Top 25 Most Impactful Chairs of Boards 2024

Amb. Awori’s chairmanship extends to CFAO Motors Kenya, the automotive arm of CFAO Kenya. Under his adept guidance, Toyota Kenya and DT Dobie underwent a rebranding initiative in 2022, transforming into CFAO Motors Kenya.



Amb. Dennis Awori has been the accomplished Chair and Country Delegate of Corporation of Africa and Overseas (CFAO) Kenya since 2017

Amb. Awori’s professional journey within the company, with the majority of his career dedicated to the East African motor industry, traces back to its earlier incarnation as Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC) in East Africa. During his tenure at Toyota Kenya, a subsidiary of TTC in East Africa, Amb. Awori held diverse and pivotal roles, including Sales and Marketing Manager, Branch Manager, General Manager, Managing Director (MD), and ultimately, Chairman.

In 2017, TTC strategically integrated all its African operations under the CFAO umbrella, a significant organisational shift aligning diverse operations under a unified framework. Beyond its historical ties to the automotive sector, CFAO Kenya diversified its portfolio, becoming a dynamic player in various sectors of the economy, contributing to renewable energy, infrastructure development, and agri-mechanisation.

Amb. Awori’s chairmanship extends to CFAO Motors Kenya, the automotive arm of CFAO Kenya. Under his adept guidance, Toyota Kenya and DT Dobie underwent a rebranding initiative in 2022, transforming into CFAO Motors Kenya. Serving as the franchise holder for prestigious brands including Toyota, Suzuki, Hino, Mercedes, Volkswagen (VW), Sino Truck, Hyundai Trucks, and Winpart 2nd channel parts, this successful rebranding underscored the company’s steadfast commitment to adapting and extending its influence in the dynamic market.

In addition to his role at CFAO Kenya, Amb. Awori holds directorship positions at CFAO Holdings South Africa and CFAO, a wholly-owned subsidiary of TTC operating in 35 African countries and conducting business in another 19 through independent dealers. The Group’s engagement spans diverse sectors, including mobility, healthcare, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), agriculture, technology, renewable energy, and infrastructure, emphasising CFAO’s holistic approach to contributing to the growth and development of economies across Africa.

Amb. Awori’s leadership further extends to the financial sector as Chair of Bank of Africa Kenya, a subsidiary of a continental banking group operating in 18 African countries; Chair of Carbacid Investments, an NSE-listed company with a subsidiary, Carbacid CO2, uniquely focused on mining and processing carbon dioxide (CO2) in the region; and OFGEN Kenya, a leading supplier of solar power to commercial and industrial institutions. His impact is evident in the manufacturing sector through his chairmanship at Africa Activated Carbon EPZ, the first company to produce activated carbon from coconut shells for refining gold and water treatment.

Additionally, he chairs Jumbo Chem Kenya, the pioneer in manufacturing low-density polyethylene foam utilised in roof insulation, soundproofing, damp courses, and biodegradable wrapping material.

As the founding Vice-Chair of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), Amb. Awori played a pivotal role in fostering collaboration within Kenya’s private sector. He holds the distinction of being the founding Chair of the KEPSA Foundation and a Trustee of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI).

Amb. Awori has served on the Boards of the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), now Communications Authority (CA), the National Vision 2030, and the country’s New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

In the sporting arena, Amb. Awori holds the unique distinction of being Chair of both the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) and the Uganda Rugby Union (URU). His leadership played a pivotal role in leading both into membership of the International Rugby Union (IRU). Additionally, he was Chair of Kenya Harlequins Rugby Football Club and founding Chair of Watembezi Pace Setters, the precursor to the Kenya National 7s Team.

In the realm of social service, Amb. Awori’s commitment shines through as Chair and Charter Member of the Rotary Club of Nairobi East.

In recognition of his diplomatic acumen, Awori was appointed the Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya to Japan and Korea from 2003 to 2009. During his tenure, he facilitated the establishment of a new Embassy in Korea, fostering robust relations between Kenya and the two countries, particularly through their private sectors, aligning with Kenya’s strategic focus on economic diplomacy during the period.

During this tour of duty, Amb. Awori’s outstanding contributions were internationally recognised in 2021 when His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Japan bestowed upon him the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, acknowledging his significant efforts in building strong relations between Japan and Kenya.

Amb. Awori’s academic background includes a Bachelor of Science (BSc.) degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom (UK). His commitment to excellence is further evidenced by a business leadership program at Ashridge Management College and a management development program from the Emory Business School of Atlanta in the United States (US).

Amb. Awori stands as a multifaceted transformational leader who is etching an indelible mark on the motor, business, sports, and social landscapes, embodying the spirit of excellence and collaboration in all his endeavours. His extensive chairmanships exemplify his commitment to driving innovation and development across a wide spectrum of industries in the region. Under his guidance, CFAO Kenya is undoubtedly set on a trajectory of continued business sustainability.


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Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Kenya’s Dr Hanningtone Gaya, holds a PhD in Commerce in Business Management from Nelson Mandela University (NMU), is viewed as an authority in country branding and is the founder chairman of the Brand Kenya Board.

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