NewAfrican magazine names 100 most influential African’s of 2022

NewAfrican magazine has named its Top 100 Most Influential Africans of 2022, across the categories of leaders, entrepreneurs, changemakers, opinion shapers, creatives, and sportspeople. To coincide with the December-January issue, the publication created four covers showcasing the most influential of the influential, including Kenyan President William Ruto, Tunisian tennis Player Ons Jabeur, actress Lupita Nyong’o, and much celebrated Nigerian musician Burna Boy.

Cover art from the December 2022/January 2023 issue of NewAfrican magazine.

Anver Versi, Editor for NewAfrican magazine, writes in his introduction to the listing: “This year, as in the previous two years, our creatives – the writers of award-winning, bestselling books, the actors and singers who are reshaping the global entertainment world, the chefs who are creating African delicacies for the world, the designers, the journalists, the editors who have crossed over the divide and become truly global – predominate in the listing. These are a symbol of Africa’s growing soft power. The world of Wakanda is alive and kicking. Africa rules!”

The growing prominence of African soft power on the world stage is also highlighted by the presence in the ranking of Dr Nkiru Balonwu, Founder & Creative Director of The Africa Soft Power Project (ASP). The company leverages the continent’s creative and cultural industries not only to generate tangible economic growth at home, but also help redefine the perception of modern Africa on the world stage.

Nkiru Balonwu speaking at the Africa Soft Power Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, earlier this year.

At two recent events in Miami and DC – supported by National Geographic, amongst others – ASP brought a fresh perspective to the traditional western interpretation of the continent:

“The phrase ‘intersecting global challenges’ is a particularly important one,” Dr Balonwu told a packed-out roomful of delegates at the National Geographic building on Wednesday. “Because from climate change, to the war in Ukraine, to our frictionless, borderless digital economy… we are now more aware than ever before that we live in a connected global society that requires effective global solutions.”

“We also know that the challenges we face are not isolated, or binary, or able to be solved from a single perspective – but rather complex and interwoven. Improved security in West Africa can increase trade with Europe and the US, which could dilute the continent’s dependence upon Asian investment, in-turn shifting the current geo-political set-up, and opening up new possibilities for wider cultural and societal change.”

Other notable entrants on the NewAfrican most influential list include the likes of Karim Benzema, Edward Enninful, Ayra Starr and you can find out further details here.