10 Notable Personalities That Graduated From USIU-Africa

by Business Watch Team

Institutions make names then names make people but USIU-Africa, according to alumni, makes both names and people.

The job market is flooded according to the majority of people. However, what most people don’t know is the only field that seems flooded is the white-collar sector.

Employers, on the other hand, argue that every time they want to hire people, they find no individuals suitable. They say, most of the graduates have only mastered theory as compared to the much-needed practical skills.

A university that channels out all-round individuals who have perfected both theory and practical is what Kenya needs.

Kenya has amazing people and amazing talent but most of them die unnoticed because of the choices they make, more specifically, the institutions of higher learning that they choose to join.

“A university or school one attends ultimately has an impact on ones grasping of the real world. Universities have to start teaching the reality,” said Mr. Wafula Nyongesa, a Lecturer in one of the universities in Western Kenya.

From the archives, we came across some notable names that passed through the United States International University (USIU Africa).

Vimal Shah is the Chairman of Bidco Oil Refineries Limited and BIDCO Group. Mr. Shah has been Chairman of Kenya Private Sector Alliance since April 2013. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Kenya Association of Manufacturers.

Linus Gitahi is the Executive Chairman, Tropikal Brands (Africa) Ltd, and former CEO Nation Media Group. He is a KIM Fellow and was awarded MBS (GOK) for starting and supporting Baraka Foundation which educates bright children from poor backgrounds. He has also worked at GlaxoSmithKline rising from Brand Management trainee in 1989 to group CEO of West Africa.

Dr. Githinji Gitahi is the Group CEO of AMREF Health Africa. Previously he was the Vice President and Regional Director for Africa, Smile Train International, where he successfully established partnerships for long-term sustainability with various African governments. Prior to that, he worked with the Nation Media Group, where he was the Managing Director for Monitor Publications in Uganda as well as General Manager for Marketing and Circulation in East Africa. He also held senior positions at GlaxoSmithKline, Avenue Group and in the insurance industry.

Kris Senanu is a businessman and entrepreneur from Ghana. He is currently the Managing Director of the Enterprise Division at Telkom Kenya and Chair of the Governing Council at the Kenya Institute of Management. He is the founder of Blackrock Capital Investments. He has previously worked at Swift Global and Access Kenya.

Patricia Ithau is the Regional Director of Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies. She began her professional career with household and foods multi-national Unilever – then East Africa Industries Ltd after completion of her undergraduate degree. She spent 15 years in the business working in various capacities and different countries culminating in her role as the Marketing Director, for the East African Business. She has also worked at EABL and L’Oreal East Africa Ltd. She is a Fellow of the Marketing Society of Kenya, a Board Member of the Kenya Tourism Board and the Chairperson of the Nairobi Women’s Hospital.

David Gatende is the Chief Executive Officer of Davis & Shirtliff – East Africa’s leading supplier of water-related equipment. He joined the organization as a field engineer at the water and energy services provider and rose through the ranks to hold the positions of operations manager, sales manager, commercial manager, general manager, deputy CEO and eventually the group CEO.

Dr. Nancy Asiko is the Director of the Office of Internal Audit and Inspection at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Previously, she was the CEO of Nairobi-based Reliance Risk Advisory Solutions. She also worked as a Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (Kenya) and also served as EY’s Governance, Risk and Compliance Leader for Africa. Ms. Onyango is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Hon. Martha Karua is a Kenyan politician. She is a former long-standing member of parliament for Gichugu Constituency and an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya. She was Minister of Justice until resigning from that position in April 2009.

Hon. Esther Passaris is a Kenyan social entrepreneur, philanthropist, and politician. She is the Nairobi County women representative in the bicameral Kenyan parliament and a member of the Orange Democratic Movement Political Party.

John Allan Namu is the CEO/Editorial Director of Africa Uncensored. He is a former features editor, reporter and crime investigator at KTN. He is best known for his partnership with Mohammed Ali on Jicho Pevu and Inside Story that went behind the scenes to uncover stories of corruption and impunity in Kenya. In 2015, he won journalist of the year at 2015 annual journalism excellence awards held by Media Council of Kenya.

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