Rebecca Miano, the CEO of Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), will be the face of technocrats in President William Ruto’s unveiled first Cabinet dominated by politicians.
On Friday afternoon, she will appear before MPs, regarding her being nominated as Cabinet secretary for the East African Community.
KenGen Boss Tough Task in Boosting Kenya’s EAC Fortunes as Cabinet Secretary
President Ruto nominated only two technocrats — Former Central Bank governor Njuguna Ndung’u and Ms. Miano to the Cabinet.
It is expected of Ms. Miano to infuse the cabinet's corporate governance, reflecting a trend in Western nations where industry leaders take up public positions with less pay.
In government, Ms. Miano's job is cut out as Kenya seeks to increase its economic stake in East Africa.
Exports from Kenya to East African countries have shrunk over the past decade despite expectations that Kenyan entrepreneurs would experience a boom under the regional trading block which took effect in 2010.
Official data shows that Kenyan exports share that went to Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania shrunk to 19.9 percent.
In the same period a decade ago, the share stood at 22.5 percent as Kenyan exports to other countries increased faster than what it sold to the neighboring countries.
This emerged in a period when a standard market protocol was in place and touted to promote commerce between the East African Community member states.
Experts say in recent years, Uganda and Tanzania have boosted their industrial base, cutting their appetite for Kenya-made goods.
It is expected of Ms. Miano to reverse the trend.
At KenGen, she has managed to shepherd a profitable corporation in contrast to its main customer — Kenya Power — which struggled with losses recently.
She is credited with leading KenGen to a continental powerhouse in generating renewable power.
Her focus has been to enhance power reliability with renewable energy in the country and grow KenGen’s footprint in geothermal development across Africa.
KenGen has increasingly diversified its revenue streams from electricity sales to Kenya Power to drilling services for companies across the region.
Also, she has overseen KenGen’s growth in net profit from Sh9 billion in the year 2017 to Sh18 billion in the year 2020 but tumbled in 2021 to Sh1.19 billion on account of increased tax liability.
She will take over from Betty Maina, if appointed Cabinet secretary, who had been serving in the position in an acting capacity following Adan Mohamed's resignation.
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