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Candidates for Forbes Africa Person of the Year announced

The inaugural Forbes Africa Person of the Year awards ceremony is just weeks away and the top five candidates have been announced. The winner of this award would have had an influence on the events of the year gone by on the African continent.
Candidates for Forbes Africa Person of the Year announcedOver the past year the Forbes Africa editorial team have worked on a list of candidates and have now narrowed it down to the top five influential people on the continent.

The Top 5 candidates are:


  • Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia, is Africa's first female Head of State and was one of three women awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work".

  • Pedro Veron Pires, former president of Cape Verde was named the winner of the 2011 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership for his "vision in transforming Cape Verde into a model of democracy, stability and increased prosperity".

  • Aliko Dangote, founder and president of Dangote Group. The Nigerian businessman's fortune surged 557% in the past year, making him the world's biggest gainer in percentage terms and Africa's richest individual. Dangote is the continent's biggest cement maker.

  • Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria was for the second consecutive year, named Central Bank Governor of the Year in Sub-Saharan Africa by global business magazine, Emerging Market.

  • the late Professor Wangari Mathaai, Kenyan environmental and political activist was the first African woman to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. She was the founder of the Greenbelt Movement, and died in Nairobi, aged 71, in September 2011 after a battle with ovarian cancer.

Managing editor of Forbes Africa, Chris Bishop said, "This process has been rigorous. Thousands of people from all over Africa nominated candidates online and our researchers spent many hours sifting through them."

Readers can vote online for their favourite of the top five candidates which makes up 25% of the overall scoring criteria.

Bishop forms part of the judging panel which includes CNBC Africa chief editor, Godfrey Mutizwa; BBC bureau chief, Peter Burdon; Reuters bureau chief, Matthew Tostevin and Forbes Africa senior journalist, Vuyo Mvoko.

ABN Productions has also been commissioned to host the Forbes Africa Person of the Year awards ceremony, which will take place in Lagos, Nigeria on 30 November 2011.

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