Dr. Wilfred David Kiboro
CHAIR OF BOARD: NATION MEDIA GROUP
Wilfred Kiboro joined Nation Media Group (NMG) in 1993 as the managing director designate of the Nation Newspaper, with only the Daily Nation and Taifa Leo in the company’s stable. Under his watch an in line with the then ongoing regional political integration plans, NMG launched The East African in 1994, so far, the most respected and incisive weekly newspaper in East Africa.
In 1999, the NMG made their entry into the electronic media industry after the liberation of the airwaves, with Nation FM and Nation TV.
A proven visionary and transformational leader and entrepreneur, Kiboro would soon be appointed by the NMG Board the Group CEO in 1995, a position he held with respect and honour until retiring in 2006.
The now multi-billion NMG expanded rapidly under Wilfred, buying majority shareholding in Mwananchi Communications in neighbouring Tanzania and in Monitor Publications in Uganda, and established a strong presence in Rwanda.
Since then, the NMG has developed into the leading media powerhouse under Wilfred as chair, with extensive new expansion and new products, NMG ePaper and Nation. Africa, in a bid to realize his long-held vision for NMG’s diversification into a minimum of 12 sub-Sahara countries within this decade.
Wilfred has a wealth of experience in the corporate world and has previously served on the board of leading companies and institutions, both locally and internationally. These include on the board of East African Breweries Limited (EABL) Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) Kenya, Kenya Association of Manufacturers, Rhino Ark and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).
He was chairman of the East Africa Business Council and the Kenya Business Council, the predecessor to the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), and the founder Chairman of the Media Owners Association (MOA).
At NMG Dr Kiboro has been a key player in media development across the EA region. Together with other media luminaries like Dr SK Macharia and lawyers Paul Muite and Dr Gibson Kamau Kuria and others, He led the fight tirelessly for media freedom and for the liberalization of the airwaves, for the widening of the democratic space and thanks to them, the country has hundreds of broadcast radio and television stations and a vibrant ICT backbone and infrastructure.
Kiboro has travelled extensively, holding numerous national, regional and international job assignments that have seen him supervise cross-national teams across continents, a vote of confidence in his abilities as a change manager. During these international sojourns, he served as President of the International Press Institute, headquartered in Zurich, with membership in over 100 countries.
Internationally, Wilfred Kiboro is the chairman of the International Press Institute (IPI) in Kenya, the East African Business Summit and a member of the International Who’s Who of Professionals. He also sits on The Rhodes Trust in Kenya as Honorary chairman and is a member of the International Organisation of Employers’ Enterprise Advisory Group.
Today, the pan African spirit in Kiboro continues to anchor the AU Agenda 2063 on democracy, rule of law, ethical governance practices, good governance, inclusivity and improved human rights. To this end, Dr Kiboro continues to bring together government leaders, scholars, professionals, politicians, scientists, the youth and so on, through the Kusi Festival of Ideas, to progress and prosecute the Africa agenda 2063.
His most impactful CSR engagements have included several environmental and humanitarian efforts during his tenure at NMG, two key ones being the launching of the Aberdare Forest Fund in 2002 to erect over 400 kms electric fence around the forest to protect the critical water tower, together with other members of the Rhino Ark Board. Wilfred Kiboro is also credited for the launching of the Nation Turkana Relief Fund in 1999/2000 with other media owners, an appeal that rallied all the private sector players to help cushion the effects of one of the worst food shortage disaster to hit our shores.
In the company of environmental stalwarts like Nobel Laurette winner the late Wangari Maathai, Wilfred unleashed the power of the media, as the public watchdog and national agenda setter to reclaim parts of the Karura Forest and the Nairobi Central Park from then ferocious land grabbers.
After receiving his Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Nairobi, Wilfred Kiboro began his career as a Technical Sales Engineer for Shell International, and was swiftly promoted to Technical Sales Manager, in charge of the manufacturing, sales and marketing of industrial and road construction products in the East and Central Africa region.
Kiboro joined Esso Kenya in 1974 as a Supply, Planning and Economics Manager, where he caught the management bug, rising quickly through the ranks to serve in senior positions in Europe, the Far East and Africa in numerous areas including construction, project management, sales and marketing, operations and logistics, planning and strategy, new business development and general business management.
He is also the chair of the board of Family Bank, Africa Digital Network and is the Chancellor of the Riara University, a new centre of higher education that boasts a modern Law, Business and Media Schools, with well-equipped library with e-learning and a modern media studio.
Kiboro retired as the Group CEO of the NMG in 2006 and spends most of his time as the Chairman of Wilfay Investments Limited and looking after his farm always accompanied by his supportive wife, Fatuma. In between, he finds time to mentor the youth, new directors of boards, academics, and top corporate c-suite executives.
Among the major national, pan-Africa and global awards include being bestowed with the Honour of the Order of The Burning Spear by the President of Kenya as a recognition of his hard work, excellence in whatever he does, patriotism, selfless service and in recognition of all the responsibilities he has held in the country; the Leadership Shines Through – Africa and the ICT Hall of Fame – 2007 Lifetime Inductee.