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HomebioElma Makini: Kenyan Economist Making Waves in Canada City

Elma Makini: Kenyan Economist Making Waves in Canada City

Elma Makini is a deals associate at PwC Canada. She is also a member of the M&A Advisory team at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada.

She graduated from the UBC in 2023 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Environmental Sustainability. She also holds a Master of Management in Commerce from UBC Sauder School of Business.

University of British Columbia (UBC)

Growing up in Kenya, Elma had aspirations to study abroad, and after her high school education, she began to aggressively apply to various universities.

File image of economist Elma Makini. |Courtesy| Elma Makini|
File image of economist Elma Makini. |Courtesy| Elma Makini|

Elma was drawn to UBC after a representative of the university visited her former school. Her sister had also attended the prestigious institution and therefore, she was knowledgeable about UBC.

“I wanted to study in Canada because it’s welcoming to international students, which made it my top destination. I was admitted to the top universities, but I chose to enroll at UBC because of its dedication to environmental sustainability, and its location,” Elma said during an interview with the institution.

She is adventurous by nature, this influenced her decision to attend UBC’s Vancouver campus.

“Vancouver is breathtaking, and I was set on experiencing the versatility it offers,” she says.

Settling in Canada

Elma had an easy time settling in Canada. She had her sister and quickly connected with the other students which made her feel more secure.

“My Resident Advisor also made me feel welcomed, and I knew I could rely on her too,” she adds.


Elma Makini studied the Economics and Master of Management dual degree with the aim of making a contribution to financial institutions and improve living standards in developing countries.

“The BA in Economics is a good foundation. I also chose the Masters of Management to learn the soft skills that will build my effectiveness in being the voice that represents marginalized people, while also giving me technical and leadership skills.

“I hope that it helps me improve my career prospects and implement large-scale change,” she says.

File image of economist Elma Makini. |Courtesy| Elma Makini|
File image of economist Elma Makini. |Courtesy| Elma Makini|

Before pursuing Economics, Elma Makini had intended to study Fine Arts. She, however, maintains touch with her creative side through modelling and collaborations with professionals in fashion.

“I took part in the African Fashion and Arts Movement (AFAM) and I got to do what I love while immersing myself in my culture. I received an award for the best female model in 2020, which was truly humbling. Additionally, I find visual arts is a powerful medium to de-stress and free my mind. I often draw and paint to keep my mental health in check, and help me be more productive in my academic coursework.

At UBC Elma Makini co-founded a new club on campus named Young Black Professionals – a society that empowers Black students at UBC by improving careers, education, and access to education – and is developing the skills to create large-scale economic change in developing nations.

Professional Career

Elma has served and been impactful in various roles in different companies. She served as a Client Partnerships & Strategy Associate at SME Strategy Consulting in 2022.

She was a Researcher for the City of Vancouver from january to August 2023. In September that year, she joined PwC Canada as an associate, a role she holds to date.

File image of economist Elma Makini. |Courtesy| Elma Makini|
File image of economist Elma Makini. |Courtesy| Elma Makini|