Ex-KenGen CEO Eddy Njoroge elected first African ISO president
Kenyan businessman Edward Njoroge has been elected as the first African to head the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) in 70 years.
The 65-year-old Njoroge was unanimously backed by the 162 member countries during the ISO General Assembly held in Geneva, Switzerland, and will serve for two years beginning January 2020 to December 2022.
The former KenGen CEO’s nomination to the world standards body was backed by his mother country through the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and will now replace Canadian John Walter.
Mr. Njoroge, a Makerere University alumni, currently serves as the Chairman of Telkom Kenya and was recently appointed as a non-executive director at the National Standards Council.
In a statement to newsrooms on Tuesday, Njoroge vied for the ISO presidency position in 2016 during the 39th ISO General Assembly in Beijing, China, and came second after missing it with a single vote.
“I accept this honour to be the first ISO president from Africa in its 70 years’ history, with profound gratitude and humility. ISO has made a loud statement today,” said the president-elect in his acceptance speech.
The statement added that Mr. Njoroge, who was addressing over 2,000 delegates, stated that he would seek to widen and deepen developing countries’ engagement with the ISO activities to enable the countries exploit the full value of international standardisation, particularly in the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He also said he would garner greater support for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), further adding: “MSMEs must be encouraged to use standards as a strategic tool, to strengthen their business and to support the harmonious development of markets and societies.”