The Forbes magazine, in its annual ranking of ‘The World’s Most Powerful People’, has listed the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, as the most powerful ahead of Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and United States President, Barack Obama.
Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, is also listed among other world leaders.
Observers view Putin’s ranking could be traceable to Russia’s capacity to check the US threat to attack Syria.
The Russian President has been so ranked by the magazine for the third year in a row.
“Putin continues to prove he’s one of the few men in the world powerful enough to do what he wants,” Forbes noted.
Merkel, earlier ranked as the most powerful woman in the world by Forbes, rose from the fifth position in the overall ranking last year to second place in 2015.
Her firm bearing in tackling the influx of Syrian refugees and the Greek economic crisis pushed her to the new level.
The list has 73 people who are presidents, financiers, philanthropists and entrepreneurs. Nigeria’s billionaire businessman, Dangote, was listed in the 71st position, followed by Donald Trump and Margaret Chan of the World Health Organisation.
“The men and women who are featured on Forbes’ annual ranking of the World’s Most Powerful People are the 0.00000001% – the global elite whose actions move the planet. These heads of state, financiers, philanthropists and entrepreneurs truly run the world,” Forbes stated.
The magazine also noted that it considered hundreds of candidates from various spheres and based its decision on four criteria.
The first is whether the person has influence over a lot of other people. This indicates why Pope Francis, regarded as a spiritual leader by over a billion people, was ranked fourth in the list.
The second criterion is the financial state of a candidate. The selection of Presidents was based on their countries’ gross domestic products and chief executive officers by their companies’ revenues. The magazine also considers personal financial assets, which clearly assisted the American business magnate, Bill Gates, in securing the sixth position.