08 Nov Mukiri Muchene: Champion Of The People
Mukiri has a very important message for westerners about his beloved homeland Kenya.
Forget all the clichés you’ve heard about Africa – people living in ‘noble poverty’, condemned to a hopeless life where nothing ever changes.
He wants you to know that Kenya is undergoing an extraordinary transformation.
As Africa’s economic flag bearer, GDP almost quadrupled from $16.1 billion in 2004 to $63.4 billion in 2015 – twice the average growth rate for Sub-Saharan Africa.
Along with an investment-friendly environment, this hyper economic growth is fuelling rapid expansion in:
As Greenstorc’s commercial director for East Africa, Mukiri knows his country is poised on the brink of genuine and sustainable economic success. Yet, he realises crucial pieces are still missing from the puzzle.
Access to electricity, he says, is one of the largest pieces. After all, only 20 per cent of Kenyans are connected to the main grid.
But forget the dirty fossil fuel ‘solutions’ provided by large corporations, Mukiri says. Africa demands a new solution, crafted from the ground up – a 24-hour source of community renewable energy accessible to everyone, no matter how poor or remote they are.
Microgrids a beacon for Kenya’s future
Mukiri is a gentle, humble man. Yet his steely determination to improve living standards, create jobs and open up new possibilities for his country mark him out as a force to be reckoned with.
He wants a better life – packed with real opportunity – not only for his own young family, but for more than 50 million Kenyans who are determined to get ahead.
“Clean, reliable electricity will change people’s lives in so many ways,” Mukiri says.
“It means better government services, improved healthcare, more jobs and boosted business growth.”
Nearly three-quarters of Kenya’s population live in remote and rural areas. So, micro-generation also means electricity is created and used exactly where it’s needed.
That’s why Mukiri is so excited about Greenstorc’s microgrid technology. It’s all part of his grand vision of a bright future in East Africa.
“Pumped and purified water is suddenly more widely available. Rural families can do away with dangerous kerosene lamps and candles. Costly diesel generators no longer pollute the environment and damage people’s health. And people can go on working and studying when it’s dark outside.
“This allows Kenya to take the next step on the road to lasting economic prosperity.”
Rising through the ranks to make his mark
Armed with a Diploma in Mass Communication, Mukiri kicked off his career as a sales executive for a leading international bank in Nairobi.
Moving to the hospitality industry, he worked his way up to sales manager at a prestigious Kenyan hotel.
This brought him into contact with some “powerful” people – including Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Greenstorc CEO Paul Flynn.
Mukiri says: “I’ve been lucky enough to meet President Kenyatta several times, once during a hotel visit. And this is where I met Paul, when he stayed as a guest.
“We chatted and shared information, then kept in touch when he left Kenya. Paul gave me lots of valuable business advice and encouragement as well as support for my charity Young Smile.”
Mukiri took up the role of Greenstorc commercial director for East Africa in early 2017. It was time to take his career and the aspirations he holds for Kenya’s residents to the next level.
Connecting Kenya is only the start
Since Mukiri stepped into his Greenstorc shoes, he’s been opening doors at the highest level of Kenyan government and business.
Already, 5MW of Greenstorc’s proprietary technology is mooted to be installed in his homeland – testament to Mukiri’s perseverance and skill.
Backed by a growing support team, he won’t be satisfied until Greenstorc microgrids are bringing sustainable 24-hour power to communities in all corners of his country.
“Kenya is a leader in all aspects of development among its African counterparts. It will be the African nation setting the highest standards for developing nations. Kenya will stand tall among other global leaders,” he says
Mukiri believes Kenya will be a guiding light for neighbouring Uganda and Tanzania, where he’s busy consolidating opportunities for a new network of Greenstorc microgrids.
Daring to dream
Not content to sit around and wait for things to happen, Mukiri set up his own non-profit organisation. The Young Smile Development Organisation is dedicated to giving Kenyan girls real agency in their own lives.
They need far greater opportunities for education, social participation and careers, Mukiri believes. And because girls’ success depends heavily on the wellbeing of their mothers, Young Smiles works closely with mother and child to ensure the best outcomes for both.
“Girls have dreams too,” he says. “We have to help them come true. Girls need to be given the education, healthcare and support they need to control their future. Then they get to enjoy the benefits of Kenya’s growing prosperity.”
Greenstorc CEO Paul Flynn is UK ambassador for the charity. He believes access to clean energy is essential to help young people throughout Africa not only survive but shine.
As for what the future holds for Mukiri? Watch this space.
“Kenya has progressed so much in terms of culture, diversity, politics, educational opportunities and technology. Now we need to pursue the next goal – sustainable energy for all.
“I want to be here to see how this nation progresses over the next 50 years.”