Africa Creates: Creating Opportunity

Africa Creates

Part of the recent ‘brain gain’ that Kenya in particular has experienced the past few years, Brian Waswani Odhiambo is an honors graduate from Yale University with degrees in Political Science and African Studies.

Not one to sit idle for very long, he left the US for Nigeria a week after graduation. There, he joined the management team that started Jumia, a leading and award-winning e-commerce platform across Africa. He headed the general merchandise department of the business and helped grow profits across product categories month on month.

Brian Waswani

Brian then moved to Zambia to co-found Zamsolar, a last-mile distribution company focused on creating employment and delivering energy solutions to poor populations in Zambia.

His record there was impressive: he grew the company’s national branch network from 1 to 10 branches and recruited and managed a staff of 10 full-time and 400 part-time personnel. With this team, he grew monthly revenues from $3000 per month to up to $40,000 per month in the company’s first year. For Brian, more important than the sales figure is the number of people positively impacted: at least 15,000 in that first year.

Now he’s back home in Kenya, hoping to make a similar impact here.

Brian is a winner of several fellowships and has been featured in the Huffington Post, Fair Observer, Yale Daily News, Yale Monthly Magazine, Ayiba Magazine among others.

He is currently the Director of Operations at LivelyHoods, an award-winning social enterprise creating jobs for youth and women in Nairobi slums. When not doing serious social enterprise activities, Brian is a DJ and partner at Cloud X Entertainment, an events company in Nairobi. Stay tuned for more about this creative entrepreneur: we’ll let you know when he launches his Kenyan version of ‘Dial a Mechanic’ You can also follow him on Twitter.

Listen to the interview below: