Equity Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr. James Mwangi has received  the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Mwangi was feted during  the All-Africa Business Leaders Awards held in  South Africa by the Africa Business News, the owners of CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa. The All-Africa Lifetime Achievement Award  goes  to individuals who have made remarkable impact on their industry, country and the continent over a  long  period.  The  judges identified a leader with exceptional character,  contributed to business growth, education and has used his own family fortune to build one of the largest support programmes for educating orphans in Africa.

The award was presented to Dr. Mwangi by the Deputy President of South Africa, His Excellency Paul Mashatile and Dr. Rakesh Wahi, co-founder and Chairman of Africa Business News Group. Dr. Mwangi was honoured for his vision, lifetime devotion and dedication to the progress of the African continent and its people, through the work of Equity Group and its impact on inspiring others to seek success by offering   transformative opportunities for the empowerment of the people of Africa.  He  was the inaugural recipient of the Forbes Africa Person of the Year eleven  years ago.


Dr. Mwangi   is the champion of Equity Group’s twin engine of social and economic impact. On social impact, he  is celebrated for the flagship Wings to Fly scholarship programme  that has seen nearly sixty  thousand   academically gifted needy students receive comprehensive scholarships that cover school fees, uniforms, transport, pocket money and medical expenses. Under this pillar,  over eight thousand and three hundred  scholars have received paid internships with the bank. In the same regard,  over eighteen thousand, seven hundred and  thirty five  scholars   have proceeded to universities.  Out of that number , seven hundred and sixty one have  benefited  from the global scholarship programme  that has seen at least two hundred and nineteen  scholars admitted to Ivy League universities.

Under the leadership of Dr. Mwangi, Equity Group Foundation has established a medical franchise, Equity Afia Medical Centres.   Eight one  facilities under this franchise   are run by the  Equity Leadership Programme  scholars who pursued medical degrees. The franchise currently attends to over sixty five thousand  patients per month.

Equity Group Foundation, under the Young Africa Works programme  has mobilized 539,241 micro and small enterprises (MSMEs) through loans or funded  training.  These businesses have in turn  employed  over 1.3 million young people during the last  four  years.  In the same regard, women have been supported under the Fanikisha programme  to capacitate and de-risk them, enabling them to access affordable credit facilities  – for instance   through  group banking.  The foundation  has also focused on financial inclusion of social safety net beneficiaries and households, by processing their payments through free bank accounts. This  offers  them  honour and dignity.  


In 2020,  Dr. Mwangi was  the recipient of the Oslo Business for Peace award, commonly referred to as the Nobel Prize for Business. He also  won the G8 Global Vision Award in Germany in 2005 under the caption “Initiator of the Global Concept that Will Change the Global Economy.” The twin engine concept of a social and economic driven business, underpinned by integrated inclusion where nobody is left behind, combined with a shared prosperity model where host communities are treated as key stakeholders won Dr. Mwangi the Global Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2012, becoming the first business leader in Sub-Saharan Africa to be given the honour. The same year he was named the inaugural Forbes Africa Person of the Year. 

In his acceptance speech, Dr. Mwangi associated his lifetime achievement as a philanthropist, entrepreneur, and leader to the influence of his upbringing, a mother’s inspiration and circumstances and situation. “Being brought up by a widowed mother, taught me not to be left behind while others were going to school or church hence Equity’s inclusion strategy,” he said. “  My mother taught me the value of entrepreneurship, commerce  and trade  by selling and vending charcoal, fruits, milk and eventually tea – hence Equity’s strong entrepreneurial  and   performance culture as well as  exceptional support for traders, farmers and entrepreneurs and giving back through financial literacy and entrepreneurship training in the real economy of agriculture and enterprise,” he added. He  dedicated the Lifetime Achievement Award to all African mothers and women who like his own mother nurture, inspire, mentor, influence  and shape children to respond and adapt to their circumstances, setting them up for a lifetime of contribution and impact.



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