Trailblazers under 50 includes Obama, Didier Drogba, Hadeel Ibrahim among other African icons of influence.
The NewAfrican a leading pan-African current affairs magazine an IC, in its May collector’s edition, looks at a Future Made in Africa and, in a 60 page supplement. This coincides with the African Union Formerly OAU jubilee celebration. The release focuses more on infrastructural, innovative and economic reflections on the work of individuals throughout Africa who have in one way or the other catalyzed a remarkable project in their daily activities.
The edition has internationally renowned Ghanaian designer Ozwald Boateng, a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and founder of the Made in Africa Foundation as the guest editor. Other distinguished editorial contributors include Tony Blair, President Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson, Tony Elumelu, Mo Ibrahim, David Adjaye, Jay Naidoo, Omar Bongo Ondimba, among other.
President Obama, has been quoted by the author as
“in Africa we never forget our own, whenever they may live, and Africans in the diaspora have a great role to play” she goes on to say “Obama is a formidable example of someone whose drive passion and remarkable intellect have enabled him to attain the highest political post…A trail blazer if ever there was one should never underestimate the influence Africa has had on him”
The list includes Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Alex Wek, David Rudisha, Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, Juliana Totich, Dambisa Moyo and its very own readers. Ms Sophia Bekele the president of the DotConnectAfrica an organization that has applied for the .africa domain string has yet reached another milestone, and also featured in the list of eminent trailblazers, she is quoted as
“A business and corporate executive, an entrepreneur, ICT activist, and international policy adviser on ICT to public and private enterprise, Sophia Bekele is at the forefront of using technology for good change in Africa. She is the founder and CEO of CBS International. She is also the executive director of DotConnectAfrica Trust and DotConnectAfrica Registry Services Limited, which is well-known for its successful six-year Yes2dotAfrica global awareness campaign for the Africa Top Level Domain Name, an initiative for which Bekele has positioned herself as a champion.”
Coincidentally her organization and course has been viewed as fighting the Africa Union and special interest groups, due to the persistent efforts she has made while championing her pet project. As I found out though, Ms Bekele has actually worked with African Union quite successfully in the past in a land mark project. The latest press release from DCA noted
“In early 2000, my companies (CBS/SbCnet) built the first fibre optic campus area network that was implemented at the headquarters of the Organization for African Unity, OAU-AU. The project was highly recommended by Senior AU and UN official project representatives like Ambassador Sam Ibok, and the Darfur peace mediator, whose recommendation noted that:
“the system as deployed and successfully commissioned, consists of a campus-based inter-network implemented by using a fiber-optic backbone that links the various buildings within the OAU General Secretariat complex. The system also features Intranet/Internet system” –African Union”
Quoted, in her own words Ms. Bekele says:
“I have a successful track record of collaborating with the African Union as a Pan-African institution and I remain confident that any controversy surrounding .Africa will be resolved and you will soon see me going back to collaborate again with the African Union on the .Africa project. We are all Africans and have to be mutually supportive of one another, cooperate and join hands together to serve our beloved continent so that Africa and its people would benefit. We are all responsible for Africa’s future to ensure that our present actions would guarantee the realization of the vision espoused in the thinking of earlier Pan-Africanists.“
Her projects have been quite pan-african, having worked in the diaspora and always formulating how to advance her continent. .africa is just one of her many projects that have equally attracted attention in the past and most probably even in the future.
Africa has a vast human resource bank that if well utilized and channeled would enable Africa continue to build a developing brand for a continent that has been riddled with negative perspectives, this only by building such skills shall we be able to rewrite history. As AU celebrates 50 years albeit with not so many remarkable developments, we also take this time to celebrate our trail blazers.
As Africa Union celebrates this 50th “jubilee year” its important to celebrate the collectively effort by each and every citizen of the vast continent and march forward confidently to make solutions that will better the image of the continent and its inhabitants