The December issue of the NewAfrican Magazine is published with four different covers featuring: Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, AbiyAhmed; The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize co-winner DR Congo’s Dr Denis Mukwege; Botswana’s 31-year old Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Bogolo Joy Kenewendo and Egypt’s football star, Mo Salah.
For the first time, the list is gender-balanced at 50 women and 50 men, with Nigeria dominating the entries, closely followed by Kenya and South Africa. Collated by its global network of correspondents and industry insiders, this year’s listing consists of some fresh faces, amid some key figures returning for the second, even third year.
The annual list has become an industry highlight, unveiling Africans who contributed in shaping the African narrative in the concluding year and also those envisaged to play a big role in the coming year, both on the continent and in the diaspora.
The final 2018 tally sees a drop in the number of entries for politicians, but an increase in the Arts and Culture sections at 16 and 22 entries respectively. In terms of countries, entries are led by Nigeria with 18 names followed by Kenya (11) South Africa (10) Egypt (8) and Ethiopia (7).
With many reports indicating how gender parity improves the quality of governance and accelerates development; and in a year that has seen the emboldening of gender issues, with countries such as Ethiopia even taking a lead in achieving gender parity in cabinet, and appointing its first ever female President under its new reformist Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy, the magazine inadvertently saw the entries tally at a 50/50 ratio – the first time this has happened since the listing was introduced six years ago.
“One yardstick which we often employ when coming up with the final list is to emphasise that influence is not about popularity and popularity is not always influential. The influencer’s impact on public, social and political discourse, however, is what largely helps us determine their influence. Most importantly we focus mainly on people who have been influential for Africa’s good,” says reGina Jane Jere – Editor of the magazine’s sister publication – the New African Woman, who leads and oversees the Most Influential Africans project.
Another outstanding feature of this year’s list is the increased inclusion of people of African descent making their mark at a global level in the African Diaspora. “This is a clear indication of the wealth of talent that our continent possesses and shows that given the slightest opportunity, our men and women can eclipse their peers worldwide in their chosen fields of endeavour,” explains Anver Versi – the magazine’s editor.
Also of note is the inclusion of men and women in the seemingly unglamorous fields such as conservation and climate change, whose work is often overlooked by the media.
For the full list and details as well as more from our December Edition Click here