The government has confirmed Jane Pamela Odhiambo as the South Nyanza Sugar Company (Sony Sugar) managing director.
Agriculture Cabinet secretary Felix Koskei confirmed the appointment in a May 30 issue of the Kenya Gazette following recommendations from the sugar miller’s board.
Ms Odhiambo takes helm of Sony Sugar after serving in an acting capacity since August last year when Mr Paul Odola’s tenure expired.
A veteran marketing and business development expert, Ms Odhiambo becomes the first woman to sit at the management helm of a government-owned sugar miller.
“The appointment celebrates the intellectual acumen of all women and I will be sparing no energy to ensure that Sony Sugar delivers against its mandate,” said Ms Odhiambo adding that the firm would in coming days launch a robust growth plan.
She takes over at a time the industry is implementing key reforms including privatisation of the five government-owned millers – Sony, Chemelil, Nzoia, Muhoroni and Miwani – that posted a collective loss of Sh6.1 billion in the year to June.
Kenya was in February granted a one-year extension of safeguards that limit sugar imports from Comesa to allow the country improve competitiveness of the sector.
Critics have blamed high cost of production for the woes facing Kenya’s sugar industry. The poorly funded government-owned factories have aging machinery. The roads in most sugarcane growing areas are also in bad shape.
Currently pursuing a PhD in Global Business Management, Ms Odhiambo had been Sony Sugar’s head of marketing and business development and is credited with advancing the Sony Sugar brand.