the vast opportunity that exists in this domain. He is a 43 year old entrepreneur who is seeking to maximize his opportunity in this technologically driven world. He was one of the founders of the largest Internet Cafe in Ghana and now serves as Executive Chairman and controlling shareholder for SOFTribe a company he founded.