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Kenyan lady lands rare opportunity at Obama Foundation

Kenyan shining

Former US President Barrack Obama

A Kenyan, Esther Mwaniki has been selected as part of the 2019 fellows for the Obama Foundation

Ms Mwaniki is among 20 fellows selected from 10 countries around the world, and one of only three Africans. 

Esther, 36, is the founder of Lapid Leaders Africa, a leadership programme that equips new graduates and final-year university students with the skills to guide them in the world beyond the university.

These skills include self-awareness, creativity and innovative thinking and building a Pan-African mindset driven by values.


It’s our responsibility as the older generation to raise the younger generation and selflessly empower the next leaders,” Ms Mwaniki says of the programme.

Obama Foundation Fellowship

The other fellows selected are working around mental health, education, financial empowerment for communities, social entrepreneurship, climate justice and healthcare delivery.

Esther worked with PwC Kenya, a global professional services firm, from August 2004, after graduating from Kenyatta University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, until she quit in 2011 to form Lapid Leadership.


The Obama foundation offers hands-on training, resources, and leadership development. Fellows also participate in four multi-day gatherings where they collaborate with each other, connect with potential partners, and collectively push their work forward.

The Foundation will cover transportation and accommodation for the in-person convenings.


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