Kenya's Kenyatta nominates economist as finance minister

Uhuru Kenyatta, a former finance minister, had worked alongside Harvard-educated Rotich, 44, at the ministry. The nominees must be approved by parliament before they are confirmed to their posts.

Kenya's Kenyatta nominates economist as finance minister

World Bulletin/News Desk

Kenya's new president nominated on Tuesday senior finance ministry economist Henry Rotich as finance minister in his first cabinet after pledging to deliver double-digit growth for east Africa's biggest economy.

Uhuru Kenyatta, a former finance minister, had worked alongside Harvard-educated Rotich, 44, at the ministry. The nominees must be approved by parliament before they are confirmed to their posts. 

Kenya's economy grew by about 5 percent last year, but Kenyatta has promised to raise growth rates to double digits to make Kenya a middle income nation "within a generation" and lift 10 million of Kenya's more than 40 million people out of poverty by 2017.

Rotich's official title will be cabinet secretary for the National Treasury.

"He has been involved in formulating macro-economic policies to ensure an affordable public spending aimed at achieving the government's development priorities," the president said.

Rotich has been the head of macroeconomics at the treasury in the finance ministry since march 2006.

"The clear benefit is that he's someone who has been in the system," said Ignatius Chicha, head of Treasury at Citibank. "It puts him in a much better position to deal with the likes of (IMF) International Monetary Fund and World Bank."

Kenyatta also named diplomat Amina Mohamed as foreign secretary nominee, the first woman to be nominated for the post since independence in 1963. Other nominees included James Macharia, a banker, for the health ministry and Fred Matiangi for the information portfolio.

The president said his cabinet would have 18 secretaries, and that he would release the names of the other 14 members soon.

"I'm very deeply humbled for this nomination," said Rotich. "To you Kenyans, I will be drawing on your support to move the agenda that has been laid down by the president."

The cabinet list was released hours after the national assembly established a 28-member committee to vet cabinet secretary nominees named by Kenyatta.

Kenyatta's choices are likely to sail through a parliament controlled by his coalition.

Mohammed, the nominess for the foreign secretary post, has worked in the foreign ministry and with international agencies, and was until recently Kenya's nominee for the post of Director General of the World Trade Organization.

The peaceful ballot on March 4 that elected Kenyatta has given the stock market and currency a fillip and re-established Kenya's democratic credentials, erasing memories of the violence that grabbed worldwide headlines and left more than 1,200 dead. 

Last Mod: 24 Nisan 2013, 10:36
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