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Four Africans make it to the prestigious Time magazine’s 100 most influential list


NIGERIAN Tony Elumelu, one of Africa’s leading investors and philanthropists and Ethiopian Dr Tedros  Adhanon Ghebreyesus, the man who is leading the global fight against COVID-19 are among the four Africans who have made it into the exclusive and much-sought club of the TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential list.

Elumelu is chairman and founder of Heirs Holdings, Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organisation director-general, are joined on the list by Congolese microbiologist Dr Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum and  Abubacarr Tambadou, the Gambian lawyer, former Justice Minister and Registrar of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal tribunals.

45Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General during the World Humanitarian Day at Palais des Nations in Geneva on 21 August 2017. Photo: UN Photo / Violaine Martin

Elumelu is the founder and chairman of Heirs Holdings, his family owned investment company, committed to improving lives and transforming Africa, through long-term investments in strategic sectors of the African economy, including financial services, hospitality, power, energy, technology and healthcare.


He  is the most prominent champion of entrepreneurship in Africa. In 2010, he created The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the philanthropy empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, catalysing economic growth, driving poverty eradication and ensuring job creation across all 54 African countries. 

Since inception, the Foundation has funded just under 10,000 entrepreneurs and created a digital ecosystem of over one million as part of its ten year, US$100m commitment through the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.  Self-funded, the Foundation is increasingly sharing its unique ability to identify, train, mentor and fund young entrepreneurs across Africa, with institutions such as the UNDP, the ICRC and leading European development agencies.

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 Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO of the TEF said: “This timely recognition precedes the Foundation’s 10th year anniversary slated for this November.  The recognition is in honour of his commitment to empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, catalysing economic growth, driving poverty eradication and ensuring job creation across all 54 African countries, through his work at the Tony Elumelu Foundation. On behalf of our Advisory Board, staff, our 9,360 beneficiaries, and all well-wishers, we congratulate our Founder, Tony Elumelu, as well as all other laureates on this well-deserved honour.”

The TIME magazine’s 2020 list includes a number of high profile personalities who have made an impact with the public in their respective fields, including politics, health, sports, business and arts. 

This year’s list includes a number of black personalities from across the globe, who are interviewed by respective individuals who work within the same field as the influential profiles. 

Abubacarr Tambadou in 2019. Picture: Supplied

Greek-Nigerian basketball player Giannis Antetokounmpo, who plays for the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA, and Nigerian-American author Tomi Adeyemi were included as influential pioneers in their respective fields.

NBA player Giannis Antetokounmpo. Picture: Supplied

Other non-African influential figures included in the list include retired NBA player Dwayne Wade, actress Gabrielle Union, American rapper Megan Thee Stallion, British actress and producer Michaela Coel, Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton, and 2018 FIFA Women’s World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe.

American director the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, presidential nominee Joe Biden and current US President Donald Trump were also included in the Time 100 Most Influential List. 

Nigerian-American author Tomi Adeyemi. picture: Instagram
Picture: Instagram
Picture: Instagram 
By The African Mirror