President Julius Maada Bio, Hage Geingob, Makhtar Diop, others nominated as Persons of the Year

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Portsmouth-UK:  The President of Sierra Leone and his Namibian Counterpart, Hage Geingob, alongside the first African head of the IFC, Makhtar Diop, have been nominated in the African of the Year category of the 11th African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year 2022.

The trio were nominated by Africans from across the world for their individual contributions to the growth and development of Sierra Leone, Namibia and the International Finance Corporation, respectively.

President Bio won a popular vote and came to power in 2018 on the promise of prioritizing human capital development and providing free and quality education to citizens of Sierra Leone.  Four and half years on, he has sustained his commitment amidst economic shocks occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. A recent data by UNESCO Institute for statistics put the country’s total government expenditure on education at 32% of the GDP – making it one of the highest in the world. His government’s massive investment in health, agriculture, mining and infrastructure development is also contributing towards reshaping the country’s trajectory.

Similarly, the Namibian President, Hage Geingob, who is in his second and final term run as the president of the country, is seeing by many as a techno-nationalist. He is arguably one of the most experienced heads of state, having served as a technocrat, and prime minister, before becoming the country’s president. He anchors his developmental strides in the National development plans (NDPs) and the two iterations of the Harambee Prosperity Plan, which has formed his government development agenda. Nambia ranks 92nd of 167 in the Legathum Prosperity Index 2021, with strong growths in Governance, Personal Freedom and Enterprise Conditions.

On his part, Makhtar Diop the first African Managing Director of the IFC, was prior to this appointment, the World Bank’s Vice President for Infrastructure. During that time, he led the Bank’s global efforts to build sustainable infrastructure in developing and emerging economies. In this role, he oversaw the Bank’s critical work in energy, transport, digital infrastructure, and public-private partnerships.

He had also served as the World Bank’s Vice President for Africa, where he oversaw the delivery of a record-breaking USD$70 billion to Sub-Saharan Africa to help tackle development challenges such as increasing access to energy; boosting women’s and youth’s economic empowerment; and promoting an enabling environment for more innovation and technology adoption. A passionate advocate for Africa’s right to clean and affordable electricity, he also called for greater investment in renewable energy and pushed for stronger regional interconnectivity in the power and transport sectors.

The unveiling ceremony was chaired by the African Leadership Organisation’s founder and Chairman, Dr. Ken Giami, alongside other members of the board and senior executives of the organization. In his remarks, the Chairman stated that, “Africa has traditionally been the cradle of great leadership; from Nelson Mandela, Kwame Nkrumah, Steve Biko, to Julius Nyerere, the continent’s contribution to leadership philosophy remains indelible. However, a new leadership paradigm is evolving in the continent – they are the new Changemakers.”    Continuing, the chairman, added that, “our nominees are Changemakers, who have chosen to push through with their vision to build and bequeath an Africa that works for all to the next generation.” 

“Our nominees see progress, where others see retrogression; they see possibilities in the midst of challenges. They are on a mission and are eager to lead Africa to the promise land,” he said.

The African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Awards is Africa’s premier vote-based endorsement, reserved annually for the leading Africans who are contributing towards promoting the continent’s progress, and positively altering Africa’s perceived negative image. The annual event has also become a platform for honouring people-centred leadership and Africans that are pursuing a pan-African agenda in their chosen fields of endeavour. This year’s event will provide a platform to celebrate the continent’s merchants of hope, ready to lead an army of change agents and reformers, to build an Africa that works for everyone.

All winners of the 2022 awards shall be presented with an award trophy and formally decorated with the instruments of the honour at the 11th African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Award Ceremonies, scheduled to hold on February 16th, 2023 in Port Louis, Mauritius. The magazine, therefore, invites you to visit its website ( to vote for your choice nominee in different categories for this prestigious award, as voting closes on Friday, December 2nd, 2022, at midnight Central African Time. 

Below are the distinguished Africans who made the shortlist of nominees in 9 different categories for this year, and all Africans are welcomed to vote:

  1. African of the Year 2022

This recognition is open to an African whose actions have positively impacted the continent in the year under review, helped shape their immediate society, and whose work inspire Afro-positivism globally.

  • E. Dr Julius Maada Bio, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone
  • E. Hage Geingob, President of Namibia
  • Makhtar Diop, Managing Director, International Finance Corporation, IFC, Senegal

2        African Female Leader of the Year 2022

This recognition is open to an African woman who has defied the odds and risen above the patriarchal systems in the continent to positively affect the continent or influence women to aspire for excellence in various fields.

  • Sahle-Work Zewde, President of Ethiopia
  • E. Jewel Taylor, Vice President of Liberia
  • Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General, World Trade Organization, Nigeria
  • Catherine Uju Ifejika, Chairperson/CEO, Brittania-U Nigeria Limited Nigeria


  1. African Educationist of the Year 2022

This recognition is open to an African whose contribution to the growth of education, and deepening knowledge has been second to none in the year under review. It is also reserved for a member of the academic whose research or policy has contributed to shaping their country’s economic growth and development.

  • Gertrude Nwangala Akapelwa, Founder & Vice-Chancellor, Victoria Falls University of Technology, Zambia
  • Mamokgethi Phakengas, Vice-Chancellor, University of Cape Town, South Africa,
  • Hicham El Habti, President of the Mohammed the VI Polytechnic University, Morocco
  1. African Industrialist of the Year 2022

This recognition is open to an African whose actions, policies, and business has helped create jobs for Africans in the year under review.

  • Patrice Motsepe, Executive Chairman, Africa Rainbow Minerals, South Africa
  • Dr Deji Adeleke, Chairman, Pacific Holding
  • Ilham Kadri, CEO, Chairwoman of the executive committee and a member of the Board of Directors of Solvay, Morocco
  • Mohamed M. Abou El Enein, Chairman, Cleopatra Group



  1. African Political Leader of the Year 2022

This recognition is open to an African, whose contribution has immensely contributed to deepening democracy and democratic values in the continent.

  • E. Hakinde Hichilema, President of Zambia
  • E. Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of Tanzania
  • E. Jose Neves, President of Cape Verde
  • E. João Lourenço, President of Angola
  1. African Philanthropist of the Year 2022

  This recognition is open to an African who has given more to support a charitable cause, social justice and promote social good.

  • Mohammed Indimi, Chairman, Oriental Energy Resources, Nigeria
  • Tsitsi Masiyiwa, Executive Chairperson, Higher Life Foundation Zimbabwe
  • Francois van Niekerk, Founder Mertech Group, South Africa
  • Abdul Samad Rabiu, Chairman, BUA Group, Nigeria  
  1. ALM Emerging African Leader of the Year 2022

Criteria: Must be between the ages of 18-38; Young persons of African descent, making a difference globally via diverse sectors such as business, IT, entertainment, sports, etc., remaining a positive role model and re-defining creativity, resilience; hard work and ingenuity of the continent’s young people  

  • Ham Serunjogi, Co-Founder and CEO of Chipper Cash, Uganda
  • Emma Theofilus, Deputy minister of Information, Communication and Technology, Namibia
  • Zanda campos, CEO, ABO Capital, Angola  
  • Bashir Haske, GMD/Founder, AA&R Investment Group
  1. Africa Peace & Security Leader of the Year 2022

Criteria: This recognition is open to defence and security heads across the continent, with visible strides in protecting lives and property in their countries and the larger society. Nominees are also expected to subscribe to high standards of personal accountability in pursuing their vision.

  • The Hon Pravind Kumar JUGNAUTH, The Prime Minister of Mauritius and Head of Defense
  • General Jean Bosco Kazura, Chief of Defence Staff of the Rwanda Defence Force
  • Yankuba Drammeh, Chief of Defense Staff, Gambia
  1. African Energy Leader of the Year 2022

Criteria: This recognition is open to Africans with visible impact through investment, excellent stewardship, and unique contributions to Africa’s energy sector

  • Patricia Simon-Hart, MD/CEO, Aftrac Limited, Nigeria
  • Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea
  • Leparan Gideon ole Morintat National Oil Coporation of Kenya

About African Leadership Magazine Group

The African Leadership magazine is published by African Leadership (U.K.) Limited, a company registered in the United Kingdom. The magazine focuses on bringing the best of Africa to a global audience, telling the African story from an African perspective, while evolving solutions to peculiar challenges being faced by the continent today.

Kingsley Okeke

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