In celebration of Black History Month, WorldRemit, a fintech company and provider of international money transfer services, has launched the inaugural Top Ten Most Influential Africans in the Diaspora list.
WorldRemit launched this list to honor and recognize the contributions Africans have made in America
WorldRemit spent the month of February exploring the incredible contributions Africans have made to America.
This has culminated in a top ten list that honors and acknowledges the contributions of Africans living and working in the diaspora. Many of the honorees originate from several countries across the continent and have achieved groundbreaking success in a vast spectrum of professions including the arts, medicine, fashion, entertainment and philanthropy. In addition, many of the honorees have partnered with and/or been supported by top global leaders and institutions including the United Nations, Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, The Oscars, Unicef, the World Economic Forum, the Smithsonian museum and many more.
Black History Month recognizes the central roles and contributions of African Americans in the U.S. and honors their historical and current achievements. Since 1976, every American President has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month, highlighting the significant contributions made by African Americans to areas including American literature, business, science, politics, philanthropy, entertainment, sports, and their communities.
African immigrants are the fastest-growing ethnic group of migrants in the U.S. with the U.S. African born populations reaching 49.6% in 2018, according to the Migration Policy Institute.
According to a Report published by the New American Economy, African immigrants have higher levels of educational attainment than the U.S. population as a whole. The Report also reveals that they are more likely to have earned their degree in a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math or STEM subject. They also make meaningful contributions to several vital sectors of the economy – including healthcare – where employers have persistent challenges finding qualified workers. In addition, African immigrants are making meaningful contributions to the American economy as entrepreneurs.
‘Data continues to show that black Africans in the diaspora are contributing significantly to the U.S. economy and society as a whole, while in many cases still supporting their communities back home. At WorldRemit, we believe that it is important for us to acknowledge and highlight these positive contributions, and Black History Month seemed like the ideal time to do so,’ said Daniel Canning Managing Director, Americas for WorldRemit.
WorldRemit invited OkayAfrica CEO & Publisher Abiola Oke to sit on the judging panel which selected ten finalists from a shortlisted group of black Africans based in the U.S. The other judges include WorldRemit founder and Chairman, Ismail Ahmed, who is also an immigrant originally hailing from Somaliland, and Daniel Canning, Managing Director of WorldRemit’s business in the Americas.
‘Our mission at OkayAfrica is to connect a global audience to African culture, and through our publication, we highlight the positive contributions made by many African across the diaspora. I was delighted to be invited to participate in this exciting initiative as a judge, identifying African immigrants who have made and continue to make huge contributions to every aspect of American society in particular. It is fitting that WorldRemit, a leading money transfer service to Africa, established this program to coincide with Black History Month.’ said Abiola Oke CEO, OkayAfrica
The criteria to be listed on the inaugural Top Ten Most Influential Africans in the Diaspora list includes the following:
Honorees must be a first-generation immigrant from an African country.
The honoree must have a track record of making significant contributions in their respective field.
The honoree has made a significant social impact within the U.S. African immigrant community or their communities back home.
The honoree has broken barriers by positively challenging the status quo and/or creating opportunities for others
Based on the criteria above, the 2020 WorldRemit Top Ten Most Influential Africans in the Diaspora are:
Halima Aden – Kenyan born Somalian
Fashion Model and Unicef Ambassador
Saran Kaba Jones – Liberia
Social Entrepreneur and Clean Water Advocate
Amini Kajunju – Democractic Republic of Congo
Flaviana Matata – Tanzania
Fashion Model and Educational Equality Advocate
Nana Eyeson-Akiwowo – Ghana
Non-Profit Founder & CEO
Afam Onyema – Nigeria
Non-Profit Founder & CEO
Bennet Omalu – Nigeria
Physician, forensic pathologist and neuropathologist
Ger Duany – South Sudan
Actor and Goodwill Ambassador, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Kehinde Wiley – Nigeria
Pioneering Portrait Painter
Olurotimi John Badero – Nigeria
Physician, Interventional cardiologist, interventional nephrologist and cardio-nephrologist
“As an African immigrant, I am fully aware of the hard work, sacrifices, and resilience needed to become successful in the West. I am immensely proud of all Africans who take the opportunity to achieve great things and contribute to their communities in an impactful way. To be able to honor Africans in the diaspora is enormously special to us here at WorldRemit,” said Ismail Ahmed Founder and Chairman, WorldRemit.