NAIROBI, September 10 – President Mwai Kibaki on Wednesday appointed new members to the expanded National Economic and Social Council (NSEC).,
Among those appointed to the new-look NSEC for a period of three years are Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Deputy Prime Ministers Uhuru Kenyatta and Musalia Mudavadi and several Cabinet Ministers.
“The NESC is a high level advisory body to the Government of Kenya comprised of persons with diverse experiences, knowledge and skills from Industry, Academia, Civil Society and Government. The members serve on honorary appointment and meet at least four times a year,” a statement from the President’s press service said.
Other appointees to the board include the ministers of Agriculture, Finance, Environment and Mineral Resources, Energy, Information and Communication, Roads, Transport, Industrialization, Nairobi Metropolitan Development, Planning and National Development and Vision 2030.
Others include Higher Education, Science and Technology, Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs, Public Health and Sanitation and the Attorney General.
The President has also named former Nairobi Stock Exchange chairman Jimnah Mbaru and investment banker Ayisi Makatiani to serve on the council.
The appointees also include Lutaf R. Kassam (Chief Executive Officer IPS), Michael Chege (Professor of Economics and Political Science), Edward Akong’o Oyugi (Professor of Psychology), Salma Mazrui (Marketing Specialist) and Wilfred Murungi (Eng) (Industrialist).
Others are Raphael G. Mwai (Institutional Development Expert), Jacqueline Wasonga Kitulu (Dr) Medical (Practitioner), Baldip S. Rihal (Urban Development Consultant), Samwel Muga K’Olale (Dr.) (Lecturer in Philosophy), Everett Maraka Standa (Prof) (Commission Secretary/Chief Executive Officer), Michael Albert Allen Harries (Farmer), Shaukat Ali Abdulrazak (Prof.)(Executive Secretary National Council for Science and Technology) and Kanyenje K. Gakombe (Dr.) (Chief Executive of Metropolitan Hospital Ltd.).
International experts who will sit on the council are Lee Yee Cheong (Dato) (Engineer from Malaysia), Dr Chung Kunmo (Energy Expert from South Korea), Hiroyuki Hino (Professor of Economics from Japan) and Dr Victor Koh (Management Consultant from Singapore).
The National Economic and Social Council’s primary mandate is to advise the Government on coordinated policies aimed at promoting economic growth, social equity and employment creation, and at reducing poverty and inequality.
The Head of the Public Service Francis K. Muthaura, the Governor, Central Bank of Kenya professor Njuguna Ndung’u and the Attorney General are also members of the NSEC. The Secretariat of the Council is headed by Julius Monzi Muia.
“The National Economic and Social Council plays a strategic role in facilitating fostering policy dialogue on social and economic issues in the country. For this reason, it enjoys special links with a range of stakeholders that include among others line ministries, Development Partners, the Private Sector, Media Research Institutions, professional groups, and indeed, the general public,” the statement said.
In carrying out its mandate, NESC appraises Government policies for their effectiveness in achieving economic and social transformation; provides a forum for partnership and dialogue for engaging diverse range of stakeholders, especially private and social sector players, for their input into policy recommendations; and mobilizes knowledge and technical resources from relevant knowledge networks, including research and education institutions.
“Since its first meeting in January 2005, the Council has advised Government on a number of policy measures aimed at accelerating the pace of national development, with its flagship being the conceptualization, development and finalization of the Kenya Vision 2030 the embodiment of the long-term aspirations of the nation.”
The functions of NESC are to create a forum in which the Government, Private Sector and labour unions can discuss and identify policy issues and recommend to the government implementation of such policies. It also gathers, analyses and compiles information on economic development and trends and submits such information to the Cabinet with appropriate recommendations.
In addition, it appraises the various programs and activities of the Government, including the investment programmes for economic development, for the purpose of determining the extent to which such programmes and activities contribute to the achievement of Government policy objectives.
The council develops and recommends to the Cabinet coordinated policies that will promote social equity, economic growth, create employment and reduce poverty and inequality. It gives its opinion, suggestions and recommendations on any matter or question on which it may be consulted by the Government, the Private Sector or the Civil Society.
Its mandate includes improving the targeting of strategic objectives with a focus on the most critical social and economic needs especially in areas that have direct impact on strengthening the potential of the private sector to create employment opportunities and those that address poverty reduction; utilize the private sector and the civil society capacities and synergy through collaboration, engagement and networking in order to promote efficiency and effectiveness of economic planning process.
“President Mwai Kibaki is Chairman of the council that he established in his first term in office, as a vehicle for moving Kenya into the ranks of emerging and fast-developing countries within the shortest time possible.”