Former KAM boss to chair Kenya Roads Board

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia with the new Chairperson of Kenya Roads Board Phylis Wakiaga after her inauguration. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Kenya Roads Board (KRB) has tapped the former Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) Chief Executive Phyllis Wakiaga to chair its board for the next three years.

Ms Wakiaga (pictured, left) takes over from Isuzu Motors East Africa Chief Executive Ms Rita Kavashe at the helm of the roads agency.

Ms Wakiaga left KAM in June this year after nine years to take up the role of a senior private sector development advisor at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. Making the announcement yesterday, Transport Cabinet Secretary (CS) James Macharia (pictured) lauded Ms Wakiaga's track record.

"I am glad that the baton going forward will now be given to a person who is an achiever. She brings a very rich profile and a lot of energy," said Mr Macharia at a press briefing in Nairobi.

He commended Ms Kavashe and the board for complementing the ministry's efforts in expanding the country's road network. The CS said he had overseen the expansion of the road network by up to 11,500km (kilometres) during this seven-year tenure.

"This means we have exceeded our 10,000km target. I hope the incoming administration will do more," said Mr Macharia.

The CS said KRB had grown its financial portfolio to over Sh100 billion from just Sh5 billion in 2000. Ms Kavashe lauded the CS for selecting "the right mix" of leaders to run the three agencies under his docket - KRB, Kenya Urban Roads Authority, and Kenya National Highways Authority.

"It (KRB) was one of the institutions I was proud to serve because we had a clear purpose. That is why we were able to achieve quite a lot," she added.

KRB Director General Rashid Mohamed wished the outgoing board chair well.

He pledged to work with Ms Wakiaga and the new Kenya Kwanza administration. "One of the major challenges we have had to grapple with is the issue of internal capacity, but that has been lessening over the years," said Mr Mohamed.

Ms Wakiaga said her experience in the private sector puts her in a good position to instill good governance in the public institution.

She promised to prioritise equity in infrastructure development with a special focus on rural areas, general road users and people living with disabilities.

"And apart from the local content agenda, the focus will also be on strengthening the Infrastructure Development Fund," added Ms Wakiaga.

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