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James Mwangi, CEO of Equity Bank Kenya named Forbes Africa 2012 Person of the Year | Beat Dangote, Elumelu & Others to Clinch the Award



James Mwangi, the CEO of  Equity Bank, Kenya has been named the 2012 Forbes Africa Person of the Year by Forbes Magazine. Mwangi beat four other nominees to earn the honour during a ceremony held last night in Lagos.

Dr Mwangi was honored for playing a central role in making Equity Bank the largest bank in East and Central Africa, with more than seven million accounts in Kenya alone. He has also played a crucial role in ensuring banking services, including loans, are available to low income people who previously have in the past been left out of banking services.

Here’s what the judges had to say about him:
“Mwangi is an example of what it means to make it and to overcome the enormous challenges facing the average person in Africa. His influence and contribution to society, in a difficult environment, is significant.”

The other nominees shortlisted for the award include Nigeria’s  Aliko Dangote – Africa’s richest man and Tony Elumelu – Founder and Chairman of Heirs Holding; Joyce Banda (President of Malawi) and Stephen Saad –  Co-founder of the Aspen Pharmacare.

What are your thoughts on the winner of the 2012  Forbes Africa Person of the Year?

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. faith

    November 30, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Good for him

  2. Yori

    November 30, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Congratulations! Touching the lives of millions of ordinary citizens!

  3. truthbetold

    November 30, 2012 at 10:38 am

    If Elumelu had won, it would have been an endorsement of corruption and fraud, which would have reduced the credibility and integrity of the award. They took the right decision.

    • X factor

      November 30, 2012 at 11:39 am

      Motion seconded

  4. larakingz...

    November 30, 2012 at 10:51 am

    I like this “Mwangi is an example of what it means to make it and to overcome the enormous challenges facing the average person in Africa. His influence and contribution to society, in a difficult environment, is significant.” food for thought.

  5. Kenyan girl

    November 30, 2012 at 10:55 am

    He totally deserves it this man is the reason the fruit seller down the road, the charcoal seller, the samosa selling street lady, the housegirl and all other low income earners and small business owners in Kenya and indeed East Africa now have bank accounts and acquire loans. He saw a gap took a risk and it paid off now all those other banks like Barclays who had ignored small people are following suit and begging small businesses to open accounts with them. Equity and Mpesa by Safaricom (google it) is the greatest thing to have happened in Kenya’s financial sector in a long time. Well done to the others for their nominations too

  6. Daniel

    November 30, 2012 at 11:15 am

    I salute him. I cast my vote for Joyce Banda who has led my example in reducing her salary significantly. Food for thought for greedy Nigerian leaders.

  7. joseph

    November 30, 2012 at 11:26 am


  8. peter

    November 30, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    he totally deserves it,he is a good example of a leader n all other political leaders should emulate him

  9. david waithaka

    November 30, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    big up man

  10. Joseph Munyambanza

    November 30, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    I have no doubt, James will is a man of action, visionary and humble. Congratulio and May God give you more and greater understanding and abilities!

  11. Rukiah Elias kalsum

    December 1, 2012 at 6:22 am

    Jamo is the guy.some of us are what we are because of him and I mean it.he has changed the lives and livelihoods of very many people most especially and important of all made the peasants millionaires.the guy deserves more awards.that is the only way to honor you james.congrats James.

  12. Isaac Mwangi Thika -kenya

    December 1, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    THATS WONDERFUL MWANGI KEEP IT UP GO! GO! GO! EVEN FOR Nobel Prize These prizes are not kept for anyone only to SERIOUS AND DETERMINED GUYS CONGRATSSir!! Thanks

  13. didi

    December 3, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    mwangi is really mwa(son) of ngi(god)


    December 16, 2012 at 5:47 pm


  15. Sarah

    January 3, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Dr. Mwangi, you deserve it and more! Congratulations and thank you for turning the banking sector in Kenya upside down! Proudly Kenyan!

  16. musoke moses

    August 19, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    dear CEo equity bank kenya .its long time eversince i left kenya .let me first all thank you for the financial services you have rendered to the continent of africa .may be thats why you have been selected the official contact is +256704664951 am musoke moses but your message has not come this way

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