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WorldRemit, a leading provider of international money transfer services, has launched its list of Top Ten Most Influential Africans in the Diaspora. The company says the list celebrates the accomplishments of Africans who have made valuable contributions to various fields in the United States and their countries of origin.

The WorldRemit list of successful Africans in the US includes four Nigerians, who have made their mark in medicine, the arts, and charity. They were part of a final group of ten selected by judges from a broader pool of candidates.

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The Nigerians on the list are Bennet Omalu, famed forensic pathologist and neuropathologist; Kehinde Wiley, a pioneering portrait painter; Olurotimi John Badero, a cardio-nephrologist; and Afam Onyema, CEO of GEANCO, a non-profit organization.

According to officials at WorldRemit, the list was launched to celebrate the Black History Month in the US. The focus on Africans from immigrant families was intended to highlight the role being played by the African diaspora to bring shared prosperity to both their host communities and their countries of origin.

“Data continues to show that black Africans in the diaspora are contributing to the US economy and society as a whole, while in many cases still supporting their communities back home,” said Daniel Canning, Managing Director for the Americas for WorldRemit.

The ten names on the final list were selected from a broader pool by a panel. Members of the panel included founder and chairman of WorldRemit, Ismail Ahmad (also originally an African immigrant from Somaliland); Publisher and CEO of OkayAfrica, Abiola Oke; and Daniel Canning, who manages business for WorldRemit in the Americas.

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The company says it selected the persons on the final list based on criteria like their track record and contributions to their fields, the social impact they have made in the US, African immigrant community, and in their countries of origin.

One of the Nigerians on the list, Bennet Omalu, is a physician globally recognized for his discovery of Chrome-Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a condition which has affected many American football players.

Kehinde Wiley, who also made it to the list, is a portrait artist based in New York. He is famous for being commissioned to produce a painting of Barack Obama which was unveiled in 2018.

Olurotimi John Badero is the world’s first fully trained cardio-nephrologist (heart and kidney specialist). He is a prominent figure in health advocacy circles in the United States.

Afam Onyema heads GEANCO, a non-profit organization founded by his father in 2005. The Harvard alumnus oversees its operations, which includes surgical missions and ensuring safe baby deliveries for socially disadvantaged women in Nigeria. The organization also provides scholarships, medical care, and psychological support to young female victims of terrorism in Nigeria.   

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This article was first published on 9th March 2020


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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