The Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD), is an organization related to the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent. The decade was set aside by the UN to promote the contribution of Africans in the world and also to strengthen international protection of human rights for the people of African descent. In line with this, an MIPAD initiative was created to identify and honor individuals of African descent from across the globe, both in the public and private sector, who have demonstrated world-class talent and success in their field. This event aims to bring together individuals for recognition, justice, and development of Africa.
MIPAD 2017 Honorees
For the year 2017, 200 young people under the age of 40 were honored through the initiative, with the official celebration taking place last week in New York City. Of these, 100 were from within the African continent while the other 100 were those of African descent based in the Diaspora. Individuals were honored in four categories: Business and Entrepreneurship, Media and Culture, Religion and Humanitarian Endeavours, and Politics and Governance. Some of those honored include: Centum CEO James Mworia from Kenya (the highest paid CEO in Africa), musician Akon from Senegal, model Alek Wek from Sudan, sprinting sensation Usain Bolt from Jamaica, football start Didier Drogba from Ivory Coast, and marketing leader Bozoma Saint John from Ghana/USA, among others, representing 48 countries around the world.
Call to Action
The keynote speaker for the event, Honorable Timothy E. McPherson Jr. from Jamaica urged all Africans and the honorees to uphold excellence in all their undertakings. Speakers such as Mireille Fanon-Mendès emphasized the importance of joining hands to make the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent a success.