There was a dinner last week in Nairobi to toast James Mwangi the CEO of Equity Bank who won the second edition of the Forbes Africa Person of the year award (edging out President Joyce Banda of Malawi, Stephen Saad, Aliko Dangote & Tony Elumelu. In capping off this award-winning year for him, he spoke about the need for Africans, and particularly Kenyans to celebrate wealth and success not to be shy & hide about it.
This has been something that Ory (@kenyanpundit) has spoken of the in the past and a reason that there are few interesting award events to attend - as you keep seeing the same people & companies over and over being feted or speaking at events over and over -as if they are the only entrepreneurs in town. Yet it if you look at the construction that the construction that's changing Nairobi from Westlands to Eastlands, with new office towers, hotels, and residential estates, this is all private sector development largely done by anonymous entrepreneurs using vague company names.
You will see a few other magazines like Management, Business Post, CIO, or some local TV shows profile a few new entrepreneurs CEO's but nothing like the Forbes List.
The Forbes list of Richest Africans itself may be controversial - in the region Kenya had Naushad Merali, Tanzania has Salim Bakhresa, and Uganda had Sudhir Ruparelia, and dropping off from last year's list were Uhuru Kenyatta, Chris Kirubi, Mohamed Al Fayed and Strive Masiyiwa.[view whole blog post ]