Unicaf, led by Founder and CEO, Dr Nicos Nicolaou, proudly presented a Unicaf University Honorary Doctorate to Dr Manu Chandaria, OBE, CBS, EBS, in recognition of his exceptional humanitarian work and significant contributions to society. The special guest speaker at the event was Martha Odundo, Deputy Director of Education from the Ministry of Education. The prestigious event took place on 2nd June, 2023, in the presence of esteemed guests and representatives from the Kenyan media.
Born in Nairobi in 1929, Dr Manu Chandaria has established an unparalleled philanthropic legacy that originated in the 1950s when he created a foundation to uplift the local community, becoming the cornerstone of the family business. As the conglomerate expanded, millions of individuals benefited from the Chandaria Foundation‘s initiatives in education, healthcare, poverty relief, and environmental care.
Dr Chandaria has played instrumental roles in various capacities, including serving as the founding Chairman of the East African Business Council and the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, representing over two hundred sectors and organisations. He is also the Patron in Africa for the Global Peace Foundation and has contributed his expertise to numerous government boards and committees, including his chairmanship of the Street Families Rehabilitation Trust Fund.
In recognition of his community work and promotion of Kenyan economic interests, Dr Chandaria was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by the late Queen Elizabeth II in 2003. Former President of the Republic of Kenya, His Excellency Hon. Mwai Kibaki, honoured him with the Elder of the Burning Spear (EBS) for his outstanding service to the nation in the same year. His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta further bestowed upon him the First Class: Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear (CBS) in 2015. Dr. Chandaria was one of the five distinguished individuals who received this year’s Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. In 2003, the Prime Minister of India, Atal Behari Bajpai, awarded him the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas Sanman, an honour bestowed annually on people of Indian origin residing outside India for their contributions to the welfare of their adopted countries.
At the age of 94, Dr Chandaria remains dedicated to transforming lives and making a positive impact by inspiring successful African businesspeople to pursue excellence and social responsibility. He believes that business is merely a means to an end and emphasises the importance of improving the lives of those around us. Dr Chandaria stated, “Profit is not the answer; people around you must have improved lives. We need to put emphasis on values and make it a subject on its own in our primary education, so that our students learn from the beginning how they will live their lives.“
Unicaf, reflecting Dr Chandaria’s commitment to societal change, operates the Unicaf Scholarship Programme, which aims to empower financially disadvantaged Africans by providing them with affordable access to high-quality international higher education through flexible online delivery.
To date, over $100 million worth of scholarships have been awarded to more than 60,000 students across 190 countries in Africa and worldwide, enabling them to pursue Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees with Unicaf’s esteemed collaborators: multi-campus Unicaf University in Africa, the University of East London, Liverpool John Moores University, and the University of Suffolk in the UK.