Kabiru Rabiu, the executive director of one of Africa’s largest conglomerates, BUA Group, has been named the best African economic leader under the age of 40. This is the second year Mr Rabiu is coming tops on the list.
Mr Rabiu, who oversees the operations and strategic growth of BUA Group’s diverse business interests, topped the rank of 100 CEOs and bureaucrats surveyed from across the continent by the French Institut Choiseul.
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 by the Institut Choiseul in the partnership with other key economic intelligence and business organisations.
The choiseul Africa 100 is endorsed and supported by Deloitte, Chargeurs, Vyes Rocher, Vicat and Ronald Berger.
In a statement, 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 laureates, he said, helped Africa in its fight with the Coronavirus pandemic and helping the economy overcome the shockwave.
“These leaders are not used to accept defeat. Throughout this crisis, they demonstrated great qualities of resilience and upsurge. Self-sacrifice, combativeness and courage are the values that our laureates have had to show to emerge stronger,” Mr Lorot wrote.
“Whether they are company directors, creative young entrepreneurs, talents of the new economy or leaders of prestigious institutions, these exceptional personalities
managed to reinvent their business and management model to weather to economic storm and move forward despite the turbulences of the crisis.
“The world that comes after is just around the corner and promises us multiple mutations. In this context, our laureates can rely on the Institut Choiseul of which the Choiseul 100 Africa initiative is of particular importance this year to grasp the future with serenity: explore new forms of bilateral cooperation between Africa, France and Europe, promote a dynamic of meetings and solidarity, share our experiences and create connections and synergies,” the Choiseul chairperson added.
Apart from the BUA managing director, other Nigerians on the list include Globacom Executive Vice Chairman, Belinda Disu; Managing Director of Grace Lake Partners, Ladi Delano; Associate Vice President of Africa Finance Corporation, Mohammed Abdul-rasaq; CEO of iRoko Partners, Jason Njoku; 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.
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.
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.
As group executive director of the BUA conglomerate, Mr Rabiu led the listing and growth of BUA Cement as the third most capitalised company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, with a current market capitalisation of N2.4trillion
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.