Mugabe named in list of most influential Africans
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has been named in a list of the top 100 most influential Africans.
The list, which is in no particular order, was compiled by New African magazine. It features “top influencers, opinion-shapers, doers, agitators, groundbreakers and myth busters who are shaping the face Africa”.
Individuals were listed under several categories: Politics and Activism; Film Actors & Actresses; Science & Technology; Fashion & Design; Authors & Poets; Traditional & Religious; Women of Influence; Business & Finance; Media & commentators; music and sport.
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The magazine stated that controversial leader Mugabe was said to “continue to mesmerise the world as well as vex his opponents with his ability to hold on to power” and remain a constant talking point in Africa and worldwide “as people consider what there is to be learnt, or not learnt from his example”.
Revered political figures such as Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and Kofi Annan were all listed, as well as football stars Dider Drogba and Samuel Eto’o and music star Akon.
Aliko Dangote, star of our Business Celebs blog in the May issue, was also included in the business sector.
Baffour Ankomah, Editor of New African, said the list “shows the diversity of skills, talents and personalities amongst northern and sub-Saharan Africans in contemporary times, and who are driving change across the continent and beyond”.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.