Kenyan politician Betty Maina is presently serving as the country’s cabinet secretary for trade, industrialization, and enterprise development.
She worked for the United Nations, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, and the Department of Industrialization, Trade, and Enterprise Development as Principal Secretary before joining the cabinet in 2020.
Hon. Betty C. Maina, CBS, the cabinet secretary, provides a breadth of professional expertise and experience accumulated over two decades of involvement with elite public and private sector organizations.
Her ability to create and carry out strategic business plans and gather resources for their implementation, along with her more than 27 years of experience in organizational leadership and development, put her in a unique position to successfully oversee Kenya’s coordination of industrialization, trade, and enterprise development.
Hon. Maina has held the position of Principal Secretary at the State Department of East African Affairs, the State Department of Industrialization, and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. She also held the position of Chief Executive of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers for 11 years, from June 2004 to July 2015. During her tenure, the association doubled in size, and in addition, she opened seven satellite offices to augment the services provided at the national office. During her ten years as president, Ms. Maina oversaw the association’s revenue increase from Kshs 24 million to Kshs 400 million annually. She was also responsible for the strategic plan’s successful implementation, resource mobilization, and fundraising.
Along with her expertise in these areas, Hon. Maina also has a strong interest in trade policy, regional integration, business and society, sustainable development, integrated development, education, corporate sustainability, government relations, and advocacy. After completing her undergraduate studies in land economics at the University of Nairobi in 1988, she went on to earn a Master of Science degree in development administration and planning from the University College of London in 1998.
She has also completed short courses in many important subjects, including the role of public policy in the development of the private sector (Strathmore University College), gender and development planning (University College of London), developing anti-corruption strategies (World Bank, Washington), and budgeting and financial management (Harvard University), to mention a few.
The cornerstones of Ms. Maina’s strategic approach to business are regional integration, industrial development, private sector development, good governance, and sustainable development. Based on her background and education, her new position coordinating EAC affairs in Kenya shouldn’t pose many challenges. Because of her accomplishments, she was bestowed with the title of Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (MBS) by the Kenyan president in 2013.
Beginning in 1997, Ms. Maina embarked on a career that involved advocating for the establishment of socially responsive economic reforms and raising public awareness of policy issues as the Chief Executive of the Institute of Economic Affairs in Kenya (IEA), an independent policy think-tank. She held this position until 2003.
She worked as a consultant for the Local Government Reform Program in Kenya from 1996 to 1997. She was a member of the team that conducted revenue potential studies for the municipalities of Kisumu, Nakuru, Naivasha, and Kakamega as well as looked into and suggested alternative resource base enhancement for Kenyan local authorities.
In addition, she oversaw a group that employed participatory methods to launch an integrated urban development program in the town from 1994 to 1996 while serving as team leader for the Migori Integrated Urban Development Program. Ms. Maina served as the Arid and Semi-Arid Programs’ Gender Advisor during the same period, working in the districts of Keiyo and Marakwet (now Elgeyo Marakwet County).
She worked as an Assistant Project Officer at Shelter Afrique (1990–91), where she started the company newsletter ShelterNews, before joining UN/Habitat as a Research Assistant in 1991–1993.
Ms. Maina was the director of her economic consulting business, BECEM Solutions, and East Africa Regional Representative of Genetics: Analytics, with offices in Nairobi, New Delhi, and Johannesburg, before she joined the State Department.
Betty Maina Education
In 1998, Maina earned a Master of Science in Planning and Development Administration from the University College of London.
Betty Maina About
I am a seasoned executive with over 30 years of experience in the public, commercial, and nonprofit sectors. I have a wide variety of abilities and knowledge in leadership, management, and economic and trade policy. I have served in high-level leadership roles in the Kenyan government as a Principal Secretary, Cabinet Minister, CEO of an Economic Policy Think Tank, and CEO of a Leading Private Sector Association in Kenya.