The New African Magazine has revealed its 100 Most Influential Africans of 2017. The list profiles both continental and Diaspora Africans nominated by their peers and industry insiders, spread over eight categories, including politics.

For the first time since the magazine began publishing the  list  five years ago, the 2017 list features 42 women out of the one hundred, the highest number of female entries so far.

A deaf blind Harvard University law graduate activist, an attitude-changing teen dance troop from a Ugandan slum, and a Mauritanian modern day slavery abolitionist hero, are among the fresh faces joining renown business magnates, political heavyweights and showbiz stars in the New African Magazine annual 100 Most Influential Africans of 2017 list released today. 

The list, the magazine’s most diverse to date, is spread over eight categories: politics and public service; business and finance; civil society and activism; education; science, technology and innovation; media; arts and culture; and sport - profiles both continental and Diaspora Africans nominated by their peers and industry insiders.

“What our readers will find pleasing is the almost bewildering diversity of this list in terms of race, ethnic and national diversity. This list, if nothing else, displays the beauty and power of the diversity that makes the Africa we all love,” says Omar Ben Yedder, Group Publisher and Managing Director of IC Publications.

With 21 entries, Nigeria tops the nominations, closely followed by South Africa which scored 14 names. In total the list includes entries from 31 countries including 12 Francophone Africa.  

Popular new entries include the Triplets Ghetto Kids dance troop from Uganda and Ghanaian born new Editor of British Vogue Edward Kobina Enninful, as well as new heavyweight boxing sensation Nigerian-British Anthony Joshua.

Only three Heads of State made the list this year – Ghana’s Nana Akufo-Addo,  Rwanda’s Paul Kagame and President Alpha Conde of Guinea.  Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo also made the list in the Politics and Public Service category  for how he served as a safe pair of hands during President Buhari’s enforced absence for most part of 2017.

Leading business magnates Aliko Dangote (Nigeria), Mohammed Dewji (Tanzania) make a return on the Business and Finance category, which also sees two controversial entries, Angola’s Isabel dos Santos and  Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais.  This year also has more French and Arab speaking entries in this category.

However, perhaps as a sign of shifting interests and changing times in Africa, the Arts and Culture showbiz section has the highest number of entries and most  of the new names. Making a return in this category is Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, who is joined by fresh faces such as Adwoa Aboah and the refreshing Hijab wearing Somali top model Halima Aden.


·         Pravin Gordhan – Political stalwart, former Finance Minister (South Africa)



·         Elon Musk – Founder: PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, and OpenAI (South Africa)



·         Kumi Naidoo – Co-founder, Africans Rising (South Africa)



·         Nunu Ntshingila – Head, Facebook Africa (South Africa)

·         Dr Tebello Nyokong – Award-winning Chemist (South Africa)



·         Carlos Lopes – Respected economist former UNECA chief now Professor of economics @ University of Cape Town (from Guinea Bissau)



·         Khanyi Dhlomo – Media mogulette – Founder Ndalo Media (South Africa)

·         Trevor Noah – Satirist and Host The Daily Show (South Africa)

·         Koos Bekker – Chairman and former CEO of media giant Naspers (South Africa)

·         Khadija Patel – Editor-in-Chief, Mail & Guardian (South Africa)



·         Laduma Ngxokolo – Fashion Designer inspired by his Xhosa heritage (South Africa)

·         Porky Hefer – a unique designer with ethical conscience (South Africa)



·         Caster Semenya – Athletics 800 meters golden girl (South Africa)

·         Wayde van Niekerk – the world record-breaking boy wonder (South Africa)

·         Kagiso Rabada -World’s most feared Cricket bowler (South Africa)


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