In this interview, Mugo Kibati, former Director-General Kenya’s Vision 2030 Delivery Board, talks about his role in implementing the long-term development plan that lays out specific political, economic, and social guidelines to grow Kenya into a competitive, middle-income country. Marketing Vision 2030 to a public accustomed to failed government promises was an initial challenge, he notes, as were the ethnic and political divisions that needed to be overcome. However, Kibati explains how local outreach to Kenyans and targeted initiatives to different communities ultimately helped Vision 2030 gain support across the country. He further explains how he addressed the tension between politicians motivated by five-year election cycles and the need for patience on long-term projects by outlining stepwise progress measures that political leaders could point to as indicators of success. Kibati offers advice to reformers in other countries, citing the importance of understanding political and community context as well as patience with bureaucracy in his efforts to effectively execute Vision 2030’s goals.
At the time of this interview, Mugo Kibati had completed his four-year tenure in public service, serving as the Director-General of Kenya’s Vision 2030 Delivery Board from July 2009 to October 2013. During this time, he led the execution of Vision 2030’s projects and strategy and met frequently with the president’s permanent secretaries. Prior to that position, Kibati was the Chief Executive Officer of East African Cables Limited, a Nairobi-based cable manufacturer, and served as a Technical Marketing Manager at the Murray Hill, New Jersey office of Lucent Technologies.
Mr. Kibati earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Moi University, a joint MBA/MA in International Business Finance and Economics from the George Washington University School of Business, and a master’s degree in Technology and Policy from MIT. He also studied European Union economics at the University of Oxford. As of 2015, Kibati was the Group CEO at Pan Africa Insurance Holdings.