Ashish J. Thakkar Returns World Entrepreneurship Forum Award Over Kagame Snub

Ashish Thakkar

VENTURES AFRICA – Serial entrepreneur and founder of the Mara Group, Ashish J. Thakkar has threathened to disassociated himself from the World Entrepreneurship Forum over the retraction of an award meant for Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Established in 2008, the World Entrepreneurship Forum, a worldwide think-tank devoted to entrepreneur, creator of wealth and social justice, is a network of global leaders, who are selected for their achievements and exemplary commitment to the society.

Thakkar, who himself received the World Entrepreneurship Forum’s Young Entrepreneur of the World award last year, believes the retraction, which he says is “due to political reasons”, is highly disappointing.

“Earlier this year, I was delighted to learn that the decision had indeed been taken to award HE [His Excellency] President Kagame.

“However, I have since found out that the award has been redacted, and this is largely due to political reasons. Needless to say, this decision has been disappointing and, personally, quite upsetting for me,” Mr Thakkar said in a letter to the Forum.

On receiving his award last October, Thakkar subsequently nominated Rwanda’s popular president, Paul Kagame, for the award of “Policy Maker” for the year 2014, following the successful turnaround of war-torn Rwanda into an economic pacesetter, with an unprecedented year-on-year growth rate, which exceeded 7 percent in the last half-decade.

The young Uganda-born billionaire, who also grew up in Rwanda, was delighted by the news that Mr Kagame had been selected for the award, only for his excitement to be cut short by the retraction.

“My view is that whatever the prevailing political circumstances, the World Entrepreneurship Forum should not to be dissuaded from acknowledging the achievements of this remarkable leader” Thakkar added.

The serial entrepreneur is now pushing for a total disassociation from the Forum, stating that he will return his award, as keeping it will further betray his “fellow Rwandans and Africans.”

“It is for this reason that I feel I have no option but to return the award to you,” Mr Thakkar wrote rounding off his letter.