Keep Your Eyes On These South Africans, They’re The Future Of Africa


Non South Africans are always awed when they get to know that two Noble laureates are not just from South Africa, but were living on same street in the country. There are abundant human resource in the country if properly harnessed. Eight South Africans, all 40 years and below, were honored and named in a list as “engaged in the way of success and have the ambition of lifting Africa to its highest level of economical, societal and cultural development.”

According to the Choiseul Institute (an independent research center headquartered in Paris and famed for its analysis of international relations, cultures, economic and political strategies) which conducted a study to identify and rank young African leaders who will play a major role in the continent’s economic development in the near future, these are the South Africans to look out for. Their ranks in the list which is made up of 100 Africans are as presented beneath.

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1. Nomkhita Nqweni

Position: 6th, Age: 40


As the first South African listed, Nqweni is equally the first female on the list. It is expected of her to contribute in no small measure to the economic development of Africa just as she contributed to the growth of Stanlib, and to that of Alexander Forbes Financial Services Holdings Ltd where she served as the Managing Director. Nqweni is currently the Chief Executive officer of Wealth Investment Management and Insurance at Barclays Africa Group Limited since October this year, and equally serves as a Board Member of the SA Mint and SA Bank Notes companies.

2. Justin Stanford

Position: 28th, Age: 32

Justin Stanford

“I have over 10 years of startup experience in the tech sector, with balanced exposure to the tech and business sides. Originally a hacker turned entrepreneur, now turned investor, advisor and board member. I am the founding partner of an early-stage fund called 4Di Capital, and an angel investor.” That, according to Justin is who he is. He is the Co-founder & Managing Director of 4Di Group, Co-founder & Director of 4Di Privaca, Co-founder & Director of 4Di Technologies, Co-founder & Managing Director of ESET Southern Africa and a non-Executive Director of Zoona (a mobile money transfer and supplier payments provider in Zambia and Malawi). He has clearly contributed to the economic development of Africa, and is honored as it is anticipated that he will further help develop the continent.

3. Khanyi Dhlomo

Position: 44th, Age: 40

Khanyi Dhlomo

Khanyi is such kind of persons you might describe as “trend-setters” as it was a big deal, especially for black South Africans when she made history as the first black anchor for the SABC 1 evening news. This was followed up with a trail of successful history in the media industry, and the birth of Ndalo Media which has been faring well since she founded it. It’s thus unsurprising that Choiseul Institute listed her as someone to look out for in the future economic enhancement of Africa.

4. Raisibe Lepule

Position: 69th, Age: 38

Raisibe Lepule

Raisibe Lepule has been in service as a Group Executive of Results Management Office at Transnet SOC Limited since 2013. Bloomberg related that Lepule “has specialist knowledge in the areas of public-private partnerships and is a member of both the Transport Forum Sector Interest Group and the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association. She is a key driver of SAA’s (South African Airways) transition into a successful national carrier and the strengthening of the South African Express as a regional carrier”. She’s expected to aid the directed change of Africa in the nearest future. Hopefully, she will live up to the expectations, let’s keep an eye on her.

See Also: Top 10 Richest Women In South Africa

5. Alan Knott-Craig Jr.

Position: 89th, Age: 37


Alan is a patriotic South African citizen as demonstrated in his book “Don’t Panic” where he persuaded South Africans to stay in the country. Choiseul Institute however, believes his potentials will be of huge benefit to the development of Africa at large. As a qualified Chartered Accountant, Alan has reportedly co-founded and funded about 17 companies in the TMT (Technology, Media And Telecommunications) sector in Africa. He once served as the CEO of Africa’s biggest social network – Mxit- and is the CEO and founder of Project Isizwe – a non-profit outlet managing the distribution of the largest public free WiFi network in South Africa.

6. Vinny Lingham

Position: 91st, Age: 36

Vinny Lingham

Vinny Lingham is well-known as the South African Internet entrepreneur who co-founded, and is the CEO of Gyft (a mobile gift card company). He’s also recognized as a co-founder of, the previous founder of Yola, Inc. as well as the previous founder and CEO of the global search marketing firm incuBeta and its subsidiary Clicks2Customers.Among the special entrepreneurial acknowledgments and awards Vinny received are: Top Young ICT Entrepreneur in Africa Award – 2006, Endeavor High Impact Entrepreneur – 2006 and World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders – 2009.

7. Cindy Hess

Position: 95th, Age: 39

Cindy Hess 2As the last South African citizen found in the list, Cindy is the Chief Financial Officer at Pioneer Foods which she joined in 2014. Before then, she served as the financial director of Sea Harvest for seven years. Like others, Cindy is listed and celebrated as one of the young leaders of Africa, helping to build today’s Africa as well as preparing the Africa of tomorrow.

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