New Kenya Airports Authority boss – and he’s not from Africa

In an unexpected turn of events, very likely frustrated by the constant scandals at the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) over the past couple of years and an avalanche of allegations against former CEOs, Kenya’s Transport Cabinet Secretary appointed an expatriate for the KAA top job.

Mr. John Anderson, a Norwegian national, was picked from the list of recommendations given to the Cabinet Secretary by a re-constituted board, now chaired by the former Chief of Defense Staff General Julius Karangi. Only in office for less than two weeks, Karangi delivered the shortlist without any problems in record time after the board had carried out personal interviews.

This belies a statement issued by the recently-terminated former KAA Chairman, David Kimaiyo, his second sacking in the space of two years, who alleged corrupt forces were to blame for his removal and the inability of his board to select a suitable candidate, further undermining of what is left of his tattered reputation.

Anderson comes highly recommended from the Norwegian airport company, Avinor, and commands over two decades of relevant experience in being closely involved in airport management not only in Norway but also in Denmark. Anderson holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Logistics) and a Master’s degree in Air Transport Management. He is also a Fellow at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London.

The new appointment is expected to return calm to KAA top corridors which past leadership was tainted by a range of allegations. Together with a level-headed Chairman of the Board of KAA, General Karangi, the new duo is expected to drive the development agenda for Kenya’s main international airport, Jomo Kenyatta International, as well as of other airports across the country forward.

In a related development, it is anticipated that the formal opening of the new arrival terminals 1A and 1E by President Uhuru Kenyatta is going to be rescheduled and take place very soon. The ceremony was inexplicably cancelled twice before, no doubt as a result of the circumstances at both the board and management level of KAA at the time.

The two terminals are thought to be a crucial element in securing Category One status from the American FAA which will pave the way for direct flights between Kenya and the US.