Home » Kenyan businessman James Mwangi donates $1 million to support families facing extreme hunger

Kenyan businessman James Mwangi donates $1 million to support families facing extreme hunger

by Omokolade Ajayi
James Mwangi

James Mwangi, one of Kenya’s wealthiest investors and businessmen, has donated Ksh120 million ($1 million) to aid families affected by the country’s continuing drought, as well as to alleviate hunger and food insecurity in the region.

The businessman, who announced the donationin the presence of Kenya’s newly elected President William Ruto at a meeting focused on strategies for resolving the current hunger crisis in East Africa, urged the government to seek a permanent solution to the region’s hunger.

“It appears it’s a perennial issue, so why don’t we look for a permanent solution? On behalf of my family and the Equity Group on matching grant through the Equity Foundation, I will give $1 million,” Mwangi said.

His donation comes just five days after Ruto signed a deal with Fortescue Future Industries, a global green energy company led by Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest, to build a 300-megawatt (MW) green ammonia and green fertilizer plant in Kenya by 2025 during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt.

The 300-MW fertilizer plant, which will be constructed under a strategic partnership agreement between the Kenyan government and Fortescue, is part of the administration’s efforts to increase food production and combat food insecurity in the region.

Kenya, like most of East Africa, is suffering from the worst drought in four decades and is bracing for its fifth consecutive failed rainy season, threatening the lives of nearly 20 million people.

In a recent report on the food system in Africa, the World Bank revealed that the continent is presently suffering from its third severe drought in ten years, which has left millions of people—particularly women, children, and the elderly — in extreme poverty, food insecurity, and acute hunger and malnutrition.

The capacity of households to deal with hunger and food insecurity is dwindling as a result of a number of shocks that are limiting resources. In Kenya, nearly 30 percent of households reported having a member who went without food for a day.

The $1 million gift from Mwangi, CEO of Equity Group and one of Kenya’s wealthiest businessmen, will be crucial in addressing the country’s severe hunger problem.

Mwangi, who has played a significant role in the development and transformation of Kenya’s financial services sector, holds a sizeable 3.38-percent stake in Equity Group, Africa’s largest lender. At the time of writing, the stake is worth Ksh6.7 billion ($55 million).

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