Adichie, Masiyiwa, Mugisha: The three Africans on Fortune's list of world's greatest leaders

Adichie, Masiyiwa, Mugisha: The three Africans on Fortune's list of world's greatest leaders

Chimamanda Adichie

Talk about recognition that lends more credence to the work these individuals are already doing.

Fortune release its list of the 50 greatest leaders in the world last month and three Africans made the cut. The magazine says the men and women on the list cut across various walks of life, are transforming the world and inspiring other to do the same. 

Head of the catholic church, Pope Francis; Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos; and Alibaba founder and CEO Jack Ma are some of the names on the list. 

The three Africans representing the continent come from Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe. They are: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Novelist and Essayist; Strive Masiyiwa, technology and telecoms entrepreneur; and Frank Mugisha, an LGBTQ activist. 

Nigerians, and indeed most of the African continent, are familiar with Chimamanda Adichie because of her powerful way of challenging her audiences to think differently about race, gender, identity and Africa. She’s also known for two of her TED talks that have gone viral, including one that was sampled by the Queen of pop herself, Beyonce.

 

Strive Masiyiwa is the founder of Econet, the telecoms company he set up in 1998 after a long and arduous battle with the Zimbabwean government, breaking up a state monopoly in the process. He sits on the boards of several companies and has been widely regarded for his supporting orphans, funding scholarships, and fighting hunger, poverty, and Ebola.

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For the most part, Frank Mugisha may just have one of the hardest jobs in the world. He is the founder and executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, an activist group fighting against laws that are oppressive to the LGBTQ community in Uganda. He is notorious for his outspoken protest against the country’s anti-homosexuality bill, which imposes a life sentence on people for being gay. He is 37 years old and has been out of the closet since he was 14. 

The World’s Greatest Leaders is a ranking of people who have been particularly effective leaders. We cast a very wide net. We look not just at business, but at all realms of endeavour, whether it is business, government, non-profit, sports…We get a list initially of hundreds of candidates… We then have to narrow it down and that’s where the fun is and that is where the impossible choices are also. But we do it; we get it down to 50,” says Geoff Colvin, Editor-In-Chief of Fortune, according to Innovation Village. 

The recognition only lends more credence to the work these individuals are already doing. Hopefully, it would serve as an inspiration to more Africans to build the bridges of humanity and break the boundaries holding us, and our communities, back. 

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