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2017: World’s Most Influential Under 40s With African Descent Revealed And Honored


In support of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent 2015 – 2024 the evening with MIPAD Class of 2017 recognized and celebrated the contribution of 200 high achievers, 100 inside Africa, 100 across the African Diaspora in four categories; Politics and Governance, Media and Culture, and Religion & Humanitarian endeavors in-line with the 1st pillar of the UN international decade of recognition.

Selected based on their political clout, business acumen, social media following and humanitarian endeavors, 200 honorees made up the four categories.

Well known African names such as

Akon from Senegal,

South African hip-hop artist AKA

Renowned actors like David Oyelowo (Nigeria)

Lupita Nyongo (Kenya),

Soccer star Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast),

Super model Alek Wek (Sudan)

And there are also those with ancestry links to Africa such as Olympic star Usain Bolt (Jamaica), singing sensation Beyoncé (US), award winning movie actors and power couple Lazaro Ramos and Tais Araujo (Brazil), Ding Hui (China) who is notable as the first black athlete to be selected for a Chinese national sports team, and many more from around the world.


Keynote speaker, Honorable Timothy E. McPherson Jr., Minister of Finance, Accompong Jamaica and Chairman, International Door of Return Committee urged the honorees and African’s worldwide to return to excellence.

Today, we recognize individual excellence going forward, it is critical that we all embark on the pursuit of collective excellence once associated with people of African descent. As a leader within the maroon community from Jamaica and across the Diaspora, we are here to support with this movement MIPAD has started.”


The premium event showcased the achievements of the 2017 honorees who represented more than 48 countries crisscrossing the globe coming to New York to make a business and social connection with their counterparts. This power networking event between 100 of the best and brightest based inside Africa and 100 based in the Diaspora is set to ignite an extraordinary collaboration between Africa and the Diaspora.

The honorees transcend race with their achievements in media, music, movies, fashion and sports impacting popular culture the world over… changing the narrative about Africa and its Diaspora by highlighting our excellence worldwide,” 

Currently, it is estimated that there are approximately 200 million people who identify as being of African descent who live in the Americas. There are many millions more who are spread across the world outside of the African continent. The promotion and protection of human rights of people of African descent has been a strategic priority for the United Nations. The International Decade for People of African Descent proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 68/237, and to be observed from 2015 to 2024, provides a framework to elevate and acknowledge the significant accolades achieved by people of African descent around the world.


Written by How Africa

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