No Ghanaian in Forbes’ shortlisted candidates for inaugural African Person of the Year

The inaugural Forbes Africa Person of the Year awards has been announced but no Ghanaian is among the five shortlisted personalities.

This comes after no Ghanaian made it into the recently published Forbes list of 40 Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa, a list that surprised most Ghanaians.

Forbes announced candidates for the Africa Person of the Year November 4, 2011 on its website.

The candidates for the top prize are Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia; Pedro Veron Pires, former president of Cape Verde; Aliko Dangote, founder and president of Dangote Group; Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the late Professor Wangari Mathaai, Kenyan environmental and political activist.

Forbes gave the following reasons for selecting these personalities after rigorously going through the process when it received nominations from thousands of people online.

  • Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia, is Africa’s first female Head of State and was one of three women awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work”.
  • Pedro Veron Pires, former president of Cape Verde was named the winner of the 2011 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership for his “vision in transforming Cape Verde into a model of democracy, stability and increased prosperity”.
  • Aliko Dangote, founder and president of Dangote Group. The Nigerian businessman’s fortune surged 557% in the past year, making him the world’s biggest gainer in percentage terms and Africa’s richest individual. Dangote is the continent’s biggest cement maker.
  • Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria was for the second consecutive year, named Central Bank Governor of the Year in Sub-Saharan Africa by global business magazine, Emerging Market.
  • Professor Wangari Mathaai (the late), Kenyan environmental and political activist was the first African woman to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. She was the founder of the Greenbelt Movement, and died in Nairobi, aged 71, in September 2011 after a battle with ovarian cancer.

The winner of this award would have had influence on the events of the year gone by on the African continent.

The judging panel are Chris Bishop, managing editor of Forbes Africa; Godfrey Mutizwa, CNBC Africa chief editor; BBC’s bureau chief, Peter Burdon; Matthew Tostevin, Reuters bureau chief; and Forbes Africa senior journalist, Vuyo Mvoko.

Readers can vote online for one of the five candidates and that makes up 25% of the overall scoring criteria, according to Forbes which commissioned ABN Productions to host the award.

As of the time of publishing this story, a total of 6512 votes have been cast with Professor Wangari Maathai leading with 3888 votes (59.71%), followed by Pedro Veron Pires with 1492 votes (22.91%), Aliko Dangote 520 votes (7.99%), Ellen Johnson Sirleaf 347 votes (5.33%) and Sanusi Lamido Sanusi 265 votes (4.07%).

Voting is still ongoing online as the ceremony will take place in Lagos, Nigeria November 28, 2011, where the winner will be announced.

By Ekow Quandzie

1 Comment
  1. Enter your name... says

    Let Africa stand on it legs and do what it deems fit!Why relying on external perspectives always?

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