DURBAN, South Africa, 3 May 2017,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/-Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD), a global civil society initiative whose efforts emanate from the International Decade for People of African Descent, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, will unveil its 2017 honorees in the Business and Entrepreneurship category during the World Economic Forum on Africa taking place between 3 and 5 May in Durban, South Africa.

MIPAD is a unique global list that identifies 200 high achievers, under the age of 40, of African descent in public and private sectors worldwide, 100 inside Africa, and 100 outside Africa in the Diaspora. From Eldrick “Tiger” Woods the most successful golfer of all time to the highest paid CEO in Africa, James Mworia, Managing Director and CEO, Centum Investments, Kenya.

“Our mission with MIPAD is to build a progressive network of civil society actors who come together and support the implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent. In proclaiming this global initiative, the international community is recognizing that people of African descent represent a distinct group whose contributions and human rights must be promoted and protected”, said Kamil Olufowobi, Founder of MIPAD.

MIPAD gathers these young leaders and their mentors twice a year around prestigious events held both in Africa, in March and the United States, in September. The Awards Dinner in honor of the ‘MIPAD Class of 2017’ is slated for September 26th, 2017 in New York City, following the opening of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly. Former U.S. President Barack Obama and current UN Secretary-General António Guterres are invited to attend as keynote speakers.

This year’s MIPAD Business and Entrepreneurship category will honor 76 top achievers from Africa and the Diaspora. The selection panel considered the contributions and impact of these individuals through their business ideas, successful enterprises, innovative thinking, net worth and commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“I am honored and humbled to have been selected by MIPAD, it is an extremely inspiring initiative. I am a firm believer that this is our time as Africans and Africa. In order to take things to the next level we must truly enable, empower and inspire our young entrepreneurs and women entrepreneurs across the continent, we as Africans are not playing to catch up we are going to lead the way,” says Ashish J. Thakkar, Founder, Mara Group & Mara Foundation, one of the 2017 honorees in Business & Entrepreneurship, inside Africa.

In addition, other high achievers are recognized under three other categories as follows; Politics and Governance, Media and Culture, and Religion & Humanitarian endeavors.

There are around 200 million people identifying themselves as being of African descent who live in the Americas. Many millions more live in other parts of the world, outside of the African continent. Whether as descendants of the victims of the transatlantic slave trade or as more recent migrants, they constitute some of the poorest and most marginalized groups.

In many cases, people of African descent still experience discrimination in their access to justice, and face alarmingly high rates of police violence and racial profiling. Furthermore, their degree of political participation is often low, both in voting and in occupying political positions.

The promotion and protection of human rights of people of African descent has been a priority concern for the United Nations. The International Decade for People of African Descent, proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 68/237 and to be observed from 2015 to 2024, provides a solid framework to underline the important contributions made by people of African descent around the world and to propose concrete measures to promote their full inclusion and to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

If you meet any of the MIPAD honorees in Durban during the 2017 WEF Africa, please extend a hand of congratulation for their contributions to societies around the world and for their resilience and strength in the face of adversity.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD).

To see who made the 2017 global list, please visit www.mipad.org/nominate and download the list.

About Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD)

In support of the International Decade for People of African Descent, the Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) 100 identifies high achievers of African descent in public and private sectors from all around the world as a progressive network of relevant actors to join together in the spirit of recognition, justice and development of Africa, its people on the continent and across its Diaspora.

For more information:

Media Contacts
Niclette Mundabi
MIPAD
+1 (678) 818-6032
nicky@mipad.org

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