ABN Publishing has announced Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as the Forbes Africa Person of the Year 2011. The finalists included Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Pedro Veron Pires, Aliko Dangote and the late Professor Wangari Mathaai, but it was Sanusi who was judged as the person who had the most significant influence on the events of the year gone by.
Sanusi, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, was also for the second consecutive year named Central Bank Governor of the Year in Sub-Saharan Africa by global business magazine, Emerging Market.
In his acceptance speech, Sanusi said: “To be short-listed along with four great Africans for Person of the Year is one of the greatest honours imaginable. And to have been selected winner from that group is simply beyond dreams.” As the Forbes Africa Person of the Year he will appear on the cover of the December issue of Forbes Africa magazine where readers will also get more insight into his life as Africa’s most influential leader.
The awards ceremony, which was organised by ABN Productions, was held at the Sky Restaurant, Eko Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria with the Governor of Lagos State Babatunde Raji Fashola delivering a key note address. The event was attended by other captains of industry and dignitaries from across the continent including the Governor of Rivers State Rotimi Amaechi.
Readers voted online making up 25% of the judging criteria and the judging panel which consisted of Forbes Africa managing editor, Chris Bishop; CNBC Africa chief editor, Godfrey Mutizwa; BBC bureau chief, Peter Burdin; Reuters bureau chief, Matthew Tostevin and Forbes Africa senior journalist, Vuyo Mvoko, made up the rest of the vote.
Bishop said at the event that it was a very proud moment for Forbes Africa: “This is a very proud moment for the team of Forbes Africa and I am honoured to be in Lagos to celebrate it. We see Nigeria and West Africa as a cornerstone in our drive to capture the imagination of the continent.”
CNBC Africa covered the Forbes Africa Person of the Year awards ceremony and will broadcast a special on this event early in December.