CHAIR OF THE BOARD OF THE LAKE TURKANA WIND POWER PROJECT (LTWP)
The problem we have had in Kenya and Africa over the last 50 years is that we have had a lot of people… who have focused on wealth acquisition,” said Kibati.
“An entrepreneur is not an acquirer of wealth. An entrepreneur is a creator of wealth. If your goal is to acquire wealth, then in your list of strategies… anything goes. If you steal it, if you acquire it corruptly, it doesn’t matter.”
“My concern when I hear people wanting to become millionaires or to become rich is our history as Kenyans and as Africans. Something must change because over the last 50 years, this country has created many millionaires. I suspect some of them are your role models and some of them you have watched do whatever they want to do and therefore you are motivated by them to become millionaires. But I want to challenge this new next generation of millionaires to be different,” he told the conference audience.
“Today, I meet young people who want to be billionaires at 34 and they are 32… You have to build it and sometimes that requires patience and hard work. If you want to have true long-lasting sustainable wealth, you have to do the hard work yourself. You have to be a wealth creator.”
“As a result, many young people venture into entrepreneurship solely to attain wealth and emulate such lifestyles, embarking upon the same lines of business as the successful business people they are trying to emulate, without any knowledge of that particular industry. This discourages innovation,” adds Mugo in the notes for the conference he was addressing.
“You cannot get ahead in acquiring wealth simply by cheating people. You must acquire that wealth because you are bringing value to the table. If you are a civil engineer, you must be proud of the roads… the ports, the airports [and] railway lines that you have designed or built.”
“We need a critical mass of people who actually deliver what they promise to deliver.” These are the words of Mugo Kibati speech on entrepreneurship, to a young audience in 2011.
Mugo, the amiable and soft-spoken founder director general of Kenya’s Vision 2030 Board, was then and still is, a young man, raised well according to the Roman Catholic faith, by one of the country’s top, sharp and most astute intelligence officers and political analysts, Joseph Kibati. It is said that one ignores Joe’s intelligence analysis at their own peril.
To this day, it is not uncommon to see father and son stuck together in a corner of an exotic restaurant in the leafy suburbs of Westlands or at the Village Market Mall in Gigiri on Sundays, after attending the Holy Mass, the dad enjoying lunch and a bottle of his favourite beer, and Mugo, drinking from the endless fountain of knowledge and wisdom that is, his father.
On many of these occasions, Mugo will be accompanied by his wife, Laila, herself a respected self-made professional and an entrepreneur in her own right—founder and Chairman of the Africa Digital Media Institute (ADMI), a Board member of Centum and ABSA bank as well as a past Vice Chair of KEPSA.
Mugo Kibati chairs the board of the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project (LTWP) which provides 310MW of reliable, low cost, wind power to Kenya’s national grid. It is the single largest private investment in Kenya’s history and the largest wind energy plant in Africa.
Mugo was formerly chairman of M-KOPA Solar, an innovative and leading affordable home solar solutions provider in the world. He is the CEO of Telkom Kenya, that provides integrated telecommunications solutions in Kenya and was the Group CEO of Sanlam Kenya until March, 2018. Sanlam Kenya is a Financial Services Group, listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.
From 2009 to 2013, Mugo was the founding Director-General of the Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat. In that role, he spearheaded the implementation of Vision 2030, the official national strategy to transform Kenya into a newly industrialized country by the year 2030.
Mugo’s knowledge of running successful and well governed SOE was tapped when he was headhunted to sit on the important and all-powerful Presidential Task Force on Parastatal Reforms in 2012.
Prior to his 4-year stint in public service, Mugo was Group Managing Director and CEO of East African Cables, where he transformed a small Kenyan company into a regional blue-chip firm with presence in South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.
Mugo has also served on several corporate boards: I&M Bank, the Apollo Group and has also held top leadership positions in the boards of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), including the position of deputy chair at the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE).
Mugo has an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Moi University – Kenya, a Master’s degree in technology management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States (US) and an MBA from George Washington University.
To broaden his academic horizon, Mugo read European Union economics at Oxford University. In 2008, he was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
In 2012, he was admitted as a Fellow to the African Leadership Initiative and also became a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Mugo was honoured with the award of Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear (EBS) in 2012; following an earlier Order: Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (MBS) both of these being Presidential Decorations, by Kenya’s third president, His Excellency, Mwai Kibaki, in recognition of outstanding and distinguished services rendered to the nation in various capacities and responsibilities.