Economist and Founder & Director of IREN and The African Executive
James is Founder and Director of Inter Region Economic Network (IREN), a think tank that focuses on and develops ideas and strategies to enhance quality of life for people in Africa. He is also the founder and CEO of The African Executive, a leading online business opinion magazine that focuses on African issues. He runs a series of enterprise development platforms under the umbrella of IREN. He is the Country Director of Enactus Kenya, a program present in 33 Kenyan universities (public and private).
As a self-taught Kenyan economist, his main area of focus is economic development in Africa. He offers regular commentaries on national and international media outlets. He is driven by a firm belief that “A Free Human Mind is the Ultimate Capital”.
James serves on a Pan Africa Select Committee that network African Think Tanks, Research Institutes and Scholars keen to evaluate Africa’s engagement with China and other emerging economies. He has authored several books and hundreds of commentaries on public policy, economic development, environment, trade and agriculture. He co-edited a book with Prof. Jurgen Runge on “Geological Resources and Good Governance in Sub Saharan Africa” and edited a book on “China-Africa Partnership. The quest for a win-win relationship”. James received the Jack Shewmaker Leadership Award 2015 for his commitment to introduce African youth to entrepreneurial mindset from Enactus International and The Walter Scheel Prize 2015 for his commitment to International Development Cooperation from Germany. He was recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2008. He was named among 100 most influential Kenyans in 2007 by the Standard Group. He received his Bachelor of Education (Arts) degree in 1995 from the University of Nairobi.
(Copyright Photo: James Shikwati, IREN Kenya)