President William Ruto has announced the much-awaited Cabinet Secretaries team. Some of the named individuals were expected to feature in the list, but some of them are also new to a lot of people.

One of them is Eliud Owalo, who will now be the CS for ICT, of course after vetting by parliament.

Eliud takes over from Joe Mucheru, who has been holding the ICT docket for the last seven or so years.

Mucheru is a career ICT expert and was picked from Google to come run the Ministry. He worked at Google, at one serving as the Country Manager for the search giant. Before that, he had a stint at Wananchi Group.

His successor, on the other hand, is more of an economist, strategist, and consultant. While his work may have made him cross paths with ICT-related matters, Mr. Owalo has not been explicitly limited to ICT issues in his career life.

Education

Mr. Owalo is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Candidate in Strategic Management, from the University of Nairobi.

He also holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree in Human Resources Management, from the University of Nairobi.

Prior to that, he acquired a Bachelor of Arts (BA) Hons. Degree in Economics and Business Studies, Kenyatta University.

He further serves as a Fellow, the Institute of Human Resource Management (Fl HRM).

He is also a Member, the Professional Trainers’ Association of Kenya (PTAK).

Prior to today’s appointment, the new ICT CS ran Eliud and Associates as a Managing Consultant.

His profile at his firm says that he is an economist, management consultant, and strategy expert.

It also appears that he is one of the few high-profile government workers who have entirely obtained their educational credentials in Kenya, just like President Ruto.

Previous works

The new CS is a former Director/Council Member of the Kenya School of Government (KSG).

His LinkedIn profile states: Eliud has 21 years of experience as an Economist, Management Consultant, and Strategy Expert with Core-Competency in Macro and Micro-Economics; Strategic Planning; Business Planning; Organizational Re-structuring; Job Evaluation and Pay Structure Architecture; Performance Management; Management of Strategic Change; Training Needs Assessment (T.N.A.); Organizational Design/Development; Executive Search, Selection and Placement (Recruitment); Human Resource Audit; Market Research/Surveys; and Feasibility Studies.

Big task at hand

The linked LinkedIn profile above states what he has been doing over the years, so there is no need to repeat that.

However, it is worth noting that he is more a decision-maker than a techie, and sometimes, leadership is all that is needed to run such a sensitive ministry.

He has a lot on his hand because the Ministry is one of the pillars that constitute the Big 4 Agenda that was explored extensively by his predecessor and the previous government.

Whether he will pick up from Mucheru’s footsteps is something we will have to wait and see. It is also possible that he will come up with his own strategies to make the ICT department as rewarding as possible for the people of Kenya.

READ MORE: Kenya’s Spirited Tech Scene Influenced Meg Whitman’s US Ambassador Job

Kenyans have also raised some concerns about some decisions that have been made by the government. The now suspended ICT Practitioners Bill is controversial, and we are yet to see any input from the government because, at the time of its revocation, the state was busy preparing for polls.

The Computer Misuse Bill is also controversial and has been faulted by many organizations and friends of the ICT industry.

Will be able to fill the gap that has been existing ever since the competent Bitange Ndemo left the Ministry many years ago? Only time will tell.

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Kenn Abuya is a friend of technology, with bias in enterprise and mobile tech. Share your thoughts, tips and hate mail at [email protected]

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