President William Ruto engages Equity Group CEO Dr. James Mwangi at a past forum. The Equity CEO is among those appointed to the steering committee on drought response.
President William Ruto engages Equity Group CEO Dr. James Mwangi at a past forum. The Equity CEO is among those appointed to the steering committee on drought response.

In the latest Kenya Gazette, President William Ruto has appointed several chief executives of blue-chip Kenyan firms to a new national steering committee on drought response.

The committee, made up of private sector luminaries, is expected to help marshal additional resources to support the government’s response to the drought ravaging parts of the country. Millions of Kenyans continue to be at risk of starvation as low rainfall hits crop harvests and livestock.

Ruto appointed Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa as chair of the committee. Other members include Equity Bank CEO Dr. James Mwangi, EABL CEO Jane Karuku, KCB Group CEO Paul Russo, Family Bank CEO Rebecca Mbithi and BAT CEO Crispin Acholla.

Others are African Banking Corporation (ABC) CEO Shamaz Shavani, and Kenya R*******s Secretary General Adan Mohammed. The high-powered steering committee will serve for a period of 12 months effective November 20, 2022.

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The notice tasked private sector stakeholders with contributing to different facets of the drought response, stating: “Whereas it has become necessary to institutionalize the framework for mobilization of additional resources to address the worsening drought impact, with key interventions being food, water, livestock, health, wildlife, energy, educatíon, security, forestry, agriculture…”

Earlier in November, Ruto had hinted at partnering with corporates to raise more cash when he disclosed that the government and development partners had so far raised Ksh25 billion for the drought response.

“The resources that have been put together by our development partners so far has raised Ksh20 billion and government of Kenya has committed  Ksh4.5 billion,” he said.

“Next week with our development partners again, Kenyans of goodwill and corporates, we are coming together hopefully to raise another Sh10 billion to get food for Kenyans, livestock and our wildlife.”

He further stated that Ksh200 million had been allocated to provide water and food to the wildlife in national parks and game reserves.

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