By Charles Etukuri
Seven Ugandans have been named in Avance Media’s 100 Most Influential Young Africans list for 2021.
They are Peruth Chemutai, Leah Namugerwa, Vanessa Nakate, Melvyn Lubega, Joanita Babirye, Hilda Flavia Nakabuye and Joshua Cheptegei.
On Wednesday, Avance Media announced the sixth publication of its annual ranking of 100 Most Influential Young Africans, a list that celebrates the brightest and most successful young Africans in various fields across the continent.
Nigeria leads with representation on the list with 21 people, followed closely by South Africa and Kenya with 10 individuals each. Uganda has seven young people and Ghana six .
Chemutai is the steeplechase Olympic champion, Nakate is a climate justice activist, while Namugerwa is a youth climate activist in Uganda known for leading tree planting campaigns and for starting a petition to enforce the plastic bag ban in Uganda.
Lubega won The Lindas accolade, making him the first African to receive the award. He is the co-founder of South Africa’s tech unicorn Go1 and The Lindas is an award given by Endeavor, a global community of high-growth entrepreneurs.
Babirye is the co-founder and director for Girls for Climate Action. Nakabuye is a Ugandan climate and environmental rights activist, who founded Uganda’s Fridays for Future movement. She also advocates for greater gender equality and racial diversity in the climate change movement.
Cheptegei is a long-distance runner, Olympic Gold Medalist, World Champion, World Cross Country Champion, and World Record Holder. Cheptegei is the tenth man in history to hold the 5,000m and 10,000m world records concurrently, both set in 2020.
This year’s Avance Media list had 52 men and 48 women representing 32 countries on the continent.
“This year’s publication throws a huge spotlight on various talents and personalities pursuing their dreams in pursuit of making the continent proud and setting an example for young people on the continent,” Avance Media noted.
With individuals from industries such as technology, business, entertainment, the managing director of Avance Media, Prince Akpah, said the continent is blessed with a lot of inspiring young people, who have the power to prove the worth of its future. He also urged African leaders to focus resources on training their youthful population to be ready to compete with other young people from across the world.
Some notable names on the list include Nigerian musicians Davido and Burna Boy, climate change activists such as Adenike Oladosu, Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti, and footballers Mohammed Salah, Sadio Mane and Edouard Mendy.
The criteria for the selection of Avance Media’s 100 Most Influential Young Africans included: Excellence in Leadership and Performance, Personal accomplishment, commitment to sharing knowledge, breaking the status quo and being an accomplished young African