Wakiuru Wamwara, Ph.D., professor of marketing at Wright State University, traveled to Washington, D.C., at the invitation of the Embassy of the Republic Kenya in the United States to present “Doing Business in Kenya: Opportunities and Challenges,” a book she co-authored with John E. Spillan and Charles M. Onchoke.
“There is only one other book on doing business in Kenya. We wanted to provide a comprehensive analysis of the business environment in Kenya,” said Wamwara.
The book takes a deep dive into a success story in African business development and provides a multi-layered perspective on the realities of doing business in Kenya.
It offers detailed information about the economic, social, technological and cultural dimensions of Kenyan society and gives the reader a greater understanding of the major issues affecting business development. It also provides actionable recommendations that clarify the possible paths to starting and developing a business venture in Kenya.
During her visit, Wamwara met the Kenyan ambassador, His Excellency Hon. Lazarus Amayo, and presented him with a copy of the book. She also met with several embassy officials, the commercial attaché and the immigration attaché.
“We were very excited to receive the invitation from the Kenyan Embassy to visit the Chancery in D.C. and to present our work at the One Voice Diaspora Consortium Investor Expo in D.C.,” said Wamwara. “At the consortium, I participated in two panels, a business and SME’s panel and a social economic panel. I also promoted our book and Wright State University.”
Wamwara earned her bachelor’s degree in computer science from LeMoyne Owen College, her Master of Business Administration from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University and her Ph.D. in business administration from the Fogelman College of Business and Economics at the University of Memphis.
Her research interests include international marketing, international business, cross-cultural consumer behavior and immigrant acculturation. She has been published in numerous journals, including the Journal of Business Research, the Journal of Consumer Behaviour and the Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, among others.
Prior to working in academia, Wamwara worked for the Kenyan government, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. She also served as treasurer of the Kenya Studies and Scholars Association (KESSA) and is a member of the board of directors of the Kenya USA Diaspora Sacco.
Her many achievements include receiving a Carnegie Africa Diaspora Fellowship in 2017 and serving as a Fulbright African region specialist from 2019 to 2022.
At Wright State, she was named the 2022–23 Frederick A. White Distinguished Professor of Service and received the 2019 Wright State International Education Award.
She also served as faculty advisor for the Wright State student chapter of the American Marketing Association, supporting the club as it achieved significant national awards, such as Top 5 Small Chapter of the Year (2017–2018 and 2019–2020), Exemplary Collegiate Chapter Performance for fundraising and for chapter planning (2019), Exemplary Collegiate Chapter Performance – Chapter Planning (2016) and Exemplary Collegiate Chapter Performance – Communications (2015).