This week our focus for African of the week is Kenyan Businessman, industrialist, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Dr Manu Chandaria.

Dr Manu Chandaria is a senior member of the Comcraft Group of Companies, a billion-dollar corporation that operates in over 40 countries. He is renowned for his business expertise and philanthropy. He is Founding Chairman of the East African Business Council and the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, an umbrella body representing over two hundred sectors and organizations. A peacemaker, he is also a member of the Private Sector Advisory Council and Patron in Africa for Global Peace Foundation. Chandaria serves on the board of several prominent East African companies and has served on numerous government boards and committees, including Chairman of the Street Families Rehabilitation Trust Fund, set up to improve the lives of children and families who live on the street.

In February 2018, he emerged the winner of the African Leadership Magazine Person of the Year 2017 for the Philanthropy and Charitable Contributions category. A segment reserved for the recognition of Africans, who have given more to support a charitable cause, social justice and promote social good.

The annual African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Award polls, which is a leading vote-based third-party endorsement in the continent, has been a referendum of some sort by Africans on purposeful and impact-oriented leadership in the continent. Dr Chandaria’s recognition by the African Leadership magazine was sure in place, among numerous others.

As Comcraft operates in several African countries, the Chandaria family has set up charitable trusts in each country to assist in their philanthropic exploits. As the chairman of the Chandaria Foundation, Dr Chandaria is at the forefront of the charitable work of the family. He is the benefactor of numerous schools and clinics in Kenya and is or is involved with more than 25 organizations, setting up several charitable ventures including:

  • Chandaria School of Business at United States International University (USIU)
  • Chandaria Business Innovation and Incubation Centre at Kenyatta University.
  • Chandaria Accident and Emergency Centre and Day theatres at Nairobi Hospital
  • Mabati Technical Institute at Mariakani
  • Chandaria Cancer and Chronic Diseases Centre at Moi Teaching & Referral Hospital
  • And a dozen Chandaria Clinics in Rural area – Among others.

Dr Chandaria cites John D. Rockefeller and Henry Ford as the inspiration for his philanthropic streak due to their establishing the Rockefeller Foundation and Ford Foundation respectively.

Despite being a renowned philanthropist, Chandaria believes Africans must get up and do something.

In a 2016 interview, he said; “Zero multiplied by zero is always zero. You stay home, you don’t do anything, it is always zero the next morning. You work a little bit, and it becomes one, but one multiplied by one is also one again. Until you reach two, four, eight…then the multiplication of resources starts”

By Boma Benjy – Iwuoha