“Youngest Nigerian billionaire”, Ladi Delano, Eniola Mafe named “Top 5 African Leaders of 2013”

by Ayvaunn Penn

Ladi Delano

For all the young, black, talented individuals looking to leave their mark on society in 2013, there are thirteen young African business and economic leaders that you may want to pattern your success after. The crowning glory of their success is that they are all under the age of forty.

1.) Ladi Delano, Founder & CEO, Bakrie Delano Africa (BDA)

This Nigerian young man accomplished making his first million dollars selling alcoholic beverages during his residence in China. At the tender age of 22 in the year 2004, he started a business called Solidarnosc Asia which specialized in  manufacturing a premium brand of Vodka called Solid XS. Delano did not stop there, however. He branched out his company to launch The Collection — a dining and entertainment venue — which is obviously a smart move for someone who owns an alcohol business.

2.) Clare Akamanzi, COO, Rwanda Development Board (RDB)

Here we have a brilliant young lady of Rwanda. The RDB is a government organization which facilitates faster economic growth and development within Rwanda. Akamanzi has been a member of this institution since it was birthed in 2008. When she was 33 years of age, she served as their Deputy Chief Executive Officer and then moved to managing their Business Operations and Services branch.

How did this young lady who grew up in Uganda where her parents had been taken as refugees during the genocide achieve this much success? Perhaps her Masters Degree in Trade and Investment Policy cum International Trade and Investment Lawyer was a good start.

3.) Ashish Thakkar, Co-Founder and CEO, Mara Group

Thakkar, a British-born Ugandan, co-founded Mara Group at the age of 29. This company is a Ugandan conglomerate offering services in hotels, renewable energy, finance, technology, and manufacturing. Numerous branches of business aside, it is also remarkable that Mara Group serves regularly in 17 African countries. With CEO Thakkar at the helm, this business has been able to clock about $100 million.

4.) Achumile “Ace” Majija, Group Lead for the Risk & Capital MI at Prudential Momentum Plc.

At the age of 28, Ace is the first African to serve on the Prudential Momentum Programme. This organization is an international leadership development program for the company Prudential Momentum Plc.. The latter company operates in international financial services, personal banking, insurance and pension products.

Also known as “young Obama from Africa,” this young man is a graduate of the Nelson Metropolitan University with a degree in economics and finance. In addition, he also has an MBA from the University of Leeds Business School in the UK.

5.) Eniola Mafe, African Program Manager at Vital Voices Global Partnership

Eniola Mafe

Last but certainly not least, we have yet another young lady. We do not know her exact age, but we do know that she is at least under the age of 33. Because of her role as African Program Manager, Mafe was recently dubbed a “Convener” in the Diplomatic Courier’s Top 99 under 33 for the year 2012. Vital Voices Global Partnership is an international non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C.. They work alongside women leaders for the purpose of promoting women’s human rights, political participation, and economic empowerment. Mafe says that her role allows her to “bring people together in creative ways to address a pressing international issue or enhance the foreign policy community.”


As you set out to make your dreams come true in 2013, keep these young leaders in mind. The beauty of all of these young adults is not simply that they were able to reach great heights. A part of that beauty is knowing that, if they can  achieve greatness, you can, too.


Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer pursuing her graduate degrees in dramatic writing and acting. To peruse her poetry, prose, and services, click here. To have Ayvaunn Penn feature your original poetry on Your Black Poets, click here.


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.


Comments (16)

  1. Howdy, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of
    spam comments? If so how do you stop it, any plugin or anything
    you can suggest? I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any assistance
    is very much appreciated.

  2. Gotten this for my spouse which has been experiencing some back strain on and

  3. Thank you for every other excellent post. Where else could anybody get that kind of info in such an ideal manner of
    writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I am
    at the search for such info.

  4. This along with faculty members, who are highly skilled, with years
    of experience and extensive technical expertise, with a deep commitment to the program, ensures students.
    8% year on year and 60%; domestic production of more than 650 100 million, accounting for one third of
    global aluminum electrolytic capacitor production over sales of approximately 4.
    And ILED = Current utilized by the LED for optimum brightness (normally 10 m – A is found
    to be quite sufficient).

  5. I'm going to greater high ijn amen .i kn ni believe it.this year

  6. Great. Inspiring.

  7. what's your point @olbhagui?

  8. Mr Ibhagui, and your point is…?

    "you Nigerians"? smh4u

  9. I read Y'Naija a lot as my source of news. You Nigerians, as evidenced from the replies: money is your god! Look at the replies, and God knows how many have read without replying. I've not seen as much enthusiasm as in any other serious article which would change the fortunes of the country or make you a better person; no, its all about opulence for "myself"

    You want to change Nigeria, when you have a mindset and values worse than that of previous generations that ruined the country? You must be joking! These people you try to copy in Europe and the Americas are so incredibly different from you I wish you knew better. Although their societies are decaying to become like Nigeria's, they're still light years better than you in their values. I pity Nigeria because Nigeria's problem is the people who live in it.


  10. Notice that neither of the Nigerians on this list live in Nigeria. Does that say anything to anyone? It screams volumes at me but…

  11. Cool! Y'all will be seeing me on this list soon. Watch out!

  12. Lol, is it coincidental that most of the people on the list (4 out of 5) didnt grow up or dont live in africa…

  13. Bless God for these ones. We will become greater than these by God's grace.

  14. I̶̲̥̅̊s̶̲̥̅̊. It possible for ♍ε̲̣̣̣̥?

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail