Hi, I'm Akinyi
Me in short:
I’m a writer, brand strategist, and social impact leader driving high-impact global marketing communications programs. As a writer, brand strategist, and social impact leader, I help brands reach, build, and engage with new audiences and develop long-lasting relationships with communities.
I've worked with rural farmers across West Africa, counseled start-ups on brand strategy, and advised multinationals on communications and sustainability. What unites these diverse experiences is my commitment to driving the bright future of emerging markets, home to 85% of the global population.
I champion the transformative impact of technology in a globalised world by developing marketing and partnership strategies in emerging markets as well as through my writing and research on business, culture and politics in Africa. In 2019, I was named one of the 100 Most Influential People of African Descent under 40 in the field of media and culture as part of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent.
I currently work at a WorldRemit, one of London’s fast-growing fintech companies. Outside of work, I’m Esther Ocloo Fellow at Botho Emerging Markets Group, where I research economic development in the Global South, as well as an advisor to CDC-backed initiative TheBoardroom Africa, which is accelerating women’s representation on boards and investment committees across the continent. From 2015 - 2016, I was a Princeton in Africa Fellow. I hold a BA from Yale University and an MSc from the London School Economics.
I write and speak regularly about business, culture, and politics in Africa as well as on diversity and inclusion. In the past, I've written for think tanks like the World Economic Forum and the Center for American Progress as well as NPR, Quartz, Slate, CNBC, Forbes, Project Syndicate, Real Clear Politics, Roads and Kingdoms, Harvard Africa Policy Journal, Fields Magazine, and more.
I'm also a contributor at OkayAfrica, the largest digital platform for contemporary African culture and politics, and was a founding team member and Executive Editor at Ayiba Magazine, where I highlighted the creativity of Africa and its diaspora through innovation, technology and design.
The fun stuff:
👩🏾🍳 On weekends, you'll find me in the kitchen, at the farmer's market, or exploring a new restaurant.
On this site, you’ll also find my food blog, Jikoni (Kiswahili for "kitchen"), my love letter to the foods and flavors of Africa and its diaspora.
Growing up, food in my home was a vibrant pan-African fusion with unique combinations like supakanja (okra stew) and ugali (an East African maize-based side dish similar to polenta). Over time, my pan-African outlook extended from the kitchen to the classroom to the workplace. Jikoni is part celebration of Africa's history and cuisine, part exercise in cultural anthropology as I sleuth through the origins of many of these dishes. I'm an amateur chef, so there will be a lot of trial and error, but hopefully a lot of learning and a great deal of fun.