Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, coordinating minister for the economy, have been named among the most influential persons across the globe by Time magazine
| By Olu Ojewale | May 5, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT
ALIKO Dangote, Africa’s richest man and president, Dangote Group, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, coordinating minister for the economy and minister of finance, were among the 100 most influential on earth named by the Time magazine on Wednesday, April 23.
Bill Gate, founder, Microsoft and co-chair, Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation, wrote a tribute in honour of Dangote in commemoration of his listing by the magazine. Gate noted Dangote’s philanthropic gestures in the areas of health, especially polio eradication and his job creation efforts. He described the business mogul as a man who does good in addition to doing well. Gates wrote in part: “his business activities drive economic growth across the continent. That’s impressive, but I know him best as a leader constantly in search of ways to bridge the gap between private business and public health. It’s for that reason he helped create the Nigeria Private Sector Health Alliance. And it’s for that reason he is an advocate for agricultural research and malaria control.”
Bono, founder, ONE campaign and respected global activist, in a profile on Okonjo-Iweala, paid tribute to her contribution in achieving the historic debt deal with the Paris Club and the fight against corruption in Nigeria. He also commended the minister for her ministerial work, stating that “she’s got one of the toughest jobs on the planet.” Bono further said of Okonjo-Iweala: “Humour and joy spill out of her. She is fiercely intelligent; everyone wants her to work with them. I couldn’t be prouder to work for her.”
Ten years ago, the European edition of the magazine had recognised the minister as one of the world’s ‘Heroes.’
This time, Okonjo-Iweala was featured in the Leaders’ category of the respected list, along with President Xi Jinping of China; John Kerry, United States secretary of State; President Vladmir Putin of Russia; President Hassan Rouhani of Iran; Shinzo Abe, Japanese prime minister and others.
Aliko was classified in the Titans category which boasts of eminent world personalities such as Hillary Clinton, former US secretary of state; Janet Yellen, chair, US Federal Reserve Board, and Chancellor Angela Merkel of German.
In her reaction, Okonjo-Iweala expressed her delight and humility at the honour, especially following so soon after she got the Rockefeller Leadership Award. “I am grateful to God for his blessings and I appreciate the privilege and honour of working for my country. I am thankful to my teams that worked hard to help me achieve. I appreciate the support and prayers of millions of Nigerians and friends around the world. This is vastly encouraging.”
Time 100 is an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world assembled by Time news magazine. First published in 1999 as the result of a debate among American academics, politicians, and journalists, the list is now an annual event.
Although appearing on the list is often seen as an honour, Time explains that entrants are recognised for changing the world, regardless of the consequences of their actions. Dangote had earlier been listed as the 64th most powerful person in the world by the Forbes Magazine. Forbes magazine also ranked Dangote as the 23rd richest person in the world and the richest man in Africa. He surpassed Saudi-Ethiopian billionaire Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi in 2013 by more than $2.6 billion to become the world’s richest black man.
On the 14th of November 2011, Dangote was awarded Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger, GCON, Nigeria’s second highest honour, by President Goodluck Jonathan. He has also been awarded the highest national award in two other African countries, The Republic of Benin and Kenya.