President Uhuru Kenyatta has awarded Prof. E. N. Gicheru, of The co-operative University of Kenya with the Order of the Grand Warrior of Kenya, (OGW) during the last year’s 12th December, 2016 Jamhuri Day Celebrations.
In a Gazette Notice Dated 10th December, 2016, The President recognized the Contribution of the few Kenyans feted among them Prof. Gicheru in recognition of distinguished and outstanding services to the Nation in various capacities and responsibilities.
Installing the honor upon her on 8th February 2017, Principal Secretary State Department of Co-operatives Mr. Ali Noor Ismael hailed Prof Gicheru for her relentless service to Kenya and the world through the co-operative movement. In the exclusive event attended by cooperators from across the nation, Colleagues from the co-operative university of Kenya, staff members of the Shirika Sacco society ltd where she is the chairperson and staff from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Prof. Gicheru was hailed as a resilient cooperative champion with a remarkable career spanning over decades.
Accepting the award, prof. Gicheru was upbeat on the future of the co-operative movement in the nation noting that the surest way to fight poverty is through co-operatives. She thanked H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta for the recognition of her efforts in championing the course of the co-operative moment not only in Africa but also the globe.
Currently, Esther Gicheru is the Director, Institute of Co-operative Development and an Associate Professor in Cooperative Management and Organization Development at the Co-operative University of Kenya. She is a doctorate degree holder in Organization Development and Transformation with over twenty-eight years of scholarly and administrative experience in the Co-operative sector.
Prof. Gicheru attended the University of Nairobi where she studied Agriculture. She furthered her studies in Co-operative Management and Organization Development at Leicester University, United Kingdom and wrote her doctorate from Cebu Doctors’ University, The Philippines. She holds a Diploma in Counseling Psychology of Tangaza University College.
Her career started in 1976 as a Co-operative Officer in Kenya’s Ministry of Co-operative Development and Marketing where she served in various capacities before moving to The Co-operative College of Kenya as its Principal in 1988 under the Ministry of Co-operative Development and Marketing, rose to Director of The Co-operative College of Kenya when it became a Semi-Autonomous Government Agency. She was, in August 2012 appointed as Acting Principal of The Co-operative University College of Kenya following its much celebrated elevation to a constituent college of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
As an educationist, and to her credit, she has directed many research activities alone and with colleague researchers. She has coordinated successful implementation of many training programs both nationally and internationally. Her research work spans co-operative management, co-operative policy, gender issues in co-operatives and incorporation of co-operative training in higher education curricula. She is a highly regarded and respected as a co-operative researcher and strategic thinker.
Prof. Gicheru in recognition of her contribution received the most respected award in recognition at international level, The Rochdale Pioneers’ Award (RPA) in 2007.
In addition she was also recognized for her remarkable contribution to the Co-operative Movement and was granted the presidential award of Head of State Commendations (HSC) in 2008. The co-operative movement of Kenya further gave her an additional recognition in the same year.