— Olúseun Onígbińdé (@seunonigbinde) August 6, 2020
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.
31 – Eleni Gabre-Madhin
The Ethiopian businesswoman summed up her philosophy to reporters: “The difference between where ideas thrive and where they die is the fertile ground on which they fall.” Having set up the country’s first commodities exchange and then moved on to found blueMoon, a tech incubator, she knows whereof she speaks. With its traceability and predictability, the commodities exchange is now a critical part of the agriculture system’s hardware, allowing farmers to have the documentation they need to access loans and services from the banking sector.
32 – Touria El Glaoui
El Glaoui is one of many pushing for Africa to get the seat it deserves on the international cultural scene. She founded the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in 2013 to give exposure to more African trendsetters. At auctions, African art is fetching ever higher prices, and this is accompanied by a stronger movement to have African art that was stolen or otherwise procured under unclear circumstances to be returned to Africa, bolstering collections and serving as foundations for new museums.
33 – Henry Costa
The euphoria that followed ex-footballer George Weah into office quickly dissipated. Repeated corruption allegations dog the new
government. And quality of life has not improved. Popular radio host Henry Costa has channelled public anger into a series of demonstrations against the administration, gathering hundreds of thousands of Liberians onto the streets of Monrovia to show
Weah the red card. With the news that Liberia will auction oil blocks in 2020, Costa is organising new protests with his ‘Council of Patriots’. The government arrested him over immigration irregularities in Sierra Leone in January this year, having shut down his
radio station in October 2019.
34 – Oluseun Onigbinde
BudgIT is the tool that enables Nigerians to fight bad governance, with proof. Having co-founded the company in 2011, Onigbinde continues to encourage citizens to hold the government accountable. An entrepreneur and open data analyst, fiscal transparency advocate and a firm believer in the power of open data, he was appointed as Technical Adviser in the Ministry of Budget and National Planning on 13 September 2019, but came under fire on social media due to his open and long-term criticism of the same government that appointed him. This caused him to resign three days later. His LinkedIn ‘About’ profile states: “I believe in a just, transparent and fair society where every citizen within a community has equal access to information about the fiscal position of their society and uses such opportunity to demand accountability as well as efficient service delivery.”
35 – Zingiswa Losi
The new head of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) is hoping to leverage its closeness to President Cyril Ramaphosa. “We fought hard to ensure his election and to give the ANC a clear anti-corruption, pro-worker election mandate”, says Losi, the first woman to hold the position. She has a tough job on her hands. Cosatu has suffered splits and is not seeing eye-to-eye with the other members of the tripartite alliance that includes the ruling ANC and the South African Communist Party. But she is getting results: including forcing a new conversation on how to finance the overhaul of power utility Eskom using pension funds. And she is a fighter; scarred from a public clash with her predecessor Zwelinzima Vavi, Losi battled back to lead the
organisation. She had previously been aiming for a job as deputy secretary-general of the ANC.