“To whom much is given, much is expected.” Forbes has listed it’s ten most powerful men in Africa based on their actions and deeds in 2014. The list is topped by the founder of Econet Wireless, Strive Massiwa and features Oscar Onyema, CEO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
10. Moustapha Ben Barka, Mali
One of Mali’s emerging political leaders, Moustapha Ben Barka was recently named Deputy Secretary General in the Office of the President of the Republic ofMali. Recently named a Young Global Leader, class of 2015 by the World Economic Forum, Barka mostly recently served in the Government of Mali as Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance where he was in charge of investment and promotion of the private sector. Prior, he served as Minister of Industry and Investment Promotion.
9. Mbwana Alliy, Tanzania
Alliy is the founder and managing partner of Savannah Fund, an Africa-focused technology venture capital that runs both an accelerator and a venture fund that ranges from $25,000 to $500,000 USD in seed capital for early stage high growth technology (mobile and web) startups in sub-Saharan Africa.
8. NJ Ayuk, Equatorial Guinea
NJ Ayuk, created Centurion LLP, a law firm which advises the government of Equatorial Guinea on oil and gas deals and contracts, with two other lawyers back in 2009. Under his exceptional leadership, Centurion grew from just two employees to 35 employees and became the largest law firm in Equatorial Guinea. Centurion is said to have signed the highest number of oil and gas deals in Africa. From working as a housekeeper at a hotel and as a server at a fast food restaurant in Germany at the age of 16-years, today Ayuk is one of the continent’s leading African oil and gas lawyers.
7. Edwin Macharia, Kenya
Recently named a Young Global Leader, class of 2015 by the World Economic Forum, Edwin Macharia came to prominence in his role as Director of Agriculture with the Clinton Foundation where he led partnership-building and operations in agriculture for a $100Million USD initiative focused on effecting holistic development at the grassroot-levels. Currently a partner at Dalberg, based in Nairobi,Kenya, Macharia advises developing countries’ governments, international organizations, and corporations.
6. Victor Ochen, Uganda
Victor Ochen, 33-year old former child victim of war-turned-crusader for youth leadership and advocate for the rights of war victims, was nominated for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). As founder ofAfrican Youth Initiative Network(Ayinet), Ochen joins Mussie Zerai, an Italian priest of Eritrean descent, Pope France and Edward Snowden as nominees for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize.
5. Oscar Onyema, Nigeria
As a testament to his contributions to the capital markets in Nigeria, in 2014, Oscar Onyema, Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, was made an Officer of the Order of the Niger(OON) in “recognition of his contribution to economic development, the transformation of The Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Nigerian capital markets”. With the Nigerian bourse taking a beating in recent months; Onyema has had to work in overdrive to restore investor confidence in one of Africa’s largest capital markets.
4. George Weah, Liberia
Against the backdrop of an Ebola outbreak ravishing the country, former football star George Weah won a landslide victory in one of Liberia‘s most high-profile senate race elections. Weah obtained 78% of the vote for the highly contested Montserrado county seat, beating Robert Sirleaf, the son of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Weah’s senate win is widely viewed as foundational for a second presidential run in 2017; he won the first round of the 2005 presidential election, losing the runoff to President Johnson-Sirleaf.
3. Simpiwe ‘Sim’ Tshabala, South Africa
One of South Africa’s leading new-generation corporate leaders, Simpiwe “Sim” Tshabalala is joint Chief Executive of theStandard Bank Groupand Chief Executive of Standard Bank,South Africa. Co-chair of what is now Africa’s largest bank by market capitalization (R209.4 billion [$20 billion USD])
2. Tidjane Thiam, Ivory Coast
Thiam is a high ranking executive who recently resigned from his role as Group Chief Executive Officer of U.K.-insurer, Prudential to run one of the world’s largest and oldest banks in the world, Credit Suisse in Europe. Once the Minister of Planning and Development in a previous Duncan government, he is said to have offered advice to Prime Minister Duncan as the country of Ivory Coast recovers from a decade of strife and political unrest.
1. Strive Masiyiwa, Zimbabwe
Nominated in 2013 as “Person of the Year” by Forbes Africa, Strive Masiyiwa is Zimbabwe’s wealthiest man and one of the continent’s most influential and revered telecommunications tycoon and entrepreneur. In 2014, Masiyiwa led the African business community and private sector in the fight against Ebola, raising $28.5Million as part of the first wave of pledges to support an African-led medical corps to support efforts in the epicenters of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.