Laila Macharia: Decorated Kenyan Lawyer Serving On The Boards Of ADMI, Centum And Absa

Laila Macharia is a Kenyan lawyer, businesswoman, entrepreneur and an investor who currently serves as the chairperson of the Africa Leadership Initiative (East Africa). She is also the Chairperson of the Africa Digital Media Institute (ADMI). Mrs Macharia sits on the boards of various national, regional, and international enterprises including; the Africa Digital Media Group, […] The post Laila Macharia: Decorated Kenyan Lawyer Serving On The Boards Of ADMI, Centum And Absa appeared first on whownskenya.

Laila Macharia: Decorated Kenyan Lawyer Serving On The Boards Of ADMI, Centum And Absa

Laila Macharia is a Kenyan lawyer, businesswoman, entrepreneur and an investor who currently serves as the chairperson of the Africa Leadership Initiative (East Africa). She is also the Chairperson of the Africa Digital Media Institute (ADMI).

Mrs Macharia sits on the boards of various national, regional, and international enterprises including; the Africa Digital Media Group, ABSA Kenya plc (previously Barclays Bank) and Centum Investments, the largest listed private equity firm on the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE).

She is also the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Africa Metro (formerly Scion Real), a pan-African investment company focused on urban development. She is also the Vice Chairman of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA).

Here is her story as narrated by WoK.

Laila Macharia: Decorated Kenyan Lawyer Serving On The Boards Of ADMI, Centum And Absa
File image of ADMI Chairperson, Laila Macharia. |Photo| Courtesy|

Background & Education

Laila was born in Nairobi and grew up in Kenya, Namibia and Somalia. She relocated to the US at the age of 18 where she lived and worked until her return to East Africa in 2003.

Admitted to practice law in Maryland, New York and Kenya, she holds a Doctorate in Law from Stanford Law School, a Masters in Law from Stanford Law School, a Masters in Law from Cornell Law School, a Bachelor of Law from Cornell Law School and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Planning and Public Policy from the University of Oregon. She is a lawyer by training with experience in corporate finance transactions structuring.

In 2010, she was honoured as a Fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Africa Leadership Initiative and in 2012, was named one of the Top 20 Women to Watch in Africa by the Times of London.

Career

Macharia is the founder of Africa Metro (formerly Scion Real), a pan-African investment company focused on urban development in Africa. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the firm offered transaction advice to the governments of Guinea, Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan in the field of public-private partnerships for urban housing and development.

Further, Scion Real raised funding commitments of more than Ksh 3B ($30 million) for private projects.

Scion Real was appointed to structure investor opportunities for Konza Technology City and also worked on the World Bank project identifying private sector investment for commuter rail stations under Nairobi Metro 2030.

Macharia is the Chairman of ADMI, a vibrant learn-and-work creative technology community that has trained over 5,000 students from some 30 different countries over the last decade. ADMI’s apprenticeship platform – the Talent Trove – provides top-tier creative technology talent to clients worldwide.

Laila is also the CEO of the Prodigio Project which applies virtual and augmented reality technologies to bring education, event and enterprise solutions to market.

Laila Macharia: Decorated Kenyan Lawyer Serving On The Boards Of ADMI, Centum And Absa
File image of ADMI Chairperson, Laila Macharia. |Photo| Courtesy|

She has wide expertise managing US$ portfolios and transactions in the United States and Africa. This includes a stint at the New York office of Clifford Chance as a corporate associate where, she coordinated a US$5 billion multi-currency bond financing program and supported a similar US$4 billion program issuing securities on the New York, Luxembourg, and Tokyo Stock Exchanges.

Macharia also managed an Africa-wide funding portfolio at the Global Fund for Women in Palo Alto, California.

Academia

Macharia taught business law to undergraduate and graduate students at the United States International University in Nairobi. She is also responsible for the creation of the Real Estate Executive Program at the Strathmore Business School in 2009. Periodically, she taught at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

She has authored several publications. Her academic inquiries focus on the sociology of law, with a particular interest in market, regulatory and constitutional reform. Her current research focuses on how formal law and policy is negotiated in real life and how legal culture evolves, especially as societies modernize.

Some of her publications include; Models of Election Commissions in Africa (International Foundation for Election Systems, 1995), PhD Dissertation: Informal Institutions and Telecommunications Reform in Kenya, Voice and Reflexivity in Essential Resources: Reforming the community Land Regime in Kenya in Governing Access to Essential Resources Columbia University Press, 2015.

The post Laila Macharia: Decorated Kenyan Lawyer Serving On The Boards Of ADMI, Centum And Absa appeared first on whownskenya.