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Two South Africans make it to WEF’s young leaders list

Two South Africans made it to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) world’s most promising 112 Young Global Leaders (YGLs) under the age of 40, which it unveiled yesterday. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Two South Africans made it to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) world’s most promising 112 Young Global Leaders (YGLs) under the age of 40, which it unveiled yesterday. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Published Mar 11, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG - Two South Africans made it to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) world’s most promising 112 Young Global Leaders (YGLs) under the age of 40, which it unveiled yesterday.

The South African leaders are: Terrence Kommal, the chief executive and chairman, Medical Expert Consulting Group, South Africa and Ronald Lamola, the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services of South Africa.

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The WEF said, “Fifty-six countries were represented, 11 leaders hail from Africa and their work brings the promise of a brighter outlook at a difficult time. African YGLs will benefit from the Aliko Dangote Fellowship, made possible by the Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF).”

The aim of the fellowship was to increase the quality and quantity of young African leaders by supporting the engagement of African YGLs in the community, such as those from small enterprises or the non-business sector. The fellowship helped YGLs from Africa to participate in YGL and Forum events, the WEF said.

WEF said the class of 2021 was gender equal and members would take part in a five-year programme, which offered executive education courses, expeditions and opportunities to collaborate and test ideas among a trusted network of peers.

They join a group of Nobel Prize recipients, Pulitzer winners, heads of state and chief executive officers committed to improving the state of the world.

The other African leaders are:

  • Abasi Ene-Obong, the chief executive and Founder, 54gene, USA
  • Peter Biar Ajak, visiting fellow and Adjunct Faculty, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, USA
  • Obi Ozor, the founder and chief executive, Kobo360, Nigeria
  • Clarisse Iribagiza, the president, DMM.HeHe, Rwanda Civil Society and Social Entrepreneurship
  • Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, the president, Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad, Chad
  • Sangu Delle, the chairman and chief executive, Africa Health Holdings, Ghana
  • Wawira Njiru, the founder, Food for Education, Kenya
  • Tendayi Achiume, Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, USA
  • Vera Daves de Sousa, Minister of Finance, Angola

WEF said YGLs were active in today’s most exciting and dynamic fields and focus on impact.

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“In the past year they have worked on more than 30 Covid-19-related initiatives, including expanding the use of free public digital health services, launching data challenges to build an ecosystem that can help tackle the pandemic, creating mobile intensive care shelters, opening mental health support platforms and working on vaccine development,” it said.

Mariah Levin, the head of the Forum of YGLs, said: “The YGL Class of 2021 is comprised of thoughtful and courageous leaders who will shape a more sustainable and inclusive post-pandemic era,”

“We are delighted to welcome the class of 2021 at a time when cultivating responsible leadership is needed more than ever to steer us through the multiple challenges the world is facing,” said Nicole Schwab, Board Member of the Forum of Young Global Leaders.

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The Forum of Young Global Leaders was founded in 2005 by Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the WEF, to create a world where leaders take responsibility for a sustainable future while meeting increasingly complex and interrelated challenges. Today, there are 1 400 members and alumni from more than 120 countries.

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