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Top 7 The Most Influential African Leaders

Written by Frank Kremer

Several African leaders have gone down in history of Africa and the whole world. However, below are the top seven of them in regard to their influencing power.


Kofi Atta Annan, 77, is a Ghanaian diplomat who has been pretty significant in the history of Africa and the world at large. He served as the seventh Secretary General of the United Nations (From January 1997 to December 2006), being the first black African to hold the office. Annan won the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. His popularity rose when he, in 2001, played an important role in causing the General Assembly and the Security Council to take action against terrorism, which became fruitful.


In 2008, Kofi Annan became instrumental in the reconciliation of the retired Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and his rival Raila Odinga. The dispute had left more than 500 Kenyans dead, but Kofi Annan brought the long-awaited peace in the country. Recently, according to Yen News, Koffi Annan urged the Ghanaians not to trade their votes for money when the November 2016 Ghanaian Elections approached. This encouraged the peaceful and successful elections which saw the new president Nana Addo elected.


Obiageli Katryn Ezekwesili, also known as Oby, is a renowned Nigerian Female activist. She is the vice president of Africa at the World Bank Group, since the year 2007. She has also held several positions in the Nigerian government. She, for instance, has the Minister of Solid Minerals and later the Nigerian Minister for Education. The reputable woman is one of the founders of the Transparency International. Oby’s popularity and influence was best felt when she spoke up for the 200 school girls that had been abducted by the Boko Haram militant group. The female activist was the founder of the BringBackOurGirls Campaign. The message, as noted by The New African Magazine, spread and the world began to listen.




Ellen Johnson, the 24th Liberian president happens to be the first elected female president in the world. Her popularity came through peaceful activism for the women’s rights. The activism earned her the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011. In 2014, she was ranked the 70th in the Forbes list of the most powerful women in the world. In 2015, she was again ranked 96th in the same list.



Desmond Tutu is a South African social activist whose influenced was best felt when he fought against the Apartheid rule in South Africa. He is among the elders that were brought together by Nelson Mandela in South Africa and were entrusted with the work of bringing peace, justice as well as to champion for human rights. Tutu’s work was positively felt in South Africa and Africa at large. It is for this reason that Desmond Tutu is renowned in Africa up to date. Among other awards, Tutu has received Pacen in Terris Award, the Sydney Peace Prize and the Lincoln Leadership Prize.


Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta is the president of Kenya since 2013. Uhuru emerged one of the most African leaders when he, during the criminal charges against him in the ICC, managed to turn African against The Hague-based International Criminal Court. He claimed that the international court is not fair on the Africans and that it targets Africa inappropriately.


Abdel Fattah became the sixth president of Egypt when he held office in 2014. He resigns from the military in 2014 to enable him to vie for the presidency. He became popular and his influence was seen when became successful in stopping the start of a civil war after his removal of the former president Mohamed Morsi from power. The president is perceived by the Western countries as being a moderate force in Egypt. In 2014, he became 51st in the Forbes list of the World’s Most Outstanding Individuals.


In as much as the South Sudanese president, Salva Kiir, is not popular positively in Africa, he has made it to the list of the most influential leaders in Africa. He is known for the cause of the forming of another country in Africa, South Sudan, of which he is the first president. What actually raised him fame beyond the Sudanese boundaries are the squabbles and the series of conflicts that he has engaged in with Riek Machar, his former Vice President.

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Frank Kremer

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