UK Ambassador Jane Marriot has appointed Health CS Mutahi Kagwe’s wife Anne Mutahi to the Innovation and Research Challenge Board alongside nine other individuals.
Communications Manager at the British High Commission in Nairobi, Janet Sudi disclosed that the appointments were made on the evening of Monday, August 17.
Marriot launched the UK Innovation Cluster and an advisory Board on research and innovation aimed at bringing together expertise and experience to build more ambitious, mutually beneficial innovation partnerships between Kenya and the UK.
“I am very excited that we are enriching our UK-Kenya innovation partnership with the launch of the Challenge Board and Innovation cluster.”
“Together, we will use scientific research and tech entrepreneurship to find innovative solutions to shared challenges: from improved urban mobility, to digital platforms connecting small businesses and applicable research collaborations, whilst creating many highly-skilled and good quality Kenyan jobs,” stated the Ambassador during the launch.
The board was tasked with challenging and informing the British High Commission on strategic priorities, engagement and partnerships in Kenya across Science, Tech and Innovation.
The Board brought together Kenyan and UK technocrats from across government and private sector.
Other people appointed to the board include University of Nairobi (UoN) Professor Bitange Ndemo, the former PS for ICT, Gina Din Kariuki, an award-winning Public Relations expert and CS Mutahi Kagwe’s wife, Anne Mutahi, who is also a President Uhuru Kenyatta’s SME advisor.
Others include Bindi Karia (UK Tech mobiliser), Ben Brabyn (UK Fintech entrepreneur), Professor Kevin Marsh (Oxford University), Professor Jacqueline McGlade (Former Chief Scientist at UNEP), Salome Gichu, (CEO of Kenya National Innovation Agency), Professor Washington Ochieng (Kenyan scientist in the UK) and Lord Victor Adebowale (Chair of Social Enterprise UK).
Currently, Anne, the daughter of the late prominent Cabinet Minister, John Michuki, serves as a special advisor to President Uhuru Kenyatta on matters concerning Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Wanjiku’s career spans over a decade in various notable firms in the financial sector, holding top positions.
In past years, she served as the chairperson for the Women Enterprise Fund, Standard Chartered Bank Kenya and Association of Micro Finance Institutions, as well as Chief Executive Officer at Jitegemee Trust Limited.
Her position as Vice-Chairperson SME unit at Citibank Kenya for 6 years, from July 1997 to October 2003 enabled her to launch her company, Soko Letu Limited, that focuses on creating and overseeing SME retail outlets.