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The top 50 African Disruptors (41-45)

In depth
This article is part of the dossier: The top 50 African disruptors

By 'Tofe Ayeni, Erin Conroy, Alison Culliford, Nicholas Norbrook, Honoré Banda
Posted on Friday, 7 August 2020 18:07, updated on Friday, 14 August 2020 19:38

The Africa Report’s inaugural ranking of the top Africans who are disrupting the status quo in politics, business and the arts: from investigative journalists to world-class athletes and Nobel Peace Prize winners.

41 – Zitto Kabwe
Standing up
Tanzania

He is one of the few opposition politicians to grill the executive. In 2018 the government agreed to sell cashew nuts to a Kenyan company called Indo Power Solution that, it later emerged, does not even exist: Kabwe called them out. The government of John Magufuli regularly returns the favour by detaining and harassing him. The latest skirmish involves a $500m education support loan from the World Bank, which Kabwe delayed the disbursement of for a second time in order to protest Magufuli’s policy of excluding pregnant girls from school. Kabwe has received death threats from ruling party politicians. He says he would do it again. “We just wrote a letter. This reaction should be a lesson for the World Bank.”

42 – Agnes Kalibata
Food for all 
Rwanda

The Rwandan president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa now has a bigger platform. With AGRA, she is working to increase the incomes and improve food security for 30m farming households in 11 African countries by 2021. Last year, in addition to receiving another honorary doctorate, this time from McGill University, and winning the National Academy of Sciences’ Public Welfare Medal, she was appointed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres as his Special Envoy for the 2021 Food Systems Summit. The summit aims to generate momentum, expand knowledge, and encourage the sharing of experiences and approaches to help countries unleash the benefits of food systems for all people. Kalibata’s role will be to provide leadership,
guidance and strategic direction, as well as being responsible for outreach and cooperation with key leaders.

 

43 – Caster Semenya
Genetically gifted
South Africa

The South African middle-distance runner is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, but her journey has not been an easy one. After
winning the 800m in the 2009 World Championships, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) subjected her to sex testing, and concluded that she is “biologically male” and needs to reduce her natural testosterone levels. From 2010-15, Semanya reluctantly agreed to take testosterone-suppressing contraceptives recommended by the IAAF so she could keep running, but these had negative effects on her health. Older now, the athlete is no longer comfortable with being used as a lab rat or being told she is not a woman. Losing an original appeal, Semenya has taken her case to Switzerland’s supreme court and has won an interim ruling.

44 – Nelson Boateng
Yellow brick road
Ghana

Got too much plastic? Nelson has the solution. Boateng has filed for a patent for his ‘plastic bricks’, made by shredding and melting mountains of discarded plastic to mix them with sand and red oxide. The pavement slabs and tiles are then used for roads and buildings in greater Accra. Boateng’s company is also expanding into roofing tiles and consultancy for launching recycling
companies. Nelplast says it aims to recycle about 70% of plastics waste generated by the country daily “into useful products that can be used for a lifetime”. The initiative has also created jobs too, and Ghana’s environment ministry will now fund it.

45 – Kako Nubukpo
Out with the franc
Togo

Economist Kako Nubukpo is a leading voice in the campaign to remove French influence in the form of the CFA franc currency of the eight member states of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). Unhappy with interest rates flowing from the European Central Bank he went against the views of elites keen to retain the status quo. In a book (Sortir l’Afrique de la Servitude Monétaire) and articles in Jeune Afrique and Le Monde Nubukpo called the CFA franc “monetary slavery” and accused the Central Bank of West African States of refusing a debate on its future. This led the International Organisation of La Francophonie to suspend him from his post as its economic and digital director. France announced the removal of the CFA franc at the end of 2019 and introduced the new currency – the Eco –which will remain pegged to the Euro, but countries no longer have to store 50% of their foreign reserves with France. The ultimate aim is to combine all monetary zones in the Economic
Community of West African States.

Also in this in Depth:

The top 50 African disruptors (46-50)

The Africa Report’s inaugural ranking of the top Africans who are disrupting the status quo in politics, business and the arts: from investigative journalists to world-class athletes and Nobel Peace Prize winners.

The top 50 African disruptors (36-40)

The Africa Report’s inaugural ranking of the top Africans who are disrupting the status quo in politics, business and the arts: from investigative journalists to world-class athletes and Nobel Peace Prize winners.

The top 50 African disruptors (31-35)

The Africa Report’s inaugural ranking of the top Africans who are disrupting the status quo in politics, business and the arts: from investigative journalists to world-class athletes and Nobel Peace Prize winners.

The top 50 African disruptors (26-30)

The Africa Report’s inaugural ranking of the top Africans who are disrupting the status quo in politics, business and the arts: from investigative journalists to world-class athletes and Nobel Peace Prize winners.

The top 50 African disruptors (21-25)

The Africa Report’s inaugural ranking of the top Africans who are disrupting the status quo in politics, business and the arts: from investigative journalists to world-class athletes and Nobel Peace Prize winners.

The top 50 African disruptors (16-20)

The Africa Report’s inaugural ranking of the top Africans who are disrupting the status quo in politics, business and the arts: from investigative journalists to world-class athletes and Nobel Peace Prize winners.

The top 50 African disruptors (11-15)

The Africa Report’s inaugural ranking of the top Africans who are disrupting the status quo in politics, business and the arts: from investigative journalists to world-class athletes and Nobel Peace Prize winners.

The top 50 African disruptors (6-10)

The Africa Report’s inaugural ranking of the top Africans who are disrupting the status quo in politics, business and the arts: from investigative journalists to world-class athletes and Nobel Peace Prize winners.

The top 50 African disruptors (1-5)

The Africa Report’s inaugural ranking of the top Africans who are disrupting the status quo in politics, business and the arts: from investigative journalists to world-class athletes and Nobel Peace Prize winners.

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