Ghanaian information technology (IT) guru, Herman Chinery-Hesse is listed 62 among the top 100 global thinkers list published by the Foreign Policy magazine November 28, 2011.
The Foreign Policy magazine published its annual list of “top 100 global thinkers,” and it includes novelists, activists and heads of state from around the world.
Mr. Hesse, who was the only Ghanaian on the list, joined the great thinkers list which included personalities like former Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei (listed 1), Barack Obama (listed 11), former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (listed 12), former US Vice President Dick Cheney (listed 12), Bill and Melinda Gates (listed 13), MD of IMF Christine Lagarde (listed 15), Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg (listed 17), Hillary and Bill Clinton (listed 20), German Chancellor Angela Merkel (listed 27), World Bank’s President Robert Zoellick (listed 41) among others.
According to the magazine, Chinery-Hesse was listed for “bringing Africa into the mobile age.”
Describing the works of Chinery-Hesse, Foreign Policy says “Twenty years ago, when Herman Chinery-Hesse returned home after studying in the United States with plans to start a Ghanaian software company, his friends told him he was crazy. But his company, SOFTtribe, is now West Africa’s leading software company, helping imagine a new Africa for a digital age.”
The magazine continues “Today, Chinery-Hesse is working to develop a payment system via mobile-phone text messages that will allow African entrepreneurs to sell their products abroad. Ghana can be a world-class center of technological innovation, he insists — a Singapore for the continent — but the technology has to meet local needs by being what he calls “tropically tolerant.” His ambition is nothing less than the reimagining of an entire continent: “more tech-savvy, more prosperous, but always African.”
The listing of Chinery-Hesse was higher than well-known personalities such as South Africa’s Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu (listed 80), former Managing Director of the World Bank and now Nigeria’s Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (listed 92) and also Mayor of London Boris Johnson (listed 95).
Chinery-Hesse has been acclaimed “the Bill Gate of Africa”.
Other Ghanaian personalities like Mr Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General and Economist George Ayittey have all been listed in the magazine’s previous editions.
By Ekow Quandzie
Herman Hesse is an inspiration to African thought and creativity.
What an inspiration.