Friday, May 22, 2009

Queen of Sheba

The Queen of Sheba was an ancient ruler of what is now Eriterea, Ethiopia, and Yemen. Her exploits are detailed in many religious texts including The Qur'an and The Bible. Ancient times were much more paternalistic than our society today, so we should be proud of the Queen for controlling a large land mass, amassing immense wealth and having the education/intelligence to test King Solomon (who is regarded as the wisest Old Testament King)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tidjane Thiam - CEO Prudential UK

Tidjane Thiam is the incoming CEO of Prudential a UK based financial services company with over 20 million customers. Tidjane (a native of Côte d'Ivoire) is the first black person to lead a FTSE 100 listed company. He also had a storied carrier in the public sector of the Ivory Coast as Minister of Planning and Development among other roles. I wasnt able to find much detailed record of his actual accomplishments online but he has undoubtedly broken down many barriers on his way to the top.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Nuhu Ribadu - Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

Nuhu Ribadu is a crusader against corruption in Nigeria. His efforts have made him a household name in the country and also created many enemies among the rouge government officials and internet scammers that he has targeted. It is important to note that, corruption is not unique to Nigeria and exists in countries all over the world (e.g., Enron). Mr. Ribadu's success is a reminder that even if corruption appears to be all around us, we can all find the bravery and courage to play our part to make a difference. Here is one of his recent submissions to the US house of reps...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Patrick Awuah - Ashesi University

After working as a Product Manager at Microsoft for 8 years, Patrick returned to Ghana to found a liberal arts college called Ashesi University. The university has attracted students from around West Africa and educators from around the world. I have been very impressed with the graduates that I have met. Given the dearth of quality of higher education in West Africa, Ashesi is a beacon of hope. Patrick's story reminds us of the impact that we can all have if we apply ourselves back on the continent. Here is a link to the Ashesi website

Sunday, May 17, 2009

William Kamkwamba - Malawi Windmill Maker

William has a fascinating story that has been featured around the world. He grew up in a small village in Malawi. At age 14 he used a book from the library as a guide to build a small windmill to power his family's house. His story reminds us of the ingenuity that exists in Africa and the potential of the next generation of leaders. Here's a link to his blog

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf - President of Liberia

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the first female African president. She is Harvard trained and won a hotly contested election against soccer star, George Weah. I don't follow Liberian politics and can't say how successful/effective she has been in leading the war-torn nation, but she is undoubtedly a role model to Africans and women everywhere.