By Dr Hanningtone Gaya, CEO – The Knowledge Warehouse Kenya
I would like to seize this opportunity to extend warm greetings to all readers and advertisers of Business Monthly EA on the occasion of Kenya’s 60th Jamhuri Day.
Kenya’s 60th independence anniversary is historic for many reasons, including the fact that three generations of Kenyans—a generation is generally considered to be about 20-30 years – have enjoyed the freedoms and liberties that we earned in 1963. Our 60th independence commemoration is also historic in view of the remarkable progress we have made in addressing some of the main development challenges that have bedevilled us since independence, particularly the notorious trio of poverty, disease and illiteracy.
According to statistics available globally, the percentage of Kenyans living below the poverty line (defined as those earning USD 2.15 or less per day) has seen a remarkable decline from 36.5 percent in 2005 to 16.1 percent in 2023. Similarly, Kenya’s under-five mortality rate has dropped from 102 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 31 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2023. Educational progress is equally notable, with nearly 100 percent transition from primary to secondary school. These achievements are a source of pride as Kenya marks 60 years since the end of British colonial rule.
A number of challenges persist, including youth unemployment, climate change, and vulnerability to internal and external economic and geopolitical shocks.
Hence, on Kenya’s 60th independence anniversary, this issue of Business Monthly EA spotlights the exceptional and transformative work of the Top 60 CEOs, leaders, and decision-makers in Kenya. These individuals have played pivotal roles in advancing Kenya’s development aspirations. They are widely recognised as transformative leaders in their respective sectors, characterised by their maturity, high emotional intelligence, humility, and empathy. These attributes, identified in numerous studies conducted by leading business schools globally, are deemed essential for CEOs.
The selection of the top 60 was a rigorous, balanced, and holistic process. They emerged from a highly competitive pool of 257 strong contenders, representing the public sector, private sector, nonprofit sector, United Nations (UN) agencies and industry lobby groups. This list also includes influential figures within the government who facilitate an enabling economic environment. Indeed, in the dynamic global business landscape, the symbiotic relationship between a nation’s government and its corporate entities is pivotal for prosperity.
These distinguished individuals include: His Excellency (HE), the President, Hon Dr William Samoei Ruto PhD, CGH, Deputy President Hon Rigathi Gachagua, EGH, Speaker of the National Assembly Rt Hon Moses Wetangula, EGH, Chief Justice Rt Hon Lady Martha Koome, Attorney General Rt Hon Justin Muturi, Secretary to the Cabinet Mercy Wanjau, and Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Information, Communication, and the Digital Economy Eliud Owalo.
The inclusion of CS Owalo is due to the country’s commitment to achieving digital excellence and inclusion, with the goal of propelling economic progress through efficient digitised government services: a role he is seamlessly discharging under the holistic guidance of HE The President, Dr William Samoei Ruto.
We initially narrowed our selection to 90 finalists before choosing the top 60. The ‘CEO’ title was evaluated holistically, considering each individual’s role and executive power within their respective organisations and institutions. Candidates serving the country in multiple roles, along with those actively providing industry thought leadership, received extra consideration. We also considered gender and age groups to ensure equity. Additionally, accessibility and the availability of relevant career information from public sources influenced our ranking.
Specialised business magazines like Business Monthly EA have a pivotal role in enhancing public understanding of crucial commercial, economic, and financial concepts. Through our well-researched and balanced coverage, we provide readers with unparalleled insights into the business world in Kenya and East Africa. This edition represents our continuous commitment to informing and educating the Kenyan public, a mission we have proudly upheld since July 1995.
I extend heartfelt gratitude to the staff, advertisers, writers, and editorial team of Business Monthly EA, who have tirelessly contributed to the success of this edition commemorating Kenya’s diamond jubilee of independence. In particular, I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to the editorial leads, Lennox Yieke and Karen Song’e, the dedicated digital media researchers, the diligent selection panel, who, I must emphasise, tackled a substantial challenge in shortlisting the top 60, and last but not least, the outstanding design team at Fontana Creations, whose collective efforts played a pivotal role in bringing all of this together.
It is noteworthy that the Last Word in this special issue is the speech by HE Dr William Samoei Ruto given during Africa’s inaugural Climate Summit held between September 4th and 8th 2023, and hosted in Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi.