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Nairobi’s finest among Africa’s most influential

Ten prominent Nairobi personalities have have been listed among the 100 most influential people in the continent this year.

The report by New African, a South-African publication, has named President Uhuru Kenyatta and Gina-Din Kariuki, a Public Relations practitioner, in the list containing 100 names.

Others are Equity Bank’s chief executive James Mwangi, Red Cross secretary general Abbas Gullet, Calestous Juma (Havard-based scientist), Julie Gichuru (media personality), Lupita Nyong’o (actress), Mukoma wa Ngugi (author) and Centrum’s chief executive James Mworia.

“The powerful, the rich, the fastest, the first: they’re all on the list: there are spiritual leaders, political game changers, global superstars, a slew of sporting record breakers to rival the world’s best, and much more,” said a statement by New African.

Lupita made news after featuring in the Hollywood film Twelve Years a Slave where critics acclaimed her acting skills and fashion taste.

The list is not ranked in any order but divided in categories which showcase budding entrepreneurs as well as their established counterparts in the continent.

There are 32 women on the list, the youngest being Nigerian girl Zuriel Oduwole,who, aged only 11, has made news globally for her fight in women’s education.

She has already interviewed eight African heads of state and launched a mentorship programme for girls.

The oldest on the list is 76 year old Edna Adan, former foreign minister of Somaliland and a pioneer for women’s rights and women’s health.

She is the director and founder of the Edna Adan Maternity Hospital and an activist in the struggle for the abolition of female circumcision.

A Congo-based doctor, Denis Mukwege, has been feted for his commitment to treat victims of war for 15 years despite an attempted assassination.

The wealthiest have not been left behind; the list has included Nigerian Aliko Dangote, South African Johann Rupert and Angolan Isabel Dos Santos.

Nigeria leads the way as the country which has the highest number of influential figures, taking up a whopping 23 per cent of the list with an incredibly wide spread over all categories, as well as dominating the business scene.

Right behind is South Africa, taking up 22 per cent of the list.