JOHANNESBURG — Zimbabwe-born Lonmin chief executive officer and director Ben Magara has been named among the top 10 most influential men in 2014 by Forbes Magazine.
Appointed Lonmin boss in July last year at the world’s third-largest platinum mining company, Magara is tasked with improving industrial relations and guiding the platinum miner’s turnaround strategy after strikes last year triggered violence which killed 46 people including 34 strikers shot dead by police in a single day at its Marikana mine. Magara, who speaks seven languages, has a degree in Mining Engineering from the University of Zimbabwe.
According to Forbes the 2014 list of the 10 most powerful men in Africa followed the inaugural list of the 10 youngest power men in Africa in 2011.
Much like the annual 20 youngest power women in Africa list, the 2014 list distinguishes and celebrates the accomplishments of Africa’s most outstanding male game changers.
“Our list is distinctive in that it identifies African men who are innovative, courageous, daring and often disruptive in their fields,” Forbes said.
“The list highlights African entrepreneurs, corporate executives, social entrepreneurs, political and civil leaders who are changing the continent and the world around them, often times without much fanfare.”
Magara started his mining career with Anglo American 26 years ago working through the traditional mining ranks starting off as a miner, supervisor, mine overseer, production and mine manager and general manager.
He was senior vice-president responsible for all of Anglo’s Eskom-tied operations and then head of business development. From 2006 to 2009, he was the chief executive officer of Anglo Coal South Africa and most recently, executive head responsible for Engineering&Projects at Anglo Platinum.
Other people on the list include Kola Karim, group managing director and chief executive officer of Shoreline Energy International in Nigeria, Ashish Thakkar, founder and managing director of Mara Group, Mara Foundation and Mara Online in Uganda and Cameroon’s Mamadou Toure, founder and executive director of Africa 2.0
Senegal’s Amadou Mahtar Ba, founder and chief executive officer of the African Media Initiative and Simdul Shagaya, tech entrepreneur and founder of Konga.com and DealDey.com of Nigeria also make up the list.