By Alagie Manneh
Former Gambian justice minister Abubacarr M Tambadou and entrepreneur Papa Yusupha Njie have been named among the top 50 African trailblazers by Nigeria’s Business Review Africa magazine.
The list is a compilation of 50 Africans who have made exceptional and inspiring impacts in their various fields, thus telling the African story from the African perspective and changing the one-sided African narrative skewed towards negativity.
In a statement, Business Review Africa, a leading pan-African magazine which focuses on bringing the best of Africa to the global market and telling the African Story from the African perspective, said it chooses the trailblazers for their ‘achievements, grit, bravery, collaborative spirit and potential to break barriers, as they build their careers.’
Mr Tambadou, alias Ba, is a Gambian lawyer who served as attorney general from 2017 to 2020. Currently Registrar at the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, an international court founded by the UN Security Council, Tambadou is highly praised for spearheading Gambia’s transitional justice initiative which established the truth, reconciliation and reparations commission to investigate abuses under The Gambia’s ex-dictator Yahya Jammeh.
He came to international prominence in 2019 when he took Myanmar to the UN International Court of Justice for the Rohingya genocide. The case resulted to the unprecedented provisional measures ordered against the Government of Myanmar for the protection of the Rohingya. He was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of 2020, in recognition of his leadership in the case against Myanmar. He was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021.
In December 2021, the president of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, Judge Carmel Agius singled out Tambadou for his role in securing a major breakthrough in the longstanding situation of the acquitted or released persons who have been living in a safe house in Arusha, Tanzania. Presenting the Mechanism’s 19th progress report to the United Nations Security Council, Judge Agius praised him for his exceptional efforts in securing an agreement between the Republic of Niger and the United Nations to relocate all the released or acquitted persons to the territory of Niger.
Business Review Africa praised his exemplary leadership in putting Africa on the global map.
Papa Yusupha Njie
Papa Yusupha Njie is the Founder and CEO of the Unique Group of Companies in the (Gambia, Senegal, USA, Canada and UAE), mainly Unique Solutions, Unique Energy, Unique Industries, Unique Global, and a Trustee of the Unique Foundation.
The highlight of Njie’s achievements culminated in the launching of Unique Solutions’ ground-breaking Broadband Internet and Data services network in March 2008, making Unique Solutions the first private Internet and VPN service provider to have the furthest rural connectivity coverage.
Njie was also instrumental in spearheading a consortium between Unique Solutions, the Central Bank of the Gambia, Trust Bank Limited and the Commercial Banks through Gambia Bankers Association and Interswitch Limited. This gave birth to the national payment switch- GAMSWITCH, a successful public private partnership company thus establishing a National Electronic Payment Platform for The Gambia ushering in a new era of electronic payment processing systems using credit and debit cards, real time bill payments, mobile payments and other value-added services.
Business Review Africa honoured Njie for ‘smashing business barriers despite the rough terrain, and representing the next generation of African entrepreneurs.’
Other notable Africans in the list of 50 African trailblazers include Wavel Ramkalawan, the president of Seychelles, Rose Christian Ossouka Raponda, the first female vice president/prime minister of Gabon, Thione Niang, a prominent Senegalese entrepreneur and Rebecca Enonchong, a Cameroonian technology entrepreneur and founder and CEO of AppsTech.
The official awards ceremony will be held in Abuja in August.