Former Orange Kenya deputy CEO joins Koffi Annan’s AGRA as President

Ms Jane Karuku during her earlier days at Orange Kenya

Less than a month after she left Orange Kenya as deputy chief executive, Ms Jane Karuku has now joined the Koffi Annan-founded Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) as the new President according to a report in today’s Daily Nation.

Ms Karuku replaces Dr Namanga Ngongi who is retiring after five years as the first president of the Nairobi-headquartered AGRA, which aims to trigger a green revolution in Africa to ensure the continent feeds itself by increasing farm yields among small-scale farmers and commercialising small scale agriculture.

“Hundreds of thousands of poor rural households in Africa have already benefited from Agra’s work and under Ms Karuku’s leadership we can look forward to continued success in moving African farmers along a path to prosperity and ensuring food security,” said former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, who is the chairman of Agra.

Ms Karuku’s career has spanned over 20 years, most of which has been spent in the agricultural sector – including stints at Farmers Choice and Cadbury Limited.

Ms Karuku joined Agra from Telkom Kenya, a subsidiary of France Telecom-Orange where she left in mid March this year after France Telecom restructured the firm’s management, in the process the senior most position that was held by a Kenyan. The other deputy chief executive at Orange Kenya, Bruno Allassonniere, was however not affected by the restructuring exercise.

“I have had two deputy CEOs; one has left and I am not going to replace her because we have scrapped that post. The second one will stay until 2013 or probably longer,” Orange Kenya chief executive Mickael Ghossein told Business Daily newspaper.

Besides supervising the three heads of departments, Ms Karuku’s responsibilities at Orange Kenya included supervising government relations.

At the time of the restructuring, Ghossein said the heads of human resource, corporate communications and legal and regulatory departments who previously reported to Ms Karuku would from then on report directly to him.

Telkom Kenya created the two posts of deputy chief executives in July 2010 in order to align its operations with France Telecom-Orange and also to ensure that Telkom Kenya, under its Orange commercial brand, sharpens focus on key business areas.


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