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Profiles

The rise and rise of Betty Maina

Betty Maina
Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

When President Uhuru Kenyatta elevated Environment Principal Secretary (PS) Betty Chemutai Maina to head the Ministry of Trade and Industrialisation as a Cabinet Secretary, it was just latest cap to her chequered career.

The new changes will see her take over the key docket from Peter Munya, who has relieved Mwangi Kiunjuri of his duties at the Agriculture Ministry.

But as the likes of Mr Kiunjuri and former Treasury CS Henry Rotich get a taste of life in the cold, Ms Maina is welcoming the warm embrace of higher power with her entry to the top hierarchy of public service.

Before her appointment as PS in the State Department of East African Affairs in late 2015, she had already made a name for herself in the corporate world. In her capacity as PS, she also worked at the Environment and Trade and Industrialisation ministries.

Right before her stint in civil service, she was plucked from the private sector where she had served at the helm of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) for 11 years.

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At the time, then KAM chairman Pradeep Paunrana said they had seen it fit not to extend Ms Maina’s term.

“Betty has served the organisation well and the industry will continue to benefit from her wealth of knowledge as she continues to work with the organisation in a consultancy capacity,” Mr Paunrana said.

Ms Maina also worked as a member of the United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) high-level Panel on Post 2015 Development Agenda.

Prior to that, she worked as a member of the Panel, Danish Prime Ministers Africa Commission between 2008 and 2009.

Under this role, she served among other Eminent African personalities on the Danish Prime Minister’s Africa Commission, a Danish Platform for effective development cooperation with Africa.

Between 1997 and 2003, she served as the chief executive of think-tank Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).

In her newly appointed role, Ms Maina will be expected to lead the Ministry of Trade and Industrialisation in promoting enterprise development in the country.

Her other role will entail the promotion of private sector development policies and strategies, a task her stint in the corporate world has prepared her well for.

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