Anne Waiguru, the Governor of Kirinyaga, has been honoured as the Political Trailblazer of the Year, marking a significant milestone in her distinguished career.

The accolade was bestowed upon her during the East African Women of Excellence Awards gala dinner, held on Friday evening at a prominent Nairobi hotel.

Waiguru's recognition as a “woman of many firsts” was a highlight of the event, organised by BH Media Agency.

She emerged victorious among seven esteemed nominees in the political category, which included Governors Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay) and Wavinya Ndeti (Machakos), and MPs Neisula Lesuuda, Gladys Boss, Esther Passaris, and Beatrice Elachi.

Waiguru was celebrated for her outstanding contributions to the political arena, her efforts in driving change across the nation, and her commitment to inspiring and empowering women to pursue leadership roles.

In her acceptance speech, she expressed gratitude towards the organisers and the Kenyan populace for their support, describing the honour as an “invitation for her to continue supporting, uplifting and empowering women in every corner of the globe.”

“Let me emphasize to everyone present here that each of us holds a responsibility. Whether big or small, in our own little spaces, our contributions matter in addressing the challenges we face," Waiguru stated.

"It is through collective effort and individual commitment that we can truly make a difference. Let us not underestimate the power of our actions and let us stand together in pursuit of progress and equality."

The Governor, also serving as the Chair of the Council of Governors (COG), highlighted the persistent challenges women face, particularly in reproductive health.

She called for urgent actions following the recent loss of media personality Njambi Koikai, advocating for enhanced healthcare policies and increased funding for women’s health initiatives.

“This includes advocating for better healthcare policies, increasing funding for women's health initiatives, and ensuring that women have the necessary support and resources to make informed decisions about their bodies,” she added.

The event also saw Cabinet Secretary for Trade and Investment Rebecca Miano receive the Public Service Leader of the Year award, recognizing her exemplary public administration work.

She was selected from a distinguished list of nominees including Chief Justice Martha Koome, Auditor General Nancy Gathungu, CS Soipan Tuya, Susan Nakhumicha, National Security Advisor Monica Juma, and Salaries and Remuneration Commission Chairperson Lynn Mengich.

Other notable awards included Njeri Njomo as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Year, Pastor Esther Obasi-Ike receiving the Woman of Impact award, and Sarah Kabu honoured as Entrepreneur of the Year.

Rev. Justus Mugambi, Deputy Bishop of Christ Is the Answer Ministries (CITAM), emphasized the importance of the awards, stating they aim to honour women in corporate and business sectors across East Africa who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, innovation, and impact.

“We will continue to support, recognize and empower women so that they can increasingly take up leadership roles and other activities that will help create a better world,” Rev. Mugambi asserted.

Cabinet Secretary for Gender, Culture, the Arts and Heritage, Aisha Jumwa, the event’s Chief Guest, stressed the government's commitment to dismantling gender barriers and promoting inclusivity.

“We are committed to breaking down gender barriers, challenge stereotypes, and encourage a more inclusive society where women have equal opportunities and representation,” Jumwa stated.

The East African Women of Excellence Awards stand as a testament to the remarkable achievements of women leaders in the region.

They serve as an inspiration for future generations, promoting a future where women's contributions are celebrated and their leadership continues to flourish.