LAGOS, Nigeria, March 17, 2021 – / African Media Agency (AMA) / – Eleven young African entrepreneurs, including two Nigerians, who have been named Young Global Leaders (YGL) by the World Economic Forum (WEF) by 2021 , are to benefit from the Aliko Dangote Fellowship to support young African world leaders.
The beneficiaries are among 112 people under the age of 40, selected as Young Global Leaders by the WEF, from 56 countries.
The two Nigerians, Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong, founder of 54gene and Obi Ozor, founder of Kobo360, joined the ranks of previous Nigerian winners, Ambassador Debo Adesina, former Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian Newspapers and current Ambassador from Nigeria in Togo and Mr. Simon Kolawole, CEO of Cable Newspapers Ltd.
In announcing the winners, the WEF confirmed that African YGLs will benefit from the Aliko Dangote Scholarship, made possible by the Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF). To date, 73 young leaders from Africa have benefited from the scholarship.
The aim of the scholarship is to increase the quality and quantity of young African leaders by supporting the involvement of African YGLs in the community, such as those from small businesses or the non-business sector. The scholarship, WEF added, supports YGLs in Africa to participate in global YGL and Forum events.
The YGL award, according to WEF, “is to recognize and create a platform for a dynamic community of exceptional people with the vision, courage and influence to drive positive change in the world.”
“We are pleased to welcome 112 young world leaders to the Class of 2021. From a human rights and gender justice activist to a multi-award-winning artist and indigenous literacy advocate, to a celebrated leader from the country over youth of the world and leaders of business, civil society, health and government. ”
Giving a detailed analysis of the winners, the WEF said that among the 56 countries represented in the award, eleven leaders come from Africa and their work brings the promise of a brighter outlook at a difficult time. “They join a group of Nobel Prize winners, Pulitzer winners, heads of state and CEOs committed to improving the state of the world,” he said.
The Executive Director of the Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF), Zouera Youssoufou, congratulated Ene-Obong and Ozor on this achievement and urged them to continue hoisting the flags of Nigeria and Africa.
He said ADF was pleased to have worked with 54gene and Kobo360 at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, when CACOVID partnered with various organizations for collaborative efforts to complement government intervention to combat the pandemic.
“We are very happy that Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong and Obi Ozor are being recognized in this way, given the remarkable work that they and their young team have been able to do recently and especially in this last year. 54Gene and Kobo360 have been an integral part of the national rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic showing exemplary professionalism, efficiency, dedication and patriotism. Truly inspiring and further proof that young Nigerians and Africans are capable of anything given the right opportunities, ”Zouera enthused.
Many of the previous winners have come forward to demonstrate their leadership and entrepreneurial ability in their various fields of endeavor to justify the essence of the award and the authenticity of their nomination.
A previous recipient, Ambassador Debo Adesina said: “I am delighted to have two more Nigerians on the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders list. It is a great honor and I trust my compatriots to appreciate the responsibility that comes with this laurel and the duties that come with it. Of course, it is an acknowledgment that challenges them to be better at everything they do, given the illustrious cast of honorees before them.
“In my YGL class of 2005/2006 it was accomplished young men and women who then reached greater heights by pushing the boundaries of excellence in public service, academia, the professions, innovations, and all kinds of fields. I was inducted the same day with Daron Acemoglu, the cerebral economist and academic who co-wrote the best-selling book, ‘Why Nations Are Poor’, Sergei Brin and Larry Page, who founded Google, Ndidi Nwuneli from LEAP Africa, Brian Molefe from South Africa and Prince Harkon of Norway. Gavin Newsom was then mayor of San Francisco. He then went on to become Lieutenant Governor and is now Governor of the State of California in the US There were many more around the world in that class and in the years after that are still working hard to make our world a better place. I welcome the new members and urge you to keep the light shining for all.
“In fact, there is no better time than now for all young men and women around the world, especially these laureates, to recommit themselves to the goal of charting a clear course of service to humanity and being true tools for humanity. global development.
Another recipient in 2012, Mr. Simon Kolawole, while reacting to the most recent list, expressed his happiness that more Nigerians are being recognized internationally for good reason.
He stated; “I had a very rewarding experience as a Young Global Leader (YGL) in every way. I gained incredible knowledge by attending short courses at the best universities and participating in conferences. I interacted with YGL from diverse cultures and professional backgrounds. All the experience has helped shape my professional career.
To underscore its nomination, the WEF said that 54gene CEO and founder Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong has been quietly making noise at the helm of one of Africa’s leading healthcare technology companies, working at the field of genetic technology. 54gene was created in 2019 and its stated mission is to understand the genetic factors that lead to disease in Africa.
The African genome has been underestimated and misunderstood, according to 54gene, which addresses a vital gap in research and new healthcare solutions. 54gene’s work is included in Time magazine’s list of 12 innovations that will change healthcare in 2020.
Jan-Obong was also listed as one of the 30 Most Innovative Entrepreneurs on the African Continent in 2019 by Quartz Africa. Prior to 54gene, he worked in a variety of pharmaceutical companies and research organizations. He obtained a PhD from the University of London, with a PhD in Cancer Biology. He also holds an MBA in Human Molecular Genetics from Imperial College London and an MBA from Claremont Colleges, California. As Africa begins to gain weight in science and technology, Ene-Obong is sure to lead the charge of gene-based innovation.
For its part, Kobo360, introduced by Obi Ozor, is a logistics technology company that aggregates end-to-end transportation operations to help cargo owners, truck owners, drivers, and cargo recipients achieve a chain framework. efficient supply.
With the click of a button, freight owners can simply order any truck of their choice and have their goods picked up and delivered to the required location through a robust all-in-one logistics ecosystem. Kobo360 raised $ 30 million in 2019, backed by Goldman Sachs, an impressive feat for a startup.
It should be remembered that the Young Global Leaders Forum was founded in 2005 by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, to create a world where leaders take responsibility for a sustainable future while facing increasingly complex challenges. and interrelated. There are 1,400 members and alumni from more than 120 countries to date.