Hi, I'm Akinyi.
Me in short:
By upbringing, I’m a globalist. By training, I’m a political scientist. I've worked with rural farmers across West Africa, counseled leading start-ups on policy and communications, and advised multinationals on supply chain management and sustainability. What unites these diverse experiences is my passion for driving the development of emerging markets, especially Africa. As a champion of innovation and social impact in Africa, I build products and services for and shape conversations about the world's next billion people.
A nerd at heart, my interests center on how dynamics of globalization shape the behavior of individuals, communities and corporations in emerging markets. I hold an MSc in Global Politics from the London School of Economics, and a BA with distinction in Political Science (Concentration: International Development) and African Studies from Yale University. Following my time at Yale, I was a Princeton in Africa Fellow. I currently work at a London-based fintech company and am an Esther Ocloo Fellow at Botho Emerging Markets Group, where I work on issues related to regional integration, global value chains, and financial inclusion.
I write and speak regularly about business, culture, and politics in Africa as well as on diversity and women's issues. In the past, I've written and blogged for think tanks like the World Economic Forum, Center for American Progress, CIAM-Public Health Research and Development Centre, and WellDone, as well as media outlets such as NPR, Quartz, Slate, Forbes Middle East, Real Clear Politics, Roads and Kingdoms, Harvard Africa Policy Journal, Fields Magazine, Bella Naija, 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. I love to cook. The newest addition to this site is 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.