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Co-op CEO feted for boost to cooperative movement, banking

Gideon Muriuki has received an honorary doctorate of humane letters. [Courtesy]

Cooperative Bank of Kenya Chief Executive Gideon Muriuki has received an honorary doctorate of humane letters for his contribution to the banking sector and the cooperative movement

The award, given last Friday by the Cooperative University of Kenya, marked the second honorary doctorate for Muriuki, who in 2011 was given doctor of philosophy (PhD) in business leadership by Kabarak University.

Cooperative University said the degree was to recognise Muriuki for his contribution to Kenya’s cooperative movement.

“Here, then, is a transformational leader who turned around the Co-operative Bank, which is predominantly owned by the cooperative movement, and espouses the aspiration of vibrant sustainable cooperatives in Kenya,” said the university.

He was also recognised for supporting the recovery of coffee societies that had been hit by the 1990s global price collapse.

Muriuki, who was last year named CEO of the year in the 2021 African Banking Awards, moved Co-op from a Sh2.3 billion loss-making entity in 2001 to become the third-largest lender in Kenya.

He has in the process created value for cooperatives who through Co-op Holdings Co-operative Society Ltd own 64.56 per cent stake in the lender.

The cooperatives pocketed Sh3.79 billion last year from the Sh1 per share dividend payout issued by the lender in April. “I take the award as a deep reflective moment it just for me but also for my family and the Co-op Bank who have all supported, encouraged and given me the opportunity to make my humble contribution to the Kenyan nation, said Muriuki.

Under Muriuki, Co-op Bank has funded the training of cooperative leaders, with over 6,000 members attending management courses.