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Africa is the world’s second largest and second-most populous continent. It covers 6% of Earth’s total surface area and 20.4% of its total land area.

Africa accounts for 15% of the world’s human population with 1.1 billion people as of 2013.

While wildlife, gold, diamond and the liquid gold exports get all the credit, one of the most outstanding exports from Africa is talent, natural, raw talent; sometimes not as refined, but great, resilient African talent all the same.

From sports to movies, music, science and innovation, politics and entrepreneurship the continent has continued to shine.

We seek to identify some of these great talents from the continent and see how they area fairing on in their area of expertise.


  1. Science, technology and innovation – Rachid Yazami

Dr. Rachid Yazami, a native of Fez, Morocco, is the inventor of the graphite anode (negative pole) of lithium ion batteries. In 1980 Yazami was the first to discover the reversible intercalation of lithium into graphite in an electrochemical cell using a polymer electrolyte. Eventually this discovery led to the lithium-graphite anode now used in commercial lithium ion batteries, an over US$20B value market. He is a recipient of several awards including the Royal Medal (Wissam Malaki) of Intellectual Competency from HM the King of Morocco Mohamed VI, during the Throne Day on July 30, 2014.


  1. Movies – Edi Gathegi

Edi is a Kenyan American film, stage and television actor who has appeared as recurring character Dr. Jeffrey Cole (aka “Big Love”) in the television series House. He was born in Nairobi’s Eastlands and grew up in Albany, California. He has also appeared in hit series The Blacklist as the “bad guy” in 5 episodes.


  1. Politics – Ahmed Hussen

Ahmed Hussen was raised in Somalia. He moved to Toronto in 1993 as a 16-year old refugee. He began his career in public service and politics in the fall of 2001. He was hired the following year as an assistant to Dalton McGuinty, the leader of the province’s official opposition. Hussen worked in this capacity until November 2003, when he was promoted to Special Assistant, concurrently with the Liberal Party’s election victory. On October 19, 2015, Hussen was elected to the Canadian Parliament for the York South—Weston riding as a member of the Liberal Party of Canada.


  1. Entrepreneurship – Tony Elumelu

Forbes Magazine recognised Elumelu as one of “Africa’s 20 Most Powerful People in 2012” and has also featured in several magazines and awards because of his entrepreneurship activities and philanthropy. In his early career, Elumelu acquired and turned Standard Trust Bank into a top-five player in Nigeria. In 2005, his corporate reputation as an African business leader was sealed when he led the largest merger in the banking sector in Sub-Saharan Africa to acquire United Bank for Africa (UBA). Following his retirement from UBA in 2010, Elumelu founded Heirs Holdings, which invests in the financial services, energy, real estate and hospitality, agribusiness, and healthcare sectors.


  1. Music – Angelique Kidjo

Fresh from winning her 3rd Grammy on Monday, Kidjo stands out as one of the most influential musician in Africa. The Beninese songbird has been called by Time magazine as “Africa’s premier diva” whereas the BBC included her in its list of the African continent’s 50 most iconic figures. Kidjo is fluent in Fon, French, Yorùbá and English, and sings in all four languages; she also has her own personal language, which includes words that serve as song titles such as “Batonga”. She is also the recipient of the 2015 Crystal Award given by the World Economic Forum of Davos in Switzerland.


  1. Sports – Yaya Toure and Pierre Aubameyang

Yaya Toure and Pierre Aubameyang have proved to be vital players for their respective teams with the latter being Borrusia Dortmund’s top scorer this season. Aubameyang is also a recipient of the holder of CAF’s African Footballer of the Year. Yaya Toure has won the African Player of the year award two times and plays a vital role in fourth placed Manchester City FC in English top flight football. He is also the captain of the Cote d’Ivoire national team.


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