TIME Magazine has named chairman of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr. Tony Elumelu, in the 2020 TIME 100, the annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Also listed is Nigerian physician, Dr Tunji Funsho and Tomi Adeyemi, a 27-year-old Nigerian-American novelist, who is also a creative writing coach and best known for her #1 NY Times bestselling book – Children of Blood and Bone, was among those listed.
The list, now in its seventeenth year, recognises the activism, innovation, and achievement of the world’s most influential individuals.
Elumelu made the list because of his record of business turnaround and value creation as well as economic empowerment of young Africans.
Heirs Holdings, his family owned investment company, is committed to improving lives and transforming Africa, through long-term investments in strategic sectors of the African economy, including financial services, hospitality, power, energy and healthcare.
In a short address attached to Elemelu’s nomination, president of Dangote Industries Ltd, Aliko Dangote, said, “He (Elumelu) is a leading proponent of “Africapitalism,” a belief that Africa’s private sector can and must play a leading role in the continent’s development through long-term investments, as well as entrepreneurship and regional connectivity.
“After deepening the financial market in Africa, he has found an equally important niche: giving a voice of hope to millions of youths across Africa. Having come so far, Tony still forges on, striking a fine balance between personal satisfaction and societal impact.”
Funsho, a cardiologist based in Lagos, was said to have played an essential role in ensuring Africa’s certification as wild polio-free in August 2020.
Reacting, Funsho, who is the leader of Rotary’s Nigeria National PolioPlus Committee, said, “I’m honored to be recognised by TIME for my part in ensuring that no child in Africa will ever again be paralysed by wild polio, a disease that once disabled 75,000 African children every single year.
“Eradicating the wild poliovirus in Africa was a team effort that required the cooperation and dedication of governments, partners, Rotary members, hundreds of thousands of health workers, and countless parents who chose to have their children vaccinated against polio.”