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Nigerian Man, Tom Ilube, Named Britain’s Most Powerful Black Person

Tech entrepreneur and educator Tom Ilube may have been one of few black faces on the London Stock Exchange, convinced the founder of the web to be an adviser to one of his startups, and set up Africa’s first specialist science school for girls, but he’s still not sure they’ve got the right person.

British-Nigerian cyber security expert, philanthropist and educator Tom Ilube – has been named the number one most influential black man in Britain.

The British Nigerian topped Powerlist 2017, the annual list of the 100 most powerful people of African and African Caribbean heritage in Britain.

Ilube claimed the number one spot for his outstanding work in education where he has demonstrably impacted thousands of lives and for his success in launching several successful technology companies.

The philanthropist set up the charity, African Gifted Foundation, to help transform the lives of hundreds of children on the continent.


This year, he opened the African Science Academy (ASA), Africa’s first girls-only science and technology school, based in Ghana with young women scientists attending from six countries: Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Sierra Leone and Uganda.

The academy is driving Africa’s development by inspiring and unleashing the next generation of gifted scientists and engineers and hopes to admit over 200 students a year from across the continent.

Reflecting on his achievements with ASA, Ilube said: “Launching the African Science Academy is the highlight of all my work in education over the past decade. I am convinced that we have brilliant young women in African who have the potential to be tomorrow’s world class scientists and engineers.”

Ilube is also the Founder and CEO of Crossword Cybersecurity plc and was part of the founding team of pioneering internet bank Egg where he was Chief Information Officer and he persuaded Sir Tim Berners Lee to serve as an adviser to his company Garlik.

The 53-year-old, from Isleworth, west London, founded Hammersmith Academy, which opened in September 2011 and has gone on to become one of the UK’s most innovative technology schools.


Unveiling the Powerlist 2017, chosen by an independent panel of judges led by former High Court judge Dame Linda Dobbs, publisher Michael Eboda said: “I’m incredibly proud of all of our Powerlistees this year and over the past 10 years in which we’ve published the magazine. Tom isn’t a household name, but quietly behind the scenes, he has had an incredible effect on the lives of so many people across the world.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan added it was important to “never forget the power of positive role models”.

“I’ve seen time and time again the profound impact it can have when young people see high achievers who look like them and come from the same background. It spurs them on. It motivates them. And there is special moment when they realise that they too can succeed and fulfil their potential.”

He praised the Powerlist for “the achievements and accomplishments of people of African and African Caribbean heritage in Britain”.

Entrants were judged on their “ability to change lives and alter events, as demonstrated over a protracted period of time and in a positive manner,” a Powerlist spokesperson said.

Winners will be honoured at the third annual Powerlist Influencers Dinner, a black-tie event sponsored by EY, which will be held at the Goldsmiths’s Hall. The keynote speech will be delivered by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
Ilube is from Afuze-Emai, Owan Local Government Area, Edo State.

The Powerlist 2016 – Top 10
1. Tom Ilube – founder of Crosssword Cybersecurity, Africa Gifted Foundation

2. Ric Lewis – founder, chief executive and chairman, Tristan Capital Partners

3. Arlene Isaacs-Lowe – managing director, head of relationship management for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Moody’s

4. Sir Lenny Henry – actor, writer and campaigner

5. Mo Farah – Olympic champion long-distance runner

6. Lewis Hamilton – Formula One world champion

7. Ismail Ahmed – founder and chief executive, WorldRemit

8. Dr Shirley Thompson – composer

9. Sharon White – chief executive, Ofcom

10. Steve McQueen – film director


Written by PH

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