Its that time of year again where Time magazine seeks nominations to its Time 100 list. The list has been a source of heated conversation for years as it often includes controversial figures such as Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau who was on the list last year.
This year two Africans have been nominated- Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and Congo’s Foremost gynecologist Denis Mukwege.
President Paul Kagame
Kagame became president in 2000 after being Rwanda’s de facto leader since the end of the country’s genocide in 1994.
He is credited with stabilising the country and promoting economic growth after the mass killings, but critics say he is an authoritarian ruler who does not tolerate opposition and he is accused of human rights abuses.
With a website that boasts Twitter, Flickr, podcasts and his own blog, Mr Kagame says the IT revolution has meant there are “few excuses” for political intolerance and poverty.
President Kagame is the highest followed African leader on twitter with over 1.4million followers.
The 53 year old declared intent to run one month after Rwandans voted for constitutional referendum allowing him to do so, being a run for the third term in office after his second seven-year term expires in 2017.
Denis Mukwege Mukengere is the founder and medical director of Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). As a young child, Dr. Mukwege accompanied his father, a Pentecostal pastor, while visiting sick members of the community.
This later inspired him to become a doctor. The Swedish Pentecostal mission helped support him in his medical studies. He decided to specialize in gynecology and obstetrics after observing that female patients at Lemera Hospital suffered from insufficient medical care, which caused complications during their deliveries.
Amid the war in eastern DRC, in 1998, he initiated the construction of Panzi Hospital in Bukavu. The hospital has become known worldwide for the treatment of survivors of sexual violence and women with severe gynecological problems. Dr. Denis Mukwege has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades and in 2009 was named African of the Year.
Dr Mukwege is a tireless advocate for the rights of women in DRC. He has addressed the United Nations General Assembly on the matter and regularly travels abroad raising awareness of the situation in Eastern DRC. In between responsibilities managing and administering Panzi Hospital and overseeing projects at the Panzi Foundation, Dr Mukwege continues to see patients and perform surgery two days a week.
What other Africans do you think should be on the list? Let us know!