William Ruto and Kennedy Odede Featured on 2024 TIME100 Most Influential List

April 18, 2024

Yesterday, TIME unveiled its 2024 TIME100, the annual list featuring the 100 most influential people worldwide, with Kenya’s President William Ruto earning a spot among the most influential leaders.

TIME highlighted Ruto’s role as a significant advocate for Africa’s climate ambitions, citing his hosting of a summit in Nairobi last September, which attracted leaders from across the globe.

The summit concluded with African countries unanimously agreeing to rapidly expand renewable energy over the next decade, supported by $23 billion in pledges to advance the continent’s climate objectives.

Ruto’s advocacy for lenders to alleviate the debt burden faced by certain African nations, thereby enabling investment in climate solutions, has also garnered global attention.

“But Ruto’s new prominence on the international stage comes amid significant challenges in Kenya, including last summer’s protests against the rising cost of living and a gas-tax increase Ruto spearheaded, as well as this January’s demonstrations against allegations of judicial interference. To continue to make progress abroad, Ruto will need to manage challenges at home too,” wrote TIME senior correspondent Justin Worland.

Kennedy Odede Makes 2024 TIME100 Most Influential List

Ruto was named alongside another Kenyan, Kennedy Odede, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO).

Odede, a community leader who grew up in the slum of Kibera in Nairobi, made the TIME100’s list of pioneers for his contributions through SHOFCO. The grassroots organization supports and empowers millions of residents in slum settlements across the country.

TIME notes;

“Kennedy is living proof that individuals can lead themselves, and their communities, out of poverty. His background—a refugee growing up with no formal schooling in Kibera, one of the largest slums in Kenya—gives him a deep understanding of his community and others like it. And his work has earned him the trust and admiration of all those around him. Kennedy finds ingenious solutions: schools for the most vulnerable girls, training programs for men to combat domestic violence, safe houses for survivors, community libraries, employment programs, innovative clean-water kiosks, a community cooperative bank. There is no challenge he will not take on. He is an unstoppable force for justice. This dream of hope that started more than 20 years ago in his home in Kibera has now reached more than 3 million Kenyans and is rapidly becoming a blueprint that will one day, hopefully, reach the world—a movement for change led by the people themselves.”

Check Out the FULL 2024 TIME100 List Here.

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