Politics and policy
Adan Mohamed tapped to head industrialisation docket
Posted Thursday, April 25 2013 at 21:21
Adan Mohamed, 50, has met his dream of serving in the public service with his appointment as Cabinet secretary to drive Kenya’s industrialisation agenda.
The Harvard-trained Mr Mohamed last year expressed his intention to quit the bank after he applied for the position of commissioner-general of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
The head of the country’s tax agency, Mr Michael Waweru, was retiring. Mr Mohamed was beaten to the job by John Njiraini.
The career banker, who rose from the harsh semi-arid Mandera to the corner office of then Kenya’s biggest bank at 40 years, is now in the front rank to position the country as the industrial hub of the Eastern Africa region.
President Kenyatta is keen to revamp the manufacturing sector, the largest employer and foreign exchange earner after agriculture, whose contribution to the economy has been declining in recent years leaving in its wake mass unemployment and large trade deficits.
The manufacturing sector’s contribution to the economy has stagnated at 10 per cent in the past six years even as the services sector — which employs relatively fewer people — continued on a steady growth path.
Aside from creating more jobs and earning foreign exchange, the manufacturing sector is critical to reversing Kenya’s negative trade balance that saw value of imports exceed exports by Sh804 billion in 2011.
Mr Mohamed, a father of five, will face a host of challenges including poor infrastructure, regulatory bottlenecks and lack of skills necessary in driving an industrial revolution.
Mr Mohamed was in November promoted to the position of Chief Administrative Officer with responsibilities for 10 countries in Africa after serving as Barclays Kenya CEO for 10 years.