Project management in Kenya and IPMA
written by Amin Saidoun Jesus Martínez Almela
Kenya, officially the Republic of Kenya, is a country in Africa and a founding member of the East African Community (EAC). Its capital and largest city is Nairobi. Kenya’s territory lies on the equator and overlies the East African Rift covering a diverse and expansive terrain that extends roughly from Lake Victoria to Lake Turkana (formerly called Lake Rudolf) and further south-east to the Indian Ocean. It is bordered by Tanzania to the south and southwest, Uganda to the west, South Sudan to the north-west, Ethiopia to the north and Somalia to the north-east. Kenya covers 581,309 km2 (224,445 sq m. The economy has seen much expansion, seen by strong performance in tourism, higher education and telecommunications, and acceptable post-drought results in agriculture, especially the vital tea sector. Kenya’s economy grew by more than 7% in 2007, and its foreign debt was greatly reduced. But this changed immediately after the disputed presidential election of December 2007, following the chaos which engulfed the country.
East and Central Africa’s biggest economy has posted tremendous growth in the service sector, boosted by rapid expansion in telecommunication and financial activity over the last decade, and now[contributes 62% of GDP. 22% of GDP still comes from the unreliable agricultural sector which employs 75% of the labour force (a consistent characteristic of under-developed economies that have not attained food security—an important catalyst of economic growth) A small portion of the population relies on food aid. Industry and manufacturing is the smallest sector, accounting for 16% of GDP. The service, industry and manufacturing sectors only employ 25% of the labour force but contribute 75% of GDP.
Privatisation of state corporations like the defunct Kenya Post and Telecommunications Company, which resulted in East Africa’s most profitable company—Safaricom, has led to their revival because of massive private investment.
For the implementation of the Development Programme derived from the IPMA Africa Strategy,
an IPMA Training Aid Programme (TAP) took place in the capital of Kenya on 20th September 2017.
Kenya is a country with 48 million inhabitants, with a fast growing economy (6% over the past 5 years) and a growth rate that is supposed to stay at that level until 2020 according to latest forecasts (Deloitte, Kenya economic outlook 2016, the story behind the numbers).
The first objective of TAP event which is part of the membership development tools of IPMA is to encourage the creation of project management association in Nairobi and attract new members from various sectors of the Kenyan society.
The second objective is to help project managers from the Kenyan strategic sectors to better understand the benefits of IPMA ICB, OCB and PEB standards for Kenyan project management community and the country as a whole. In this context, 30 managers from the following private and public companies attended the event: Kenya Electricity Generating Company Limited (KenGen), Rural Electrification Authority (REA), Energy Regulation Commission (ERC),
Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board (KNEB), Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited (KETRACO), Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC), Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC),
National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK), Ministry of Energy and Petroleum (MoEP), University of Nairobi and Kenya Vision 2030 General secretariat
The third objective is to support the elaboration of a roadmap which shows that the project management association is sustainable. Keynote speaker from IPMA, from Nairobi University, from the geothermal energy sector and from the Kenya Vision 2030 General Secretariat made the full-day programme attractive with stimulating debates and well-attended and dynamic workshops.
From the Kenya Vision 2030 director general, a strong political Kenyan think tank and opinion leader it became clear that three consecutive 5 years Medium Term Plans elaborated since 2008 by the government contain a vast portfolio of projects to address all sectors of Kenyan economy. The objective of both large and mega projects included in this portfolio is to make Kenya by 2030 an upper middle-income country. In this context, the need for project management competences was emphasized as well as the cooperation between an emerging project management association, the university of Nairobi and the political think tank. It should be underlined that the initiators of the project management association are IPMA certified project managers from Nairobi who were certified in Iceland in the context of a development programme between the UN university in Iceland and Kenya. Back in their country, they decided to create a association for project management. Welcome in the international world of project management and let’s keep IPMA move forward in Kenya !
Nairobi, the 4 million inhabitants capital of Kenya (Photo: Amin Saidoun)
Tourism and agriculture: two strategic sectors of the Kenyan economy (Photo: Amin Saidoun)