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The Managing Director of Bua Group, Kabiru Rabiu, has been named the best African economic leader under the age of 40.

Mr Rabiu, who oversees operations of Bua Group’s diverse business interests, topped the rank of 100 CEOs and bureaucrats surveyed from across the continent.

The annual listing tagged “100 Africa Economic Leaders for Tomorrow” profiles young entrepreneurs and business leaders with prospects of leading the continent’s economy.

The ranking was unveiled at the weekend by Institut Choiseul in partnership with Forbes Africa and other key economic intelligence organisations.

The Choiseul Africa 100 is endorsed and supported by the Societe Generale, Deloitte, Chargeurs, Vyes Rocher, Vicat and Ronald Berger.

In a statement, the Chairman of Institut Choiseul, Pascal Lorot, said the ranking, which started in 2014, aims to honour “100 most talented young African economic leaders of their generation.”

“The Choiseul 100 Africa showcases the men and women who, through their dynamism and belief in what the future holds, are taking Africa with them on the path to success.

“This youth has embraced the values of excellence, abnegation and sharing so that the continent can take advantage of the unmatched opportunities it holds, and which are envied around the world,” Mr Lorot wrote.

Apart from the BUA managing director, other Nigerians on the list include managing partner of Grace Lake Partners, Ladi Delano; CEO of iRoko Partners, Jason Njoku; Associate Vice President of Africa Finance Corporation, Mohammed Abdul-Rasaq, chair of the Africa Centre, Halima Dangote, among others.

Similar business economic leaders from South Africa, Morocco, Ivory Coast, Niger, Angola, Uganda, Egypt, Kenya, and many other African countries were featured in the list.


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To rank the selected profiles, the institute said it drew out “weighted criteria” which takes into account image and reputation, background and skills, power and function, influence and networks, potential and leadership of the laureates.

“The total score obtained in the different categories of criteria determines the position of each laureate in the final ranking. Profiles with less than 10% in any of the categories are eliminated.”

Mr Lorot said the winners are much more than the standard-bearers of a youth that bolsters the hope of more inclusive growth: they are ambassadors that showcase for the eyes of the world to see the most unique that the continent has to offer.

In 2017, Mr Rabiu was named runner up for Choiseul’s Africa 100.

Mr Rabiu sits on the board of a number of companies.

He started his career at Universal Rice Mills Limited in 2002 before joining the Nigerian Oil Mills Limited where he was Assistant General Manager and later General Manager.

In November 2008, Mr Rabiu became the managing director/CEO of Bua Oil Mills Limited, before moving up to the position of Executive Director of Bua Group in 2010.

Mr Rabiu, who holds an MBA from the American Intercontinental University, attended Webster’s University for his bachelor’s degree.

He has also taken courses from Harvard, Stanford, Belleby’s College, London School of Economics, NYU Stern School of Business, among others.

He is 39.


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