The Forbes Africa Person of the Year 2013 contest is hot and tight, as the shortlist narrowed down on Monday shows.
South African mining magnate Patrice Motsepe is up against three powerful Nigerian figures, Aliko Dangote, Akinwunmi Adesina and Jim Ovia. An outsider, Zimbabwe’s Strive Masiyiwa, is the fifth candidate also looking to stamp his mark on the prestigious title.
Stinking-rich Motsepe, a ‘close friend’ of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) and African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) boss, is said to be planning to give away more than half his fortune over the next five years. ARM has mining interests in many African countries, including in Kolwezi, in the DR Congo’s Katanga Province.
Dangote is Africa’s richest man, while Adesina is Nigeria’s agriculture minister who, like any African politician, has made an ambitious promise some observers fear he might not be able to fulfil. Adesina’s vision is to make Nigeria a self-sustaining, food-producing nation and register 20 million farmers by 2015.
Ovia established Zenith Bank Group in 1990, which is now West Africa’s second largest financial services provider. His focus has turned to helping grow Africa’s budding ‘techpreneurs’.
Masiyiwa, who reportedly has close ties with Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF, is the founder of global telecommunications group Econet Wireless, and through Capernaum Trust he is said to educate tens of thousands of Zimbabwean orphans.
“Every year, we are excited to decide the Forbes Africa Person of the Year,” Forbes Africa magazine managing editor Chris Bishop said in a statement on Monday.
“We want to honour the big hitters of the continent who are making a difference in people’s lives and we hope that in doing so, it will inspire others.”
Vote online now for your favourite candidate. Here is the link: http://forbesafrica.com/person-of-the-year/voting.html
Photo: Patrice Motsepe (l) chatting to Dudu Myeni (c), chairperson of the Jacob Zuma Foundation, and President Jacob Zuma (r)