The Sevilla forward is the first European-born player to win the award which is voted for by national coaches of the 53 Caf associations.He beat off competition from Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba and Michael Essien of Ghana.
Kanoute helped Mali qualify for this year's Africa Cup of Nations.He also helped Sevilla to triumph in 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."Kanoute is the first winner from Mali since Salif Keita received the inaugural award in 1970.