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Politics & Activism


Wael Ghonim Egypt


Prof Attahiru Jega Nigeria


Top 100 Africans


Dr Asha-Rose Migiro Tanzania


The face of Egypt’s “faceless revolution”. Working for Google in Dubai, he set up the Facebook page “We are all Khaled Saeed” after the death of an Egyptian activist in police custody. When Wael returned to Egypt at the end of January to join the thousands of other protestors he was incarcerated. The demonstrators had no leader or voice, so when freed Wael became the face that symbolised the revolution. He is now a popular activist seeking the engagement of the people to develop a fairer and more robust political system in Egypt.


Paul Kagame Rwanda


Scars of the 1994 genocide will always bear on Rwanda’s political history. But 17 years on, the country is remarkably transformed and has confounded its naysayers. Widely recognised as a top reformer, President Paul Kagame has shown admirable ability in rebuilding the country from the ruins of the genocide, for which he has earned diverse accolades. He is not without his critics who accuse him of war crimes and human rights abuses. But President Kagame continues to be widely praised for his leadership in peace-building and reconciliation, good governance and women’s empowerment.


Prof Jega is today one the most recognisable faces in Nigeria since he was elected as chairman of the Electoral Commission in Nigeria. With the calm of a university professor and determination of a former union activist, this humble man, in record time, co-ordinated INEC’s registration of 75m voters and oversaw the most credible and fairest elections in Nigeria’s democratic history. He is held in high esteem and has the full trust and support of the President. He will be at the forefront of the conversation when it comes to Nigeria.


Appointed deputy secretary- general of the United Nations in 2007, Dr Migiro is the first black woman to hold this esteemed position. A lawyer by profession, she has a special interest in issues around peace and the elimination of violence and discrimination against women. She is well-known for saying “Where you have a woman empowered, then you have the opportunity also of empowering communities and imparting the skills and education that will form the foundation for equality and dignity in communities.”


New African June 2011 | 11


Photo: Jason Venkatasamy


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