Time Magazine Names These 9 Africans Among the World’s 100 Most Influential People

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Okonjo-Iweala is the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WT0).

Prince Harry and Meghan who wrote the tribute were full of praise for Okonjo-Iweala. They wrote, “[a]s the first African and first woman to lead the World Trade Organization, a 164-member group of nations that oversees trade across the world, Okonjo-Iweala took on the role of Director-General this March at a watershed moment for our global health and well-being. Make no mistake, her job affects every person, family and community.

“As we face a constant barrage of vaccine misinformation, bureaucratic slowdowns across both government and industry, and the rise of variants that underscore the urgency of the situation, Okonjo-Iweala has shown us that to end the pandemic, we must work together to equip every nation with equitable vaccine access.”

Singer-Songwriter Angelique Kidjo

Angelique Kidjo is a four-time Grammy Award winner, regarded as one of the greatest artists in international music. She has produced 13 music albums and her music ingenuity earned her spot in the TIME 100 as “Africa’s premier diva”.

Alicia Keys who collaborated for a song in Kidjo’s latest album, Mother Nature wrote the tribute. Describing Kidjo as one who electrifies people, Keys wrote, “She taught me how to dance to African music with her, and would walk me through the steps and rhythms like an absolute firecracker. Her ability to blend cultures, creating a soulful sound that is out of this world, makes working with her and listening to her so special. It doesn’t matter where you are—you hear her, and you become alive.”

Scholar and Writer Felwine Sarr

Felwine Sarr made the list alongside Bénédicte Savoy due to their critical contribution to restitution.

The duo in 2018 published a ‘Sarr-Savoy Report,’ commissioned by French President Emmanuel Macron. The report stands as a testament to the fight against colonial legacies of violence, the magazine said.

Sarr, who currently teaches at Duke University, welcomed the news with humility, “our contribution to the debate on the restitution of African heritage has earned us, along with Bénédicte Savoy, a place in the TIME 100.”

Environmental Activist Phyllis Omido

Omido is an award-winning environmental activist and the Executive Director of the Center for Justice Governance and Environmental Action. She is the only East African on the list.

She earned her spot on the list after she quit her job and led community efforts to close a lead-smelting plant where she had spent years as an employee

She took action when she learned that her baby boy, like others in her area, had been affected by lead poisoning. The legal battle was over a 1 year stretch and in 2020, it resulted in a landmark $12 million settlement awarded to lead-poisoning victims in her community.

American environmentalist Erin Brockovich, who wrote the tribute describes her as a “single mother with no formal training discovers a deadly water contamination and takes action”.

Actor Daniel Kaluuya

The 32-year-old British-Ugandan actor won his first Academy Award in 2021 for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’.

Ryan Coogler who wrote Kaluuya’s remark narrated, “Daniel is a watcher, a listener, an empathetic soul committed to relating to other human beings”.

Actor Omar Sy

Omar Sy is a French actor who starred in the Netflix series “Lupin”. He was born to immigrant parents from West Africa.

Fellow actor, Bradley Actor who the remarks for Omar described him as having ingredients and skill to be able to do anything—produce, direct, etc.—and to do it with an open and generous heart

Entrepreneur Elon Musk

Elon Musk is the Co-Founder and CEO of Tesla and Founder, CEO and Chief Engineer at SpaceX. Writing about Musk, Huffington Post Co-Founder Arianna Huffington said “he’s augmenting human possibilities”.

“And by doing it all with his relentlessly optimistic, space-half-full showmanship, he’s offering a model for how we can solve the big, existential challenges in front of us,” she wrote.

Virologist John Nkengasong

John Nkengasong is the Founding Director and leader of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, which has been a life-saving force during the Covid-19 pandemic by acting as an advocate for equitable access to vaccines—making him a “modern-day African hero,” wrote Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organization. According to Okonjo-Iweala, Nkengasong, who is “one of the world’s leading virologists working on HIV/AIDS,” has during the pandemic contributed to “improved testing, better provision of Covid-19 tools—especially vaccines—and a more transparent approach to sharing Covid-19 data by all African nations.

Entrepreneur & CEO of Gro Intelligence Sara Menker

Menker, the CEO of Gro Intelligence made the list for her work on climate and food security.

Sara and the Gro team have built a platform that allows organizations across varied sectors to incorporate global climate and agriculture data into their strategic and financial planning and make more effective decisions.

“If you think about so many of the world’s challenges today, it’s about this tension between ecological preservation and economic growth,” Sara Menker says. “That tension doesn’t need to be there, and I’m hoping that one of the things that we do is find a way to reconcile that.”

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