PM Abiy: African of the Year

18 Dec 2018

There’s no denying that 2018 has been a historic year for Ethiopia, and the man behind it is none other than Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Ongoing changes in Ethiopia have not gone unnoticed. UK-based New African Magazine and African Leadership Magazine have listed PM Abiy in their annual lists of notable Africans.

New African Magazine: 100 Most Influential Africans

This year’s listing of the ‘100 Most Influential Africans of Year’ was released on 30th November and features seven entries from Ethiopia.

The list has become a much-awaited collation – revealing Africans who have contributed in shaping the African narrative in the concluding year and envisaging the role they will play in the coming year, both on the continent and in the Diaspora.

The December issue is published with four different covers featuring: Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Ahmed Abiy, arguably Africa’s person of the year; the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize co-winner DR Congo’s Dr Denis Mukwege; Botswana’s 32-year old Minister of Trade and Investment  Bogolo Joy Kenewendo; and Egypt’s soccer superstar, Mo Salah whose influence goes well beyond football.

On PM Abiy, the publication notes how, “The charismatic former military officer has helped to re-engineer the EPRDF administration, making it more inclusive, lifted the state of emergency and freed thousands of political dissidents. He has ended the state of war and normalised relations with Eritrea, increased the democratic space in Ethiopia, included more women in cabinet and embraced Pan-Africanism by easing travel to Ethiopia”.

Other Ethiopians included in the publication are:

  • Frehiwot Tamiru – CEO of Ethio Telecom
  • Bethlehem Alemu – founder of soleRebels
  • Tewolde Gebremariam – CEO of Ethiopian Airlines
  • Dr Senait Fisseha – Reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist
  • Gelila Bekele – model, social worker, humanitarian and documentary filmmaker

The December issue of New African is available at newsstands in 75 countries and via the app store and the magazine’s digital channels.

…African of the Year

Similarly, in the African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Awards, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed resoundingly emerged as the African of the Year, with over 85% of total votes/submissions.

The keenly-contested poll, had seven different categories and winners will be presented with the award on 22nd February 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Awards, which have become the leading vote-based, third-party endorsement on the continent, recorded an upsurge of 20% of votes from the African Diaspora this year.

The Publisher, Mr Giami, said all the nominees are deserving of the crown considering their personal contributions to the continent’s growth and development. In his words, “the nominees have demonstrated great faith in the Africa project, and are ‘walking their talk’ in their communities. They all are true lovers of Africa, determinedly contributing, sometimes amidst very difficult circumstances, but undoubtedly making their communities a better place for its people.”

The Awards, now in their 7th year, are reserved for distinguished Africans, who are considered to have blazed the trail in the year under review.

This year, the selection committee considered four broad themes: Africans whose activities, policies and actions have contributed to “Investments into Africa’s young people, jobs and wealth creation; promotion of sustainable peace and development, delivering of democratic values; and the promotion of Africa’s image globally.”

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