Pascal Chuma, Todays Menu, Acrylic on Canvas 36" x 29".
In case you have not noticed East Africa is making heads turn-around. Both people and money are flocking to the region because it is abound with new and great opportunity. According to the July 2015 edition of Private Wealth magazine, the number of U.S. dollar millionaires in Kenya will grow at more than double the rate over the next decade as the economy expands. Individuals with a net worth of more than $1million will increase 74% percent by 2024, compared with 31% percent globally. The industries where Kenyan millionaires have made their money are technology, manufacturing, real estate and horticulture industry. Forbes just wrote an article promoting investment in the region while highlighting why Kenya is Africa's fastest growing country.
Kenya is in a great position and is well located, making it the hub of East Africa. The United States President, Obama, was just in Kenya to co-host the Global Entrepreneurship Summit with current Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. The world of Social Entrepreneurship flocked to Kenya to witness the entrepreneurial spirit embodied by young Kenyans. The world was simply in awe at how Kenya is boldly taking on the 21st century.
Above - Obama in Kenya (July 2015)
Pascal Chuma is a Kenyan artist from Donholm, Nairobi. His piece above is titled, menu, comes to mind when I think of Kenya and East Africa as a whole in 2015. The rush to the region could be likened to a rush to a nice restaurant. Pascal's menu plate is special - it has big bold eyes that do not just see everything but they also magically communicate their ideas. To me, the eyes are regular Kenyans who have worked so hard to build the country to what it is today. I know people who leave their house at 4am in the morning, to make it to work on time, and get back home at 7pm everyday of the week.
All these monies from within and without the country must be leveraged for inclusive growth that includes the regular mwananchi (citizen). Grassroots communities or what economists term household enterprises need to be seriously considered if Kenya will continue to have a vibrant middle class with new ideas and a voice. My guess is the technology savvy nation will design itself out of inequality, helping build a blueprint that will be used world-over in countries like USA and Brazil.
My interview below is with a Kenyan entrepreneur, Judith. She discovered people love her chapati and stew and decided to start a business in her home in Kibera slum, Nairobi. Entrepreneurship has allowed her to be independent and empowered.
Interview with Kenyan Woman Entrepreneur