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World Economic Forum Announces Young Global Leaders 2011 (Africa)

Yann Zopf, Associate Director, Tel.: +41 (0)79 329 3500 –

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  • 190 young leaders from 65 countries are honoured for their outstanding leadership, professional accomplishments and commitment to society
  • Of the selected young leaders, 14 are from sub-Saharan Africa
  • Young Global Leaders are selected from a variety of sectors such as business, government, academia, media, non-profit organizations and arts and culture from all regions of the world
  • Young Global Leaders engage in task forces that address specific challenges of public interest with the objective of shaping a better future


Geneva, Switzerland – The World Economic Forum has announced its Young Global Leaders (YGLs) for 2011. The honour, bestowed each year by the Forum, recognizes and acknowledges up to 200 outstanding young leaders from around the world for their professional accomplishments, commitment to society and potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world.

For 2011, the Forum has selected 190 Young Global Leaders from 65 countries and all stakeholders of society (business, civil society, social entrepreneurs, politics and government, arts and culture, and opinion and media). The new class represents all regions: East Asia (50), South Asia (18), Europe (42), Middle East and North Africa (13), sub-Saharan Africa (14), North America (37) and Latin America (16). This year’s selection has more gender parity than ever, with 44% women.

"The challenges faced by the next generation of leaders are more daunting and intractable than ever and cannot be mastered with the current set of strategies, institutions, standards and attitudes. To address these challenges in a meaningful and sustainable way requires fresh thinking, multistakeholder engagement and dynamic new ways of collaborating to develop innovative solutions that are truly global. Recognizing this need, in 2004, I created the foremost platform for young leaders to engage in global affairs to shape a more positive, peaceful and prosperous society. Within the World Economic Forum community, the Young Global Leaders represent the voice for the future and the hopes of the next generation. I am particularly proud of this year's honourees who make up the most diverse class of YGLs ever," said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

Drawn from a pool of almost 5,000 candidates, the Young Global Leaders 2011 were chosen by a selection committee, chaired by H.M. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The Young Global Leaders 2011 reflect different kinds of leadership in different parts of the world and different parts of society. Those from sub-Saharan Africa include Funmi Iyanda, Blogger, Journalist and Columnist (from Nigeria); Magatte Wade, Chief Executive and Founder, The Tiossano Tribe (from Senegal but based in the United States); Elsie Kanza, Economic Adviser to the President of Tanzania (from Tanzania); Zibusiso Mkhwanazi, Executive Chairman, Krazyboyz Digital (from South Africa); Jacqueline Musiitwa, Managing Partner and Founder, Hoja Law Group (from Zambia) and Bethlehem Alemu, Co-Founder and Managing Director, soleRebels (from Ethiopia), among others.

“I was deeply honoured when notified about my selection by the World Economic Forum as a YGL. This represents a recognition of the power of our core aim at soleRebels: to show that development and trade go hand in hand and that delivering world-class products to the global marketplace is a potent key to creating real and sustained prosperity in the communities of developing nations” said Bethlehem Alemu, of soleRebels, Ethiopia. Another recently selected YGL, Elsie Kanza, Economic Adviser to the President of Tanzania, explains her reaction to becoming a Young Global Leader as follows: "Last May, the YGLs undertook Learning Journeys in Dar es Salaam and the CSOs were impressed by their innovative and pragmatic insights. I am very excited to join this amazing community that is able to make big changes from little conversations."

The 2011 honourees will become part of the broader Forum of Young Global Leaders community that currently comprises 668 outstanding individuals. The YGLs convene at an annual summit which this year will be held in Dalian, People’s Republic of China, on 12-16 September 2011. Young Global Leaders are actively engaged in the community, integrating into events organized by the World Economic Forum, holding events of their own as well as launching and leading a number of innovative initiatives and impactful task forces. See for the latest list of YGL initiatives.

These activities enable YGLs to learn from each other, and with each other, to build knowledge and engender a better understanding of global challenges and trends, risks and opportunities, as well as to further enhance their unique role as leaders within their own organizations, the World Economic Forum and the broader global community.

“It has been such an enriching experience for me to be part of the YGL community. I always leave the YGL gatherings with renewed inspiration and drive to make a difference. The passion, energy and desire to have a positive impact on the world is what drives this unique community,” says Leslie W. Maasdorp (YGL 2007), President, Southern Africa, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, South Africa.

"We are very pleased to welcome the new cohort of Young Global Leaders into our community and encourage them to embrace the opportunity fully. The YGL community helps its members make the transition (as one YGL told me) ‘from success to significance’ and strives to move from a collection of successful individuals to a community of collective impact. YGLs hold each other accountable to a higher standard of global leadership in their professional and personal lives, so it really is about making the world a better place, one leader at a time," said David Aikman, Head of The Forum of Young Global Leaders. 


Notes to editors
More information about the Forum of Young Global Leaders at
List of YGLs honoured in 2011
List of the YGL community
Visit our YGL YouTube channel at
Follow us on Twitter at
Nominate a potential Young Global Leader through our website

About the Forum of Young Global Leaders

Established in 2004 by Professor Klaus Schwab, The Forum of Young Global Leaders is a unique, multistakeholder community of the world’s most extraordinary young leaders who dedicate a part of their time to jointly address global challenges and who are committed to devote part of their knowledge and energy to collectively work towards a better future. Together the Young Global Leaders work to discover innovative solutions to today’s most pressing problems through various initiatives and workstreams, as well as catalysing the next generation of leaders. 


The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971, and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is tied to no political, partisan or national interests. (


The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is independent, impartial and not tied to any interests. It cooperates closely with all leading international organizations (