Billionaire Nigerian business man, Aliko Dangote, was named as the Forbes Africa Person of the Year 2014.
Other finalists for the most coveted award were South Africa’s Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, (SEC), Arunma Oteh, and President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka.
In selecting Dangote, the panel of judges noted that “Aliko Dangote is a lion of Africa in terms of business. He is second to none when it comes to investing in Africa, not just Nigeria. He is also a capitalist with a big heart. He puts his money where his mouth is and his foundation is a step forward for a man who wants to make a difference on the continent,”
This was Dangote’s fourth nomination for the prestigious award. Other past finalists include his Highness Dr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (2011), James Mwangi (2012) and Akinwumi Adesina (2013). Also feted during the event was Donald Kaberuka, president of the African Development Bank. Kaberuka received the lifetime achievement award.
Chairman, CMA Investment Holding, Rakesh Wahi, described Forbes as a brand, synonymous with entrepreneurship, inspiration, success, failure, getting up after failure and never giving up despite all the odds.
He said Forbes highlights journeys of hope, of trials and tribulations of people who despite all challenges have the courage and determination to see their dreams to fruition.
Commenting on the Forbes Person of the Year Award, he said: “This is our fourth Person of the Year Event. The mission of this event is to honor one exceptional leader from the African continent, who has made an impact not only on the industry he or she serves, but who also has touched the lives of people, and in doing so is a role model for future generations of business leaders. The person who we are about to honor today, personifies all the values of the Forbes brand”.