The African economy has grown significantly in recent years and continues to do so with remarkable success. A number of key people have helped to facilitate this growth, working tirelessly to ensure it continues sustainably, and that the benefits are enjoyed by the continent as a whole.
Politics – Joyce Banda
Having served as the first female President of Malawi, Joyce Banda is a leading light in the field of African politics and an inspiration to women in particular. She is the founder and leader of the People’s Party, and before going into politics she founded various organizations, such as the National Association of Business Women and the Young Women Leaders Network, which aim to inspire and assist women to achieve their ambitions. In 2014 she was named by Forbes as the 40th most powerful woman in the world and the most powerful woman in Africa.
Banking – Jacko Maree
As the CEO of the Standard Bank Group, South African Jacko Maree stands out as one of a new generation of African businessmen who are putting Africa on the map as a serious contender in the world of financial services. Standard Bank Group is Africa’s largest financial services conglomerate, operating in 17 African countries. Jacko has led the bank’s impressive expansion and helped develop its international reputation. It now operates in 16 countries outside of Africa, and Jacko himself has served as director of the International Money Conference.
Energy – Tunde Folawiyo
Nigeria recently became Africa’s largest economy, overtaking South Africa, and is predicted to be one of the largest economies in the world by the year 2050. Key to this dramatic growth has been the success of Nigeria’s energy sector, a leading figure of which is Mr. Babatunde Tijani Folawiyo. As well as serving as the Managing Director of Yinka Folowiyo Power, Director of MTN Nigeria Ltd, and Executive Director of Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Co Ltd,Tunde is the founder of Folawiyo Energy Ltd, a company now responsible for around 30 percent of premium motor spirit in Nigeria. He is a vocal advocate of the drive towards a self-sufficient energy industry and the benefits this has the potential to bring to Nigeria, such as greater educational opportunities for all.
Entertainment – Lupita Nyong’o and Davido
The world of entertainment and the arts is another essential industry that plays a key role in Africa’s evolution, serving as a window through which the rest of the world perceives the continent. The growing reach of the Nigerian film industry is just one example of this increasing influence. As for individuals enjoying success in this field, Kenyan actress LupitaNyong’o caught the world’s attention and won an Oscar for her performance in 12 Years a Slave, while Nigerian musician Davido has won big in numerous categories at the BET (Black Entertainment Television) and MTV Africa Music Awards.
As the world continues to watch Africa grow in economic terms, there will be increasing opportunities for individuals such as those above to make their mark and identify themselves as important and influential figures of this exciting time.