The pan-African current affairs magazine, New African, has published its annual list of the 100 Most Influential Africans. The December issue of the magazine – currently on sale – features individuals whom the magazine quotes ‘can move markets and sway decisions’. The magazine does not claim all those featured to necessarily have had a positive influence in Africa, but go on to say that ‘given there are many more positive trends on the continent than negative, the majority on the list we call “Proudly African”.

This year’s list has been split into eight categories, including: Politics, Business, Civil Society, Media, Religion & Traditional, Science & Technology, Arts & Culture and Sport, and every entry features an insightful profile detailing recent career highlights and achievements – as well as some memorable quotes.

Featuring some familiar household names “ alongside a few lesser-known personalities “ this list aims to recognize the contributions of certain individuals in Africa’s renewed drive towards development.

Additionally, for those aiming to better understand the inner workings of Africa’s complex power games, this list offers an insight into the faces, names and characters that can be found inside Africa’s corridors of power.

On reading the list, one is left thinking that Africa is indeed a rich continent, and that there could have been many many more additions of individuals who are driving change not only in their country but around Africa and globally.

Highlights from the 2012 list include:

* Babatunde Fashola – Lagos State Governor

* Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma – Chairperson, African Union

* Julius Malema – South African activist/politician

* Sheikh Mohammed Al-Amoudi – Richest African in the world

* Leymah Gbowee – Nobel Laureate and women’s activist

* Desmond Tutu – archbishop/civil rights activist

* Charlize Theron – actress/humanitarian

* D’Banj – singer

* Ayi Kwei Armah – novelist

* Ozwald Boateng – fashion designer

* Oscar Pistorius – Paralympic gold medalist