Fredi Kanoute has become the first European-born player to win the African Footballer of the Year award.
Kanoute failed to steer Mali into the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals
The Mali and Sevilla forward, 30, edged out Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba, last year's winner, and Ghana's Michael Essien for the 2007 award.
Kanoute, who was born in France, is the first winner from Mali since Salif Keita won the inaugural award in 1970.
The former Lyon, West Ham and Spurs player helped Mali qualify for this year's Africa Nations Cup in Ghana.
An ex-France Under-21 international, he also helped Sevilla to win last season's Uefa Cup and King's Cup.
"I dedicate this to my family, who could not be here, and to the people of Mali, Kanoute said. "I believe that sport can be used as a tool for development in Africa."
The award is run by the Confederation of African Football, with voting by national coaches from 53 African countries.
Mali failed to reach the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations, finishing third in Group B.
Kanoute scored from the penalty spot in the opening 1-0 win over Benin, but then they drew 0-0 with Nigeria before losing 3-0 to Ivory Coast to bow out of the competition.
African Footballer of the Year
Full list of winners:
1970, Salif Keita, Mali; 1971, Ibrahim Sunday, Ghana; 1972, Cherif Souleymane, Guinea; 1973, Tshimen Bwanga, Zaire; 1974, Paul Moukila, Congo; 1975, Ahmed Faras, Morocco; 1976, Roger Milla, Cameroon; 1977, Tarak Dhiab, Tunisia; 1978, Karim Abdoul Razak, Ghana; 1979, Thomas N'Kono, Cameroon; 1980, Jean Manga Onguene, Cameroon; 1981, Lakhdar Belloumi, Algeri; 1982, Thomas N'Kono, Cameroon; 1983. Mahmoud Al Khatib, Egypt; 1984, Theophile Abega, Cameroon; 1985, Mohamed Timoumi, Morocco; 1986, Badou Zaki, Morocco; 1987, Rabah Madjer, Algeri; 1988, Kalusha Bwalya, Zambia; 1989, George Weah, Liberia; 1990, Roger Milla, Cameroon; 1991, Abedi Pele, Ghana; 1992, Abedi Pele, Ghana; 1993, Abedi Pele, Ghana; 1994, George Weah, Liberia (FF); 1994, Emmanuel Amunike, Nigeria (CAF); 1995, George Weah, Liberia; 1996, Nwankwo Kanu, Nigeria; 1997, Victor Ikpeba, Nigeria; 1998, Mustapha Hadji, Morocco; 1999, Nwankwo Kanu, Nigeria; 2000, Patrick Mboma, Cameroon; 2001, El Hadji Diouf, Senegal; 2002, El Hadji Diouf, Senegal; 2003, Samuel Eto'o, Cameroon; 2004, Samuel Eto'o, Cameroon; 2005, Samuel Eto'o, Cameroon; 2006, Didier Drogba, Ivory Coast; 2007, Frederic Kanoute, Mali
From 1970-94 the award was determined by France Football magazine. Since 1995, it has been determined by Caf, the Confederation of African Football.