The Lion Awakes: Ugandan Millionaire Ashish Thakkar Tells Story Of African Renaissance In New E book

(Forbes) – Ashish J. Thakkar is the 34-year-old Govt Chairman and Founding father of Mara Sokoni, a visionary entrepreneur, genocide survivor, and a World Financial Discussion board Younger World Chief. In his e book The Lion Awakes: Adventures in Africa’s Financial Miracle (Palgrave; August 25, 2015), Ashish offers readers an intimate, on the bottom view of Africa’s astonishing and unprecedented financial awakening.

The Lion Awakes strikes purposefully in an effort to coach the reader and shift the Western notion of Africa. In a dialog with the reader, Ashish talks by way of private success tales of self-starters within the context of the financial and political local weather of their respective markets. We observe the tales of companies and entrepreneurs who’re altering the face of the African financial panorama. We meet a brand new technology of formidable, progressive, tech savvy younger Africans who’re creating every thing from bamboo bicycles to iPhone Apps; we meet pioneering minds creating electrical energy from wind mills manufactured from scrap steel and rubber; we meet artists, movie makers and designers thriving with newfound freedom and alternative; we’re launched to hyper-educated members of the diaspora who’ve returned to Africa after years, even generations, in Europe and the US to open corporations and take up positions in authorities. Those that left as soon as corrupted and war-plagued lands, have returned to put money into their now thriving homeland. All of them inform the identical story: 21st Century Africa presents them extra alternative than the First World.

Ashish Thakkar, founding father of Mara Group, speaks throughout US-Africa Enterprise Discussion board on the sideline of the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC, on August 5, 2014. (Photograph credit score ought to learn JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Photos)

However what does Ashish find out about alternative? A bit to say the least. From beginning his first firm on the age of 15 to founding the Mara Group, a globally acknowledged multi-sector group using over 11,000 folks in 25 completely different African nations by way of its investments and operations, Ashish has devoted his life to seizing alternative. Via his ardour for enabling, empowering, and provoking younger entrepreneurs, he based the Mara Basis, a company dedicated to fostering and supporting African entrepreneurs by way of mentorship and enterprise philanthropy. Ashish has additionally been appointed as the brand new Chair of the United Nations Basis’s World Entrepreneurship Council (GEC), making him the primary African entrepreneur to steer the Council. The GEC brings collectively main entrepreneurs to work with the UN find progressive options to international points.

One of many many vital improvements to come back from Africa contains M-PESA, a cell banking app that permits anybody the flexibility to switch and deposit cash by way of their cellphones. The platform at the moment has 18 million common customers, together with the president of Kenya. M-PESA sends a day by day common of $50.6 million through 1.6 million transactions per day accounting for 30% of all monetary transactions in Kenya. College charges, salaries, utility payments, retail buy and financial institution transfers can all be achieved utilizing M-PESA, shifting Kenya within the route of turning into a cashless society.

Development has additionally are available different kinds. In an effort to fight the horrific ethnic violence occurring throughout Kenya following a controversial election in January 2008, a bunch of entrepreneurs put collectively an emergency crowd-sourcing utility often called Ushahidi. The platform allowed anybody to immediately report incidents or threats of violence through e-mail, textual content, Twitter or the web. These reviews appeared on an interactive mapping system, permitting folks to see potential hazard zones. This inspired folks to keep away from these violent sizzling spots, probably saving lots of of lives.

And whereas tragedy typically dominates the headlines, Africa is now the world’s quickest rising continent, with a median GDP of 5.5% through the previous 10 years and 6 of the ten world’s fastest-growing economies inside its borders. The center class has tripled in 30 years to 350 million, accounting for one third of the inhabitants. By 2040, Africa could have a bigger workforce than China. The revelations proceed. Such details and figures battle with deep-seated Western impressions of Africa. Ashish works to expel this investor ignorance and make a really clear level: Governments are altering, markets are increasing and alternatives are ample in Africa.

As he travels from his ancestral house in Uganda, East Africa, to the booming democracies of West Africa, and all the way down to the “Silicon Savannahs” of Kenya and Rwanda, Ashish reveals us an Africa that few Westerners are conscious exists. Removed from being a spot of warfare, poverty and oppression in want of our pity and assist, The Lion Awakes reveals a continent present process a outstanding transformation, a spot bursting with motivated entrepreneurs, a resource-rich economic system and a rising center class. Drawing from his enterprise expertise, and his family’s historical past in Africa, which embrace his mother and father’ expulsion from Uganda by Idi Amin within the 70s and his personal survival of the Rwandan genocide in 1994, Ashish reveals us how a lot distinction a decade could make. These tales of development, innovation, and alternative deliver life to what we would later come to know because the early chapters of Africa’s success.

The Lion Awakes examines the present state of the African economic system, offering perception on what lies behind, however extra importantly, forward. By illustrating the successes of devoted younger African entrepreneurs and the foundational modifications within the institutions which govern them, the e book works in direction of a greater understanding and re-framing the Western characterization of Africa. Ashish demonstrates his expertise as an awfully observant and pushed particular person, presenting a e book that we will all be taught a factor or two from. One in all Ashish’s core values each in his private life and enterprise is the notion of doing good while doing nicely. He believes that when you genuinely do good by way of your corporation and have a optimistic social impression, your corporation will do nicely. his portfolio, it appears to be working.

Aline Niyonkuru

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