Nigerians dominate 100 most influential Africans 2023 list

New African magazine has released its annual listing of the 100 Most Influential Africans of 2023. 

The list celebrates the achievements and contributions of Africans from various fields and sectors, who have made a positive impact on the continent and the world.

Nigeria was the country most represented on the list, highlighting the country’s dominance in the creative sector and business.

The list features a diverse and inspiring group of men and women, who have demonstrated excellence, innovation, leadership, resilience, and vision in their respective domains. They include politicians, entrepreneurs, industrialists, environmentalists, creatives, scientists, educators, sports personalities, and more.

The list also reflects the shifting trends and priorities in Africa, as the continent faces new challenges and opportunities in the post-pandemic era. Creatives dominate the ranking with 31 representatives, including singer Abel Tesfaye, aka The Weekend, filmmaker Alice Diop and writer Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah.

The second category with the highest number of entries was the Business section, with 25 entries. The section included two behemoths from DFIs, supporting a private sector approach to investing: Samaila Zubairu from Africa Finance Corporation and the President of Afreximbank, Benedict Oramah, undoubtedly Africa’s juggernaut from the last few years leading Africa’s transformation. Also on the list is the former CEO of Eskom and whistleblower who nearly paid with his life André de Ruyter.

William Ruto, the President of Kenya, is the only head of state to make it, along with the Guinean military leader Mamady Doumbouya. Doumbouya created quite a stir at this year’s UN General Assembly and appears to have found a solution around the Simandou mining saga.

With Climate Change at the top of the agenda, the list features several players in the environmental space, such as James Mwangi, formerly from Dalberg Group who has set up his own venture fund investing in climate related businesses, and Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, the Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

In the media, we have two media leaders from Côte d’Ivoire, Fabrice Sawegnon, founder of communications agency Voodoo, and Daniel Ahaoussa, serial entrepreneur and founder of a number of websites in West and Central Africa. Also included are the journalist Alan Kasujja, the BBC journalist, and Branko Brkic, founder of Daily Maverick, arguably the most powerful media in South Africa today.

And in sports, record breakers Faith Kipyegon and Kelvin Kiptum make it, as well as the Springboks team, under the leadership of their captain Siya Kolisi. Patrice Motsepe, the President of CAF, a close friend of FIFA president Gianni Infantino and an increasingly influential voice in sports, is also included.

The 100 Most Influential Africans of 2023 is a special edition of New African magazine, which offers a comprehensive and insightful overview of the lives and achievements of the selected individuals. The magazine also provides a platform for the readers to learn from their stories, and to be inspired by their examples. 

The 100 Most Influential Africans 2023 List

Politics and Public Service

  • William Ruto
  • Ibrahima Cheikh Diong
  • Sidi Ould Tah 
  • Akinwumi Adesina
  • Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
  • Bola Tinubu
  • Mamady Doumbouya
  • Ousmane Sonko
  • Nadia Fettah Alaoui
  • Tsitsi Masiyiwa
  • Tidjane Thiam


  • Mohamed Kande
  • Sim Tshabalala
  • Karim Beguir
  • Didier Acouetey
  • Olugbenga Agboola
  • Samaila Zubairu
  • Prof. Benedict Okey Oramah
  • Ralph Mupita
  • Ibrahim Sagna
  • Simon Tiemtoré
  • Jules Ngankam
  • Riham ElGizy
  • André de Ruyter
  • Aliko Dangote
  • Ham Serunjogi
  • Serge Ekué
  • Bahija Jallal
  • Coura Sène
  • Bernard Koné Dossongui
  • Hassanein Hiridjee
  • Shola Akinlade
  • James Mwangi
  • Pascal Agboyibor

Science and Academia

  • Anna Adeola Makanju
  • Chao Tayiana Maina
  • Nemat Talaat Shafik
  • Ismahane Elouafi
  • Moungi Bawendi
  • Timnit Gebru


  • James Irungu Mwangi
  • Ephraim Mwepya Shitima
  • Wanjira Mathai
  • Rashid Sumaila
  • Elizabeth Maruma Mrema
  • Dr Musonda Mumba


  • Kaouther Ben Hania
  • Danai Gurira
  • Ncuti Gatwa
  • Black Coffee
  • Tyla Laura Seethal
  • Temilade “Tems” Openiyi
  • Lesley Lokko
  • Mulenga Kapwepwe
  • Alice Diop
  • Wanuri Kahiu
  • Bassem Youssef
  • Malenga Mulendema
  • Jadesola Osiberu
  • Editi Effiong
  • Ali Said Alamin Mandhry
  • Abel “The Weekend” Tesfaye 
  • Pretty Yende
  • Julie Mehretu
  • Pierre Thiam
  • Teju Cole
  • Thebe Magugu
  • David Diop
  • Burna Boy
  • Serge Attukwei Clottey
  • Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah
  • Aïda Muluneh
  • Omoyemi Akerele
  • Mariam Issoufou Kamara
  • Victor Ekpuk
  • DJ Snake
  • Gandhi “Maitre Gims” Djuna


  • Claude Grunitzky
  • Chioma Nnadi
  • Edward Enninful
  • Alan Kasujja
  • Wode Maya
  • Anton Harber
  • Khabane “Khaby” Lame
  • Charity Ekezie
  • Moses “Uncle Mo” Kiboneka
  • Branko Brkic
  • Tomiwa Aladekomo
  • Marie Mbullu
  • Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard
  • Daniel Ahaoussa
  • Fabrice Sawegnon


  • Francis Ngannou
  • Faith Kipyegon
  • The Springboks, led by captain Siya Kolisi
  • Patrice Motsepe
  • Kelvin Kiptum
  • Victor Osmihen
  • Biniam Girmay
  • Yassine Bounou

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