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Duncan Ndegwa Biography, Awards, Photo and Video

Duncan Ndegwa Biography

Duncan Ndegwa whose full name is Duncan Nderitu Ndegwa was born on 11 March 1925 in Nyeri County. He was the first post-independence Head of Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet in Kenya. He was also the first African and longest serving Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya.

Duncan Ndegwa was kenya’s first Head of Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet when he took over from G. James Ellerton, who effectively became Kenya’s last colonial-era Chief Secretary. For two years until 1966, Ndegwa oversaw the transition from the colonial civil service to one under an independent nation, Ellerton lending his experienced hand here and there.

Ndegwa’s milestones include Africanising Kenya’s the Civil Service by training and matching relevant experience and skills while absorbing educated returnees from the ‘Airlift’ studies programme from America into key positions in government ministries and parastatals. Africanisation saw administrative, professional and super scale officers rise from 13 per cent before independence to over 50 per cent after independence, according to government statistics at the time.

Ndegwa also maintained public examinations for lower cadre staff as a benchmark for vertical ascent within the Civil Service. Besides land transfers, Ndegwa also coordinated all Cabinet affairs with all the challenges of learning on the job. Ndegwa left the Civil Service when he was appointed the first head of Kenya’s Central Bank in 1966.

His major challenges include dealing with a Cabinet brimming with competing and differing regional interests, while tackling shortcoming of groping civil servants and learning the ropes.

Duncan Ndegwa Education Background

Undergraduate student at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

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Undergraduate student at Makerere University College in Uganda.

Secondary school student at Alliance High School in Kikuyu.

Duncan Ndegwa Job History


1967-1982: Appointed as the Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya. . As the first head of the civil service, Ndegwa was at the heart of the Africanisation programme whose aim was to build an African capitalist class in industry and commerce. The two sectors had been dominated by Europeans

1963-1967: Appointed Permanent Secretary, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Public Service

1956: Joined the Public Service as an Economist/Statistician, East African High Commission

Duncan Ndegwa Business

He was one of the top 10 shareholders of NIC Bank Group.

He is the Chairman of the Mombasa Continental Resort

Duncan Ndegwa Awards

Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (EGH) Presidential Award

Duncan Ndegwa Photo

Duncan Ndegwa

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Duncan Ndegwa Video