Tariq Ramadan, Egypt. Tariq Ramadan is a writer, commentator and university lecturer. He is as much loved as he is loathed, accused by some of being a fundamentalist and by others of being too liberal. He was a close advisor to Tony Blair on issues of religion and integration and is without doubt one of the most forward-thinking scholars on Islamic issues.
Isha Sesay, Sierra Leone
She has come to be known as the “Face of Africa” on the American news channel CNN. Isha is credited with popularising CNN to African audiences through the flagship “Inside Africa” news programme, which she presents, as well as helping to change the international perception of Africa. Articulate and knowledgeable about global affairs, Africa remains her passion.
Ferial Haffajee, South Africa
A passionate woman with a strong intellect, Ferial was the first non-white editor of a major South African newspaper and today she is the editor of the third most popular newspaper in the country, City Press. Never one to shy away from controversial topics, she is known for ruffling feathers amongst the political class. A regular radio and television commentator, Haffajee’s speciality subjects are current affairs, media freedom and women’s empowerment.
Trevor Ncube, Zimbabe
Trevor Ncube is the chief executive of the Mail & Guardian Media Group (South Africa), which he brought in 2002. A long-time activist for press freedom and a critic of the Zimbabwean government, he chairs the boards of a number of organisations in Africa including the Africa Media Initiative. His newspaper, the Mail & Guardian, is the most respected weekly in South Africa. A family man, he is very well liked and respected amongst his peers and staff.
Ndesanjo Macha, Tanzania
A popular blogger, journalist, lawyer and digital activist. Ndesanjo set up Jikombe, (Swahili for “Free Yourself”) the first ever blog in an African language. The popular blog is inspiring many others to bring indigenous African languages online.
Emma Ben Jemaa, Tunisia
Emma Ben Jemaa is a young Tunisian journalist and a marketing professor. She is wildly outspoken and an avid Tweeter, blogger and opinion-shaper amongst young Tunisians. Emna is undoubtedly a star of the blogosphere and modern social media.
Amadou Ba, Senegal
Amadou Ba is the co-founder of the web portal AllAfrica.com, although today most of his time is spent in Nairobi nurturing his second baby, the African Media Initiative (AMI). Through this initiative, Amadou is playing a vital role in strengthening the media landscape and linking media owners, publishers and journalists in Africa.
Branko Brkic, South Africa
Branko is one of the most dynamic media leaders on the continent. He will be the first African to launch an iPad newspaper later in the year, giving away free iPads to all new subscribers. A media entrepreneur who has launched a number of ventures, he is today the founder and editor of the Daily Maveric, a popular South African online magazine. Another of his current projects, “Free African Media”, consists of building up an extensive, powerful and integrated media platform across Africa.
Nduka Obaigbena, Nigeria
This Nigerian media mogul owns This Day, one of Nigeria’s best selling newspapers. Year after year he manages to lure the who’s who of world politics and showbiz to his events back home in Nigeria. As was once written of him, “he is a dreamer and dream maker at once.”
Alain Foka, Cameroon
With an instantly recognisable voice, this knowledgeable, outspoken broadcaster on Radio France International’s (RFI) global network is an outright star amongst French Speaking Africans. A key diasporan, he continues to inspire and entertain alike.