By Stephen Makabila.
The Director of the Institute for Co-operative Development at Co-operative University of Kenya (CUK), Professor Esther Gicheru is on the list of personalities within the Co-operative movement who received State commendation. She was awarded Order of the Golden Warrior (OGW) by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Others in this roll of honour who have received (OGW) award is Dr. Jeremiah Nyatichi, Assistant Commissioner of Co-operatives in charge of Education and Training at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Co-operatives.
In a Gazette Notice Dated 10th December, 2016, the President recognized Prof. Gicheru for her distinguished and outstanding services to the Co-operative sector. Installing the honor upon her on 8th February 2017, Principal Secretary State Department of Co-operatives, Ali Noor Ismael hailed Prof Gicheru for her relentless service to Kenya and the world through the Co-operative movement.
Currently, Gicheru is the Director, Institute of Co-operative Development and an Associate Professor in Cooperative Management and Organization Development at the Co-operative University of Kenya. She is a doctorate degree holder in Organization Development and Transformation with over twenty-eight years of scholarly and administrative experience in the Co-operative sector.
Prof. Gicheru attended the University of Nairobi where she studied Agriculture. She furthered her studies in Co-operative Management and Organization Development at Leicester University, United Kingdom and wrote her doctorate from Cebu Doctors’ University, The Philippines. She holds a Diploma in Counseling Psychology of Tangaza University College.
She is a highly regarded and respected as a Co-operative researcher and strategic thinker. Professor Gicheru also received a Head of State Commendation (HSC) in 2008, for her contribution to the co-operative movement
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s recognition of leaders in the co-operative movement comes at a time when the industry has been pushing for more recognition.
During a recent visit to State House, leaders of the powerful lobby group Co-operative Alliance of Kenya(CAK) was able to convince the state to consider exempting SASRA from the yet to be constituted Financial Sector Authority(FSA).
President Kenyatta urged the co-operative sector to consider engaging in value addition within the coffee, tea and dairy sector, to ensure that farmers get maximum returns.
“A multi-sectoral team has already been formed under my office that will look at ways of ensuring that value addition is enhanced in these sub-sectors. A work plan is soon to be rolled out once it has been validated. We are already working on this with the ministry’s advisor on agribusiness Moses Nyabila,” PS Ali Noor Ismail told Sacco Review.
He disclosed that a stakeholders meeting on value addition is on the cards and will be held soon. PS Noor said that although only a few leaders were able to meet the Head of State in December last year, there are plans to have a much wider gathering to meet President Uhuru Kenyatta..