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Who Will Be the Forbes Africa Person of the Year 2012? Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote & Tony Elumelu make the Final Shortlist



The anticipation of the award for the Forbes Africa Person of the Year 2012 is getting more intense as the magazine unveils its final shortlist. After an overwhelming response from its readers, Forbes Africa has presented the top 5 nominations for Person of the Year 2012. According to Forbes Africa, these individuals were nominated by its readers because of their impact on African business in the past year.

The final 5 that made the list are Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote and Tony Elumelu, Dr. James Mwangi from Kenya, Stephen Saad from South Africa and the only female on the list, Malawian President, Joyce Banda.

Here’s what Forbes had to say about the top 5:

Aliko Dangote – Founder and president of Dangote Group

Motivation: Last year’s runner-up to Forbes Africa Person of the Year is still Africa’s richest man worth more than $11.2billion. Dangote continues to be one of the continent’s biggest employers. He promises to donate most of his fortune to charitable causes upon his retirement.


Dr James Mwangi – CEO and Managing Director of Kenya’s Equity Bank Limited

Motivation: Dr James Mwangi won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2012 as well as Africa’s Innovation Leader of the Year Awards in 2012. Equity Bank is planning to extend its financial services to Ethiopia when the country opens its banking industry for foreign investors.


Joyce Banda – Malawian President

Motivation: Banda, Malawi’s first female leader has restored strained diplomatic ties with neighbors and the international community. Her administration has embraced investor friendly economic policies; she cut her salary by 30%; sold the presidential jet and a fleet of luxury cars in austerity drive.


Tony Elumelu – Founder and Chairman of Heirs Holding

Motivation: The multimillionaire grooms African business leaders and enterpreneurs through the Tony Elumelu Foundation. He is the leading advocate of Africapitalism, an economic philosophy that embodies the private sector’s commitment to Africa’s economic transformation through long-term investments.


Stephen Saad – Co-founder of the Aspen Pharmacare

Motivation: Saad is the biggest shareholder of the largest publicly traded drug manufacturer, Aspen. The company has a market capitalisation of $6 billion. Saad became a multimillionaire at 29. Now aged 47, he employs more than 6,000 people.


Voting has begun on the Forbes Africa Website and would close on Thursday, 1st November. Interestingly, the Person of the Year will be revealed at a Forbes Africa event in Nigeria.

So, who do you think deserves the award of the Person of the Year?

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. Daniel

    October 22, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Well Done to all of them but for me its the Lady! Leading by great example.

  2. as-e-bi

    October 22, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Joyce Banda! she is a true AFRICAN WOMAN. Our naija women too fake! my mama age wan become KIM KARDARSHIAN overnight…open breasts 4 public all in d name of ‘open eye’ . She has forgotten her roots…now all she wants is cars, brazillian hair, 50 personal assistants! gucci bags, diamonds, gold, silver,…..the list goes on! when her mama born 9 and single handedly trained her! THINK LIKE A MAN INDEED! Our naija Women too fake …no wonder dem no fit dey here bcos dem tiff pass men!

  3. Mustapha

    October 22, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Malawian President Joyce Banta has led a perfect example!!!! hope our other African leaders are watching particularly Nigeria.

  4. Baba Olowo

    October 22, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Aloko is DA MAN!

  5. R

    October 22, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Great candidates

  6. Update

    October 22, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Under Dr James Mwangi – please change the word ‘Ernest’ to ‘Ernst’

    Congratulations to the Top 5!! May the best of the best win 🙂

  7. OLA

    October 22, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    the lady will come out first among them …

  8. Georgie

    October 22, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Joyce Banda comes first she’s helping the poor! By cutting 30 % of her show’s that she dedicated…

  9. 'Dele

    October 23, 2012 at 5:20 am

    I would have prayed for Dangote to be number one because I appreciate his business sense but he has not been helping poor people based on how wealthy he is. Our society and the entire world have to make it clear to all the rich people and opportunists that it is not all about how much u worth but how have u been using your wealth to put smile on the poor people’s faces. I will all of the shortlisted 5 candidate the best of luck.

  10. Temitope Benson

    October 23, 2012 at 7:56 am

    I vote for Aliko Dangote.. I am also proud that we have @least 2 Nigerians on the list.. Shows that the future for Africa is bright…

  11. iamfascinating

    October 23, 2012 at 9:35 am

    good to know,

  12. Ron

    October 23, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Thank you, Joyce Banda. You’re showing the men that they can’t be great without being good.

  13. nash

    October 23, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    i vote for the woman, she has done alot for our country’s economy which was a messed up

  14. waweru

    October 27, 2012 at 7:04 am

    I vote for Dr. James Mwangi,his untiring industry, dedicated perseverance, and devotion and immense service has been pivotal in the transformation of Equity Bank into one of Africa’s brightest business success stories

  15. tim

    October 29, 2012 at 9:58 am

    i vote for DR James Mwangi he is a great entrepreneur having transformed equity bank into mega profits.

  16. esther

    October 29, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    i vote for DR JAMES MWANGI for his immense service and transformation of Equity bank into one of the successful bank

  17. jane

    October 29, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    my vote is for DR James Mwangi , he Revolutionized banking in Kenya and is a great entrepreneur.

  18. albert kipkoech

    October 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Dr.James it is because he is good at all he does.He has succeeded in putting Africa in the world map…recent Ernst and Young world Entreprenuer win is a testimony enough.

  19. sinyoe

    October 31, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Dr Mwangi. What an immense inspiration for Africa.

  20. Ruuri

    October 31, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Dr James Mwangi in recognition of his immense contributions to the Kenyan society.

  21. paul kinyanjui

    November 28, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Dr. James Mwangi has pioneered transformational change for many who were hopeless by making banking services easily accessible to all, both rich and poor with no discrimination whatsoever….He is indeed an African Hero.

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