The British not-for-profit international development organisation Crown Agents, which supplied locomotives to Kenya’s very first railway lines, has unveiled a strategic change in its Kenyan operations, with the opening of new offices in Nairobi to put Kenyan experts in charge of parts of its global operations.
The development company implements programmes for governments, donors and agencies worldwide. Crown Agents has had offices in Kenya since 1965 supporting the Government of Kenya in delivering programmes in procurement reform, health and government staff training. However, in the last year, it has tripled its staff in Nairobi, appointing Kenyan experts to manage parts of its global strategy and programmes. Crown Agents is now managing global recruitment from Nairobi, as well as its global fund management strategy.
This follows from Crown Agents Kenya taking a leading role in tackling Neglected Tropical Diseases by facilitating the administration of 8.5 million treatments against Schistosomiasis (Schisto) and Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH) across the world. The treatments were funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Children’s Investment Foundation (CIFF) as part of their effort to eradicate NTDs globally.
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Last year, Crown Agents Kenya collaborated with philanthropists and the Irish and Japanese Governments to deliver over 4.5 million pieces of assorted PPE, ventilators, oxygen concentrators and other medical equipment to hospitals around the country to support Kenya’s fight against COVID-19.
Crown Agents Kenya is currently working closely with the Governments of Kenya and Jersey to reinvest three million pounds of looted funds hidden in Jersey into the Kenyan health sector. Through the Framework for the Return of Assets from Corruption and Crime in Kenya (FRACCK), an asset recovery programme signed by the Governments of Kenya, Jersey, the UK and Switzerland, Crown Agents Kenya is leading in the procurement of medical equipment and the training of health workers, with the aim of providing enhanced health service delivery as part of the universal healthcare initiative.
To accommodate its increased staff, Crown Agents Kenya is now moving to larger offices in the Green House on Ngong Road.
The move follows a few years after the appointment to Crown Agents’ global Board of Directors, in 2021, of Non-Executive Director David Mureithi, former Unilever Managing Director for Kenya, East and Southern Africa, and board chairman of Starehe Boys Centre and School.
“Crown Agents exists to enable governments and society in resolving some of the most onerous barriers to development. To do that most effectively, we need strategic and programmatic leadership that understands the causes, and the specific circumstances, that we face across the developing world,” said David.
Opening the new offices, with now eight global Kenyan managers, alongside the Kenyan implementation team, recently appointed Country Director for Crown Agents in Kenya, Loise Kinyanjui, said: “We now have part of the company’s global strategy being driven by those who have lived, studied and worked in Africa, working alongside country-level staff engaged
in detailed procurement and logistics challenges.”