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Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote hit another milestone Wednesday when he was listed by US-based magazine Forbes as one of the most powerful people in the world.
Dangote, who was ranked 64th out of the 72 persons recognised by Forbes, was one of two black people that made the list. The other being UK-based Mohammed Ibrahim, founder of Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
Topping this year’s list of most powerful people was Russian President Vladimir Putin, who knocked his US counterpart, Barack Obama, off the top spot. The US president held the title last year.
According to Associated Press (AP), Obama has been on the top of the list every year with the exception of 2010, when Hu Jintao, the former political and military leader of China, was number one.
The annual World’s Most Powerful list is made up of heads of state, financiers, philanthropists and entrepreneurs and the list represents the collective wisdom of top Forbes editors, who consider hundreds of nominees before ranking the planet’s top 72 power-brokers.
This year’s list features 17 heads of state who run nations with a combined GDP of some $48 trillion — including the three most powerful people, Putin, Obama and Xi Jinping, the general secretary of the Communist Party of China.
The 27 CEOs and chairs control over $3 trillion in annual revenues, and 12 are entrepreneurs, including new billionaires on the list, Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote (No. 64), founder of Dangote Group, and Oracle’s Larry Ellison (No. 58). This year’s list has 28 billionaires valued in excess of $564 billion.
In addition, there are 13 newcomers on the list who include Pope Francis (No. 4), Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-Hee (No. 41), Volkswagen’s Martin Winterkorn (No. 49) and the South Korean President Park Geun-hye (No. 52).
There are just nine women on the list, but that is an improvement on both 2011 and 2012 which featured six women leaders and the inaugural list from 2009 included only three.
Two of the world’s most important NGOs run by women feature on the list – Christine Lagarde (No. 35) who leads the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Margaret Chan (No. 59) who steers the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Below are the top 10 most powerful people on the Forbes list:
• Vladimir Putin, President of Russia
• Barack Obama, President of the United States of America
• XI Jinping, General Secretary Communist Party of China
• Pope Francis, Roman Catholic Church
• Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
• Bill Gates, Cofounder Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
• Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the US Federal Reserve
• King Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the King of Saudi Arabia
• Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank
• Michael Duke, CEO Wal-Mart
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