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The top 50 African disruptors (16-20)

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 Wednesday, 26 August 2020 10:55

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.

16 – Bobi Wine
A new voice
Uganda

He’s an award-winning musician and has been an MP in Uganda since 2017. His People Power Movement aims to improve democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and denounces poverty, corruption and social injustice. The opposition leader’s next move is to run for president in 2021, against incumbent Museveni, who has been in power since 1986. Bobi Wine believes he has an 80-90% chance of winning, provided the elections are free and fair. Authorities arresting him for such crimes as “annoying the President”, preventing him from performing his music in public, and shutting down his political rallies, point to a worried administration.

17 – Pascal Agboyibor
Pan-African lawyer
Togo

Pushed out of the global law company Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe despite climbing to the number-two position, Agboyibor could have called it quits. Instead, he founded his own practice and now has the ‘magic circle’ of law firms quaking in their boots, scooping up deals previously reserved for them. “Our name, Asafo, derives its origin from elite groups of traditional West African warriors […] dedicated to the defence of cities and states in the region. The name underlines our commitment to defending our clients’ projects in Africa, with military discipline, rapid response and a high level of coordination,” Agboyibor says. Bringing together top lawyers from international firms such as Dentons, White & Case, and of course Orrick, who have years of experience dealing in African affairs, he has created a law firm completely dedicated to Africa. Through its presence in the main business hubs the firm aims to handle major, complex cases with a rapid and integrated approach.

18 – Iyinoluwa Aboyeji
From grace to grace
Nigeria

At 28, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji has already co-founded several successful start-ups in the public interest, notably Andela and Flutterwave. He’s not stopping there: he has recently launched the Future Africa Initiative, which will provide capital, coaching and a community for founders invested in rebuilding Africa ($50,000 capital will go to 20 start-up founders each year). His first world-recognised project, Andela, invests in Africa’s most talented software engineers to help companies solve the technical talent shortage. The company gained global recognition after receiving $24m in funding from Mark Zuckerberg. He left Andela after three years and co-founded Flutterwave, a platform that makes it easier for banks and businesses to process payments across Africa.

19 – Anas Aremeyaw Anas
Name, shame and jail
Ghana

Known simply as “Anas”, the investigative journalist uncovers cases of corruption and human rights abuses in Ghana and sub-Saharan Africa. His groundbreaking investigation into corruption in Ghana’s legal system led to the suspension and/or indictment of seven out of the 12 High Court judges filmed accepting bribes in his 2015 documentary Ghana in the Eyes of God.

In January 2019, Ahmed Hussein-Suale, who worked with Anas on an exposé that led to the dismantling of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and sacking of a FIFA referee, was murdered, further underlining why Anas has chosen to protect his identity. This year, the Human Rights Courts in Accra dismissed Ibrahim Saanie Daara’s case against Anas. Daara, the former deputy general secretary of the GFA, was shown in Anas’s Number 12 football documentary collecting a bribe to influence the selection of a player.

20 – Bridgette Motsepe Radebe
Mining mogul
South Africa

Radebe is South Africa’s leading black female mining entrepreneur, and founder of Mmakau Mining. The businesswoman is against the “capitalist mining model” through which the majority of the natural resources in the country passed from the white minority to corporate bodies at the end of apartheid.

She is the president of the South African Mining Development Association and proposes a complete nationalisation of all mining operations, a state buyout of those with dwindling profitability that only exist in the name of black empowerment, and a cooperation movement between the public and private sectors over the running of South Africa’s mines. She argues that this would allow the mining industry, which employs nearly 170,000 people, to progress. Radebe has political ties and was accused of meddling in the politics of neighbouring Botswana. She is insistent on not using her powerful family connections to prove her innocence, relying instead on the courts. In 2019, she was appointed as a member of the BRICS Business Council, set up to strengthen business, trade and investment between the business communities of the BRICS countries.

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