This is the first time a Ghanaian has been included in the list. He was born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents, he lived throughout Africa and the Middle East before his family settled in Britain.
TIME magazine unveiled its annual “TIME 100 Most Influential People in the World” list on Thursday, a widely-ranging group that includes global leaders and their advisers, musicians and movie stars, world-class athletes and chief executives.
"Some years the list has the feel of a loose, lively dinner party, people who mostly don’t know each other but would get along if they did. This year is a bit more complicated,” says TIME editor-in-chief Nancy Gibbs in her essay introducing the 2017 list.
“These past 12 months have sharpened our edges as political debates in the U.S. and Europe, the Middle East and Asia, turned jagged and primal and seem almost perfectly designed to divide us more deeply."
The magazine recognized David Adjaye as "one of the great architectural visionaries of our time".
Writing about the architect, Thelma Golden, the director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem, said "David made us aware of how can a building be true to the earthbound burdens of centuries of oppression and struggle, while at the same time displaying the faith, joy and triumphs of African-American life".
The 50 year-old Adjaye has been termed "the ultimate modern nomad". He was recently honored at the Ghana Legacy Honors for his "impact in architecture".
The complete TIME 100 list can be found on the magazine's website.