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Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs

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Sicily K. Kariuki (Mrs.), EGH,MBS, CBS is the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, a newly established Ministry, following the recent reorganization of the Executive by His Excellency, The President of Kenya in December 2015. The new Ministry, in the Office of the President encompasses three large areas of focus which have Constitutional imperatives and uphold key promises by Kenyan public to the Government.

The main priorities for the new Cabinet Secretary include: Transforming Public Sector Service Delivery; Youth Empowerment and strengthening of National Youth Service; gender equality and women empowerment. Her vast portfolio includes a number of transformational initiatives- One Stop Shops-Huduma Kenya, Affirmative Action Funds – Women Enterprise Fund, UWEZO, YEDF, ASSDF , the 30% Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) for women, youth & persons with disabilities; eliminating of Gender Based Violence including FGM and all its forms; and access to justice and safeguarding other gender equality gains in the Constitution.

During her short tenure, the Cabinet Secretary has successfully established a Ministerial Rapid Results Initiative, to ensure due attention is given to these interventions; including reorganization of the National Youth Service; and the strengthening of the Governance and Management of Affirmative Funds. Under this initiative, the Ministry team continues to place emphasis on effective and impact driven initiatives.

Prior to this appointment, Sicily was Principal Secretary, State Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, responsible for the operations of the State Department of Agriculture, ranging from agriculture policy development, agriculture research and development, irrigation implementation programs and other interventions focusing on food security, especially access to credit, insurance and inputs .

Sicily had previously served as Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Tea Board of Kenya (TBK) for a period of 8 years. During her tenure at TBK, Sicily led the tea industry to become Kenya’s top foreign exchange earner, bringing in over Kenya Shillings 130 billion (1.5 Billion US Dollars) in foreign exchange earnings in 2012.

She also worked in the private sector within Kenya’s vibrant horticulture & floriculture industry as the Chief Executive Officer of Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPAEK) and also worked in Kenya Investment Authority (KENINVEST).

Sicily is a graduate of the University of Nairobi and has a Masters of Business in Administration degree with specialization in strategic management from ESAMI/Maastricht School of Management and Post Graduate qualifications in Food Laws and Regulations from Michigan State University.

Sicily has served on several International Boards.