Mwai Kibaki

Mwai Kibaki, also known as Emilio Mwai Kibaki, is the president of Kenya. The youngest of eight children, Kibaki was born in 1931. His academic performance in secondary school earned him a scholarship at Uganda’s Makerere University, where he studied economics, history, and political science. He graduated in 1955, with first class honors, and accepted a position with Shell’s Uganda division. He left that post when he received a scholarship to study at the London School of Economics. In 1958, he returned to Makerere University to assume a position as assistant economics lecturer.

During a visit to Kenya, Kibaki helped to draft what was to become independent Kenya’s first constitution. He returned to Kenya in 1960, serving as executive officer for two years in KANU, the largest Kenyan political party at the time. In 1963, Kenya won its independence and Kibaki was elected member of Parliament. He served in a number of positions before becoming minister of finance and economic planning in 1970. When Moi became president in 1978, he appointed Kibaki as his vice president. Under Moi, however, debate became stifled. Kibaki resigned from KANU in 1991, days after the one-party state stipulation in the constitution was repealed, to found the Democratic Party and launch a bid for the presidency. Kibaki ran for president in 1992 and in 1997. He was inaugurated as president in 2002 and declared winner again in the 2007 election. In 2008 he and his challenger, Raila Odinga, signed a power-sharing agreement, with Odinga to serve as prime minister.

Source: University Programs and Events Planning Resources, September 2010