Will Kenyan sports find their redeemer in CS Amina Mohamed?

By Clinton Nyabuto: Friday, March 1st 2019 at 17:58 GMT +3 | Sports
Former Education CS Amina Mohamed during the release of Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) 2018 in Nairobi on Friday, December 21, 2018. [David Njaaga,Standard]

Just 399 days ago when she was named Education cabinet secretary, Ambassador Amina Mohamed walked into doubts of her fitting in the shoes of her predecessor, the energetic Dr Fred Matiang'i.

Now, she takes the button from sacked Rashid Achesa as Sports, Culture and Heritage CS. Amina, a career lawyer, still faces the same doubts.

The 57 year-old has enjoyed an illustrious career in and without the Kenyan borders. Her shot to the international limelight was when she was appointed as Kenya’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the diplomatic mission at Geneva in 2000.

She held the position for six years.

Her diplomacy journey then made a year-long stint as the Director for Europe and Commonwealth Affair. During this period, she doubled as the director of Diaspora Affairs and chairperson of the Task Force Sub-Committee on strengthening and restructuring of the Department of Foreign Trade and Economic Affairs.

In 2008, she was appointed by the then ruling President Mwai Kibaki, to be the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs.

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On April 23, 2013 she was appointed Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

A position she blossomed in and even became the first Kenyan chairperson of African Union Commission (AUC).

Exit foreign affairs and enter Education. Amina was expected to oversee the ongoing curriculum changes.

Many argued the manner in which the new 2-6-3-3 Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) was handled, was her undoing at the Education docket.

What awaits?

As she now rows the Sports, Culture and Heritage ministry, a lot is expected from her in ‘fixing’ an office that had little to show under Rashid Achesa’s regime.

The 57 year-old has enjoyed an illustrious career in and without the Kenyan borders. [David Njaaga,Standard]

Amina’s new In-tray will be filled by tens of pledges to sports teams. She inherits the burden of poor stadia and unmet promises.

Kenya’s national football team Harambee Stars will test her mettle.

The team is preparing for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt mid this year. This is as Stars head coach Sebastian Migne has had salary issues and has occasionally threatened to ditch the team.

The Frenchman is reportedly owed months of salary as Ministry for Sports and Football Kenya Federation (FKF) fail to honour the promises.

Ambassador Amina Mohammed is now expected to deal with the matter exclusively as the team prepares to feature in a competition they last featured in 2004.

The team still has a Sh50 million promise from Deputy President William Ruto for qualifying the competition that has not been met. This will now be Amina’s headache as it was recently transferred to her ministry.

Kenya being the host of the 2020 IAAF World U20 Championships, her Ministry needs to prepare adequately for the success of the competition, a process she now will oversee.

Will her excellent leadership and negotiation skills accrued from her days in diplomacy fix the sorry state of sports in Kenya? Is she the messiah the sporting docket has been waiting for? Only time will tell.