People often ask me how I manage to have a long and fruitful career. I believe it’s because I am surrounded by many great people to train with. I believe success comes by working hard and laughing lots. pic.twitter.com/dCR8N5wKNY
— Eliud Kipchoge – EGH🇰🇪 (@EliudKipchoge) August 12, 2020
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.
26 – Eliud Kipchoge
“Personally, I don’t believe in limits,” says runner Eliud Kipchoge, who broke the marathon world record in Berlin in 2018, completing it in 2:01:39 – 1 minute and 18 seconds faster than the previous record. He won the 2019 London Marathon in a time of 2:02:37, so he now holds the records for the fastest and second-fastest marathon speeds of all time. But neither of those are his fastest recorded time. Having won 12 out of the 13 marathons he has entered, he became the first person in recorded history to finish a marathon in under two hours in October 2019. The time did not count as a new world record under IAAF rules owing to the set-up of the challenge, but it earned him two Guinness World Records: ‘Fastest marathon distance (male)’ and ‘First marathon distance under two hours’. The runner has no plans of retiring soon: will he break any more of his own records?
27 – Moustapha Cisse
Fairness, transparency and reliability
Moustapha Cisse heads the Google Artificial Intelligence (AI) Centre in Accra, Ghana. The Senegalese native is committed to improving the lives of those most in need in African societies. His current research efforts focus on the essential prerequisites of such AI – fairness, transparency and reliability. He believes that Africa’s technological solutions should be developed within the continent, and wants to create AI programmes to help farmers diagnose blights affecting their harvests, and translation software to better connect speakers of Africa’s 1,500-2,000 languages. Lack of opportunity on his own continent led him to study in Europe and then found the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), a pan-African network of centres for post-graduate training, research and public engagement in maths and sciences.
— Moustapha Cisse (@Moustapha_6C) April 9, 2019
28 – Alaa Salah
Image of the revolution
“Women-led resistance committees and sit-ins, planned protest routes and disobeyed curfews, […] despite this visible role, despite their courage and their leadership, women have been sidelined in the formal political process in the months following the revolution,” Alaa Salah told the UN Security Council in October, 2019. The Sudanese protester personified the revolution that ousted President Omar al-Bashir after 30 years of authoritarian rule, when a photo of her standing in a white toub on a car, leading a crowd of pro-democracy protesters in a chant, went viral.
Becoming the symbol of the integral role women played on the front lines of the protests (making up about 70% of the protesters), she is insisting that women – half of the 43 million Sudanese population – have 50% representation in the transitional leadership institutions.
29 – Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo ‘Hemeti’
A new dawn or a new dictator?
The creation of a stable, democratic state is what many Sudanese civilians expected after the ousting of Omar al-Bashir at the end of months of protests on 11 April 2019. Instead, ‘Hemeti’ seems to be running the country. The leader of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary force accused of myriad human-rights abuses in the western province of Darfur and elsewhere, Hemeti is also now the deputy head of the Transitional Military Council, set up to run the country for a couple of years until elections.
He says he wants democracy in Sudan, and refused orders from Bashir to violently disperse the sit-in outside the military headquarters that precipitated the dictator’s fall, but the RSF has lately been accused of attacking pro-democracy protesters. He reportedly receives Saudi and Emirati support, in the form of weapons and money, as the Middle Eastern countries want to ensure continued participation of the RSF in the war in Yemen.
30 – Shamila Batohi
Slow but sure-footed is the style of the head of the National Prosecuting Authority picked by South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa to show that the days of ‘state capture’- style corruption are over. She has been methodically and successfully holding to account the networks of corrupt officials and businessmen allied to former president Jacob Zuma. Her office worked with the US authorities to apply the Magnitsky Act against the Gupta family of businessmen, has frozen the assets of Regiments Capital and filed fraud charges against former state security minister Bongani Bongo.