#Africa iHub appoints new MD


Kenyan innovation space iHub has appointed Mary Gicharu new managing director, heading up a management team tasked with executing a new strategy and products at the “iHub 2.0”.

Gicharu brings 15 years experience from US and Kenya-based corporate positions – having worked at Morgan Stanley, Coca Cola, and Equitel.

She says the iHub position allows her to focus on “operational excellence” and providing improved services to Kenya’s tech community.

“I feel honored to have been selected for the MD role at the iHub. The iHub has played a pivotal role to develop the tech ecosystem in Kenya and set an example for the whole continent.  We are on a great path, and want to ensure we provide the best services possible to the tech community,” Gicharu says.

Gicharu forms part of a new management team, with “complementary” roles.

Josiah Mugambi is the director of strategy and products; Nekesa Were is the director of platform services; Njoki Gichinga is the director of partnerships and sales; and Rosemary Njeri is the director of support services.

Together, they are tasked with implementing a new model, creating an “iHub 2.0”.

Disrupt Africa has reported on the numerous changes the iHub has undergone over the past year. In March 2016 the organisation raised external funding to usher in a “next chapter” for the hub. It went on to launch a number of new initiatives over the year.

In December, the iHub relocated to a larger premises, and announced the launch of an investment fund for African startups – with plans to raise up to US$40 million for the fund.

Outgoing chief executive officer (CEO) Kamal Bhattacharya moves on to Safaricom, in the role of chief innovation officer. He will continue to work with the iHub in an advisory capacity.

“We’ve gone through a tremendous amount of changes and right now we need a steady hand to implement our new model. Mary has over a decade of private sector experience and the kind of personality that will give our constituencies, the tech community in Kenya and our private and public sector partners, the confidence that the iHub will continue to be the center of the regional tech universe,” says Bhattacharya.


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