CHAIRMAN USIU-AFRICA UNIVERSITY COUNCIL
Tom Ford said, ‘Dressing well is a form of good manners.’ If this statement is anything to go by, Kris Senanu is definitely a well-mannered man, evident from well fitted attires and clean-cut ensembles.
A Ghanaian born business man who has made a home in Kenya for almost 30 years, Kris Senanu is an accomplished and decisive business executive, residing in Nairobi. Kris has to his credit more than 25 years track record of successful strategic leadership.
The family man and father of two, is a well-seasoned mentor to many young entrepreneurs in the country and is well-known for his ability to create successful outcomes from complex situations. Among his peers, Kris possesses a tenacious commitment to driving revenue and market-share growth.
He is the former Managing Director, Enterprise Division of Telkom Kenya, a company that provides a full range service of fixed and mobile communication services, both voice and data, to the corporate, government and SME sectors. Kris is currently the Chief Enterprises Business Officer at Safaricom PLC, the leading technology and financial services firm in East Africa.
From Access Kenya, to Telkom Kenya and now Safaricom PLC, Kris has demonstrable achievements in revenue optimization, change management, strategic leadership, brand development and human capital development. He was one of the principal figures in Access Kenya Group‘s listing onto the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), making it the first publicly listed ICT firm in Kenya in 2007.
Kris attended the United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa), here in Nairobi, attaining an undergraduate degree in International Business Administration, majoring in Marketing and a graduate degree (MBA) in Strategic Management from Warwick University‘s Business School.
His achievements as Chair of the USIU-Africa University Council marks his greatest hallmark. During his tenure, the university, swiftly shifted to online teaching and learning using the Learning Management System, Blackboard, to stem the interruption caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The system hosts an average of 800 courses, 300 faculty facilitating teaching and learning, and over 5,300 students were able to access various learning content and assessments during that period.
USIU-Africa’s partnership with Mastercard Foundation to offer 1,000 Scholarships to young people from economically disadvantaged communities valued at US$ 63.2 million for a period of 10-years is indeed a transformative opportunity for the university and for the beneficiaries. To date, 262 students from 21 countries across Africa have commenced their journey towards attaining a high-quality education at USIU-Africa.
This premier University has during his tenure, introduced a number of new programs, thereby making several advancements towards the improvement of the curriculum, with the most notable being the approval of an online MBA program, accredited by both the WASC Senior Colleges and Universities Commission (WSCUC) in the US and the Commission for University Education (CUE) in Kenya. Another notable addition is a PhD degree in Information Systems and Technology.
Under his leadership, the USIU-Africa governance structure and management has been reviewed with clearly defined roles and responsibilities and is composed of distinguished professionals and academics with the Board of Trustees, the Chancellor and the University Council at the apex.
The 2021-2026 Strategic Plan is now in effect and is anchored on the gains realized from the previous one, with a sharper focus on innovative market driven programs, distinction in research and scholarship, competitiveness in innovation, creative works and entrepreneurship, excellence in service and community engagement and organizational resilience.
This year, Kris’ transition management skills will be put to the test as the search for a new Vice Chancellor for the university is underway. The position has attracted a great deal of interest with a large number of applications from a diverse mix of qualified candidates.
Kris and the appointed search committee are seeking a dynamic and inspirational leader to help boost the institution’s national, regional and international positioning through commitment to excellence. Currently, Prof. Freida Brown, who previously served as Vice Chancellor for more than two decades, has returned to serve on an interim basis as the search process progresses.
While USIU-Africa’s vision, mission and values remain the same as those of the founders, Kris Senanu’s team exemplifies a reinforced commitment to the provision of exceptional memories for students on campus, preparing them for disruptive future of work, executing ground breaking research, service to community and innovation.
Although holding Kenyan citizenship, Kris is Ghanaian born and was bred on the campus of University of Ghana, to a leading Ghanaian academic, Prof. Kwadzo Senanu. Kris, however, refers to himself as an “Afro-Optimist” who believes in the “African dream” that, ‘if one respects others cultures and traditions, you can live anywhere on the continent without feeling like a stranger’. He adds: “I believe home is anywhere on the continent where I feel comfortable partnering with my fellow Africans to generate wealth and to create employment. In short, I am and will always be a believer in the pan-African dream.” Kris has fully immersed himself in the Kenya culture, complete with a Kenyan wife and two adorable kids.
Kris takes seriously his calling to support fledgeling MSMEs across Africa. In addition to hard cash, he provides his investee companies with smart capital — mentorship, access, contacts and, of course, his own experience. His investee companies benefit from shared services — from professionals that they might not otherwise be able to afford at their earlier stages of the growth.
Kris has chaired and sat on many other boards including The Kenya Institute of Management (KIM), KeNIC and the Telecommunications Service Providers of Kenya (TESPOK) and industry associations such as KEPSA-ICT board.