Forbes is the online platform ‘du-jour’ for lists and has become a significant voice on the ‘who is who’ of the world in different sectors and industries. On the 4th of November, the 2015 Most Powerful People in the World list was released and it boasted of personalities such as Angela Merkel, Barack Obama, Pope Francis, Warren Buffet and Kim Jong Un. Of the 100 personalities in different industries, the following businessmen are also known for their commitment to human capacity development and improving their environment, which extends into great business decisions.

Aliko Dangote

Placed at number 71, the founder of the Dangote Group is the only Nigerian on the list, which alone shows Dangote as a force to be reckoned with in terms of business on the continent. The intriguing thing about this 58 year old business magnate is the fact that he has been able to provide a beacon of light for African youths in the area of employment, while enhancing his personal fortune. Many businessmen would rather invest in less volatile areas but not Dangote. He once said:  “If you give me $5 billion, I will not invest any abroad, I will invest everything here in Nigeria. Let us put heads together and work”. Dangote is a true African in the sense that he embraces and represents the continent where others would rather turn away, making him a believer in the African dream. This quality makes him all the more powerful and an example leaders and youths can emulate.  Earlier in the year, Dangote revealed plans to expand his cement conglomerate to Nepal, Asia and he said the project will be realized by the end of 2017.

Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg was placed at number 19 on the most powerful list and it is not just because he founded the world’s biggest social networking site, Facebook. 31 year old Mark Zuckerberg is also known for his philanthropy and his interest in developing vulnerable areas in Africa. More than a businessman, he has earned his place in the consciousness of the world through his continuous efforts to leave societies better than he found them. During the 70th Annual United Nations General Assembly in September 2015, Zuckerberg was present and addressed the assembly on promoting interconnectivity in the world. “Connecting the world is one of the fundamental challenges of our generation. More than 4 billion people don’t have a voice online”, Zuckerberg said.

Elon Musk

Placed at number 38, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk is an inventor extraordinaire, but that is not the only quality that makes him an exceptional businessman. At age 44, he has founded and contributed to the founding of SpaceX, PayPal, Tesla Motors, Hyperloop and SolarCity and is pro-environment, also, he believes in coming up with permanent solutions to challenges. One of his most remarkable career moments was in 2012 when his company, SpaceX, sent a spacecraft to the International Space Station. The space aircraft was sent with 1,000 pounds of supplies for the astronauts stationed there and it was the first time a private company has done so. Also, in 2015, Tesla motors introduced a Tesla S driverless car into the market. “I think this is going to be quite a profound experience for people. It will change people’s perception of the future quite drastically”, Musk said of the model.

Source: Omono Eremionkhale, Ventures Africa

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