M-Net Africa Managing Director Biola Alabi is among the World Economic Forum’s list of Young Global Leaders (YGL) for 2012. The Forum has honoured 192 young leaders from 59 countries for their outstanding leadership, professional accomplishments and commitment to society. Of these selected young leaders, 18 are from sub-Saharan Africa.
Selected from a variety of sectors such as business, government, academia, media, non-profit organizations and arts and culture, and from all regions of the world, YGLs engage in initiatives that address specific challenges of public interest with the objective of shaping a better future.
An international business expert, Alabi joined M-Net just over three years ago where she’s led the company’s initiatives to increase the quality and quantity of African programming available to DStv audiences. She’s been at the forefront in the expansion of the AfricaMagic channels, the hosting of a glittering Face of Africa Finale Live in Lagos and three successful editions of the popular Big Brother Africa reality series. In 2010 she served as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Entertainment.
Her global work experience includes time at the non-profit educational organisation behind the award-winning TV series, Sesame Street where she was involved in Corporate Sponsorship and Educational strategy. Previously she was Marketing and Campus Relations Manager at Daewoo Motors America and Regional Marketing Manager at Bigwords.com.
A University of Cincinnati graduate, Alabi has a degree in Public Health and Marketing. She’s currently a fellow at the Nigeria Leadership Initiative, and serves on the board of Hospitals for Humanity, a non-profit organization that specializes in taking medical missions to the neediest around the world. She is also a mentor at AIESEC, an organisation which actively contributes to the training and development of tomorrow’s leaders through mentoring and training programs.
From her office in Lagos, Alabi said she was both pleased and humbled by the honour, which is bestowed each year by the Forum.
“To be named a Young Global Leader by such a prestigious and respected forum is both an unexpected but deeply appreciated honour, and a truly humbling experience. I thank the World Economic Forum for this accolade which inspires me to contribute more as a global citizen. I wish to use this remarkable opportunity to learn from the other members of this community in order to grow and develop, not just myself but my country, my continent. I’ve always believed that we have a responsibility to improve our world, to every day make a difference by what we do and how we do it. We’re all facing great challenges currently and the reality is that it’s what Africans do today that will pave the way for generations to come.”
Her comments are similar to those expressed by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. “In the last few years, the world has seen the biggest recession in almost a century and we now face daunting global challenges. Recovery and innovation will require new, unique ideas and an environment where the best minds, ideas and leadership can thrive. The most important determinant of this will be how we use human talent. 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 I believe will address the challenges we face in a meaningful way through fresh thinking and true multistakeholder engagement.”
Drawn from several thousand candidates, the 2012 YGLs were chosen by a selection committee, chaired by H.M. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Past YGLs include David Cameron (Prime Minister of the United Kingdom), Larry Page (Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Google, USA) and Zhang Xin (Chief Executive Officer, SOHO China, People’s Republic of China). The Forum has established a comprehensive selection process for identifying and selecting the most exceptional leaders 40 years of age or younger. The 2012 honourees will become part of the broader Forum of Young Global Leaders community that currently comprises 713 outstanding individuals.
M-Net CEO Patricia van Rooyen congratulated Alabi on the recent honour. “M-Net is very proud of her achievement which she’s earned through her commitment to Africa, her passion for making a difference and her ongoing dedication to those around her. She is an example to others that you can be a business person with compassion, a leader with insight, and most of all, a woman with vision.”