East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism Cabinet secretary nominee Phyllis Kandie takes over an expanded docket expected to deepen Kenya’s ties with her neighbours while ensuring that the country achieves its aim of doubling annual tourist numbers.
The 48-year-old mother of two, who is married to Ambassador Julius Kandie, will also take charge of commerce affairs and negotiate the country’s trade agreements with various partners around the globe.
An investment banker by profession, she has an economics degree from St Mary’s University in Canada, and an MBA in finance from Middlesex University, UK.
She takes over from her role as Director at Crescent Standard Investment Bank. She has previously worked as a consultant for the World Bank, European Union and the SME sector.
The government has earmarked tourism as one of the key sectors expected to help it achieve its goal of creating five million jobs, and Ms Kandie will be expected to widen and increase funding to the Kenya tourism board as an avenue to market the country to the world.
EAC integration, as the bloc moves towards fiscal and political union, will be high on her agenda at a time when the region is experiencing a hydrocarbon boom and impressive economic growth.
She will be instrumental in handling trade negotiations with other regional partners as well in the Comesa region, especially in the area of customs duty.