Monday, May 27, 2024

Top 10 Of The 40 Under 40 Women In Kenya 2017

Co-Op post

This is the list of 10 leading women in Business Daily’s top 40 under 40 women in Kenya 2017.

In picking this year’s TOP 40 women, the Business Daily mentioned that it had stayed with the goal of making it more than a list of the best known, most prominent or most influential women in Kenya today. They, instead underpinned their choices on the candidates’ ingenuity, freshness, performance and durability in their fields of excellence.
Then ascertained each candidate’s age, and interrogated as far as possible, data on the size of the enterprises they have founded, companies they work for (turnover
or number of employees), the scope and complexity of what they do and the competitive landscape in each segment of the economy.
Women running or occupying senior positions in companies with a multi-national reach still scored higher marks than those in charge of national/local agencies.

In this list are also women professionals such as lawyers, architects, and partners in accounting firms, included purely on the basis of the size (value) of the work they have done.
The Top 40 Under 40 list has also awarded high marks to women who have excelled in professions that have been and remain male dominated such as software engineering, actuarial science, aviation and engineering. This is because we believe there should be no gender-based glass ceiling on any career aspiration.


As far as pursuing a successful career in international civil service goes, Naomi is running on the fast lane. Less than 15 years after she left college, she effectively has a front seat in the theatre of global policy making and design of international financial architecture. Right at the start of her career at the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) where she worked as a senior fiscal policy analyst, Naomi made a rather obvious observation. She realised that Kenya’s Budget Implementation Review Reports (BIRR) would always be monotonous— delayed exchequer releases, low absorption of development expenditure and delayed reporting of Appropriate In Aid (AIA). The BIRR, she noted, also made the same recommendations “year in year out”. In one of her presentations, she maintained that the BIRR played a critical role influencing budget implementation to prevent a recurrence of the anomalies as opposed to just reporting them. Such are the insights that saw her career take a path that ultimately led her to World Bank Group in Washington DC as an advisor to the executive director in charge of Africa Group 1 Constituency. “My objective is to contribute to the development of sound policies for Africa that would influence government action in addressing public problems”, she says. The Africa Group 1 includes Botswana, Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The head of Africa Group 1 is one of the 25 World Bank board of executive directors. As an advisor, Naomi reviews and analyses reports and papers submitted to the World Bank board, besides identifying policy issues affecting the countries. She also has the task of managing relationships with member countries and contributes to the development of the Bank’s analytical frameworks, programmes and governance issues. Naomi graduated with Bachelor of Commerce degree from Strathmore University in April 2006. She holds a Master of Public Policy—Policy Analysis — from the Australian National University, Canberra— in December 2014. She also holds a graduate certificate in global poverty and inclusive development from the University of Amsterdam. Among her many professional feathers, she comes across as the ICPAK’s champion who led the development of a policy framework for taxing income in Kenya and led a coalition of business member organisations in developing a position paper and advocacy strategy that successfully lobbied for the amendments to Capital Gain Tax legislation through the Finance Bill 2015.


Having been thrust at the centre of international finance at a fairly young age, a visibly ambitious Ciku has her eyes on even bigger things. She is a strong believer in three things she says form the basis of her pursuit of excellence in her chosen career. That Africa’s economic and social problems can be solved, that young people are best suited to tackle them and that technology is the fitting change agent. Ciku, who assumed her current high profile role at the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) barely four months ago, looks at the job only as a stepping stone to greater things. She is part of a Lagos-based team that is tasked with sourcing for early stage, promising technology companies in Africa that the IFC can invest in, and tracking their performance post-investment. This means she must have and maintain a strong grounding in both finance and technology. “I work with vibrant and young entrepreneurs who are full of hope and passion. They believe that their solutions can address Africa’s challenges. My brief at Venture Capital is to seek these firms out and support them,” she says. Her professional journey started when she completed undergraduate studies (Actuarial Science) at the University of Nairobi in September 2010. A month later, she joined advisory firm KPMG East Africa as a graduate trainee. Ciku, who loves adrenaline-inducing outdoor sports activities as well as hiking, says her shift from dealing with mature firms to growth stage ventures will enable her work have much more impact. “Young people are fixing our problems. As I young person like them, it is fulfilling to use my work to help them help others,” she says.


A solid accounting and finance professional, Caroline has – armed with 14 years’ experience in finance analytical and regulatory reporting —scaled the corporate ladder and still has her eyes fixed only in one direction;- up. Caroline recently joined Barclays Bank of Kenya as a vice president in the finance department, a role that makes her the Head of Finance Decision Support— an arm of the bank that deals with planning, budgeting and forecasting, investor relations and management reporting. Her career achievements include implementing a financial data analytics system at NIC Bank where she also streamlined operations of the finance department at its Tanzanian subsidiary following its acquisition in 2009. Caroline holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree (Accounting) from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa and is a Certified Public Accountant, CPA (K). She is currently finalising on her Master’s degree in Business Administration (Strategic Management). She is an active church member with Christ is the Answer Ministry (CITAM) and currently sits in the Deacon Board and plays a key role in shaping young people.


As the manager of clinical trials at KAVI, Dr Borna oversees an initiative that promises to solve one of humanities biggest challenges—HIV/Aids. But KAVI is not all about Aids. It also applies medical science in the search for vaccines for tropical diseases such as Ebola. Successful development of these vaccines, Dr Borna says, will change the lives of millions of people—and this is the reason she wakes up with a skip to her step every morning. “Treating patients was great but I felt I could impact more lives by venturing into clinical research,” she says. “It is more of a preventive science than curative which I strongly believe in. Imagine a world without HIV or Ebola?” The Harvard Medical School scholar and Master’s degree graduate in Public Health from the University of Liverpool sees her inclusion in the Top 40 Under 40 Women’s list as a validation of the efforts she and fellow researchers are making in clinical trials. She counts co-founding the Health and Wellness Solutions Limited— a personal and corporate solutions company— among her greatest achievements. Despite facing difficulties in life, she says it made her learn that despite the many obstacles one faces, believing in what you want is the surest way to achieving it. The former beauty queen envisions changing girls’ attitudes towards career. She believes that a woman can create an identity for herself without compromising her role as a wife or a mother. “One can be a beautiful, strong, confident, a great wife and mother while still being a kick-ass professional all in a day… We just need to remind girls that all they need is within them and hard work doesn’t kill,” she says.

5. Wariara Wairera Waireri CO-FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR, E-LAB AFRICA,30 ,

As the co-founder and director of Engineering-Lab (E-Lab) Africa, an outfit that is dedicated to driving forward Kenya’s engineering and scientific skills for rapid industrialisation, Wariara has the future of the country in the palm of her hands. It’s a mission that this year got her selected for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women programme. In 2014, she was shortlisted for the She Leads Africa Award and was also nominated for the Africa Royal Academy Engineering Prize for her promotion of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. “We do not have enough scientists and engineers in the country. However, we have an abundance of youth [under 35], who comprise over 80 per cent of the Kenyan population. These young people represent an energetic and resourceful demographic that, with the right technical and scientific skills and competencies, can be a force to transform Kenya into a highly industrialised economy,” she says. “If you look at Asia, they purposefully invested heavily in building the technical skills of young people through STEM. The impact being that countries such as South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan leapfrogged socio-economic development by transforming into industrialised countries.” Since 2015, when the company was founded, over 350 students have enrolled in its programmes, which provide practical and interactive workshops, giving hackers [students] the technical skills to design engineering solutions to solve global grand challenges. Of the top 15 international schools in Kenya, eight have integrated ELab’s programme alongside their curriculum. The E-Lab is also expanding access to STEM in Kibera and Mathare. She studied law at the University of Kent before obtaining a Master’s degree in Disasters, Adaptations, and Development from King’s College London.


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