Moses Njiru Njeru was awarded a full scholarship by Australia Awards – Africa to study a Masters in Mining Engineering. In 2009, he left Kenya to study at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
Prior to his Masters qualification, Moses began his professional career teaching Mathematics and Physics. He left the public sector to work as a security company manager. Following this, he joined the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources as a Mining Engineer and was later redeployed as an Inspector of Mines.
Moses reflects on his Australian education as having enabled him to develop resilience and experience, which he did not previously have. This was grounded in an Academic Preparation Program that offers international scholars orientation to the Australian education system.
Upon completing the course, Moses could go back to Kenya ready to offer unrelenting service to the country. He had identified gaps in which he wanted to intervene, such as the lack of trained mining engineers in the mineral sector. Working closely with his supervisor, Moses created a database of mining engineers in Kenya at that time. He continued working and offering his service to both the public sector and its investors by simplifying processes that helped aid service delivery.
In 2010, Moses was appointed the Warden of Mines, a position with greater responsibility as he was in charge of mineral exportation, mining concession management and statistical reporting in the country. In 2013, he was appointed Commissioner of Mines and Geology in an acting capacity until 2014. He later resigned from the public service to join the private sector as Chief Executive of the Kenya Chamber of Mines. This position enables him to influence stakeholders involved in different streams linked to the country’s mineral development value chain.
Moses attributes his ability to adapt to both public and private sector mining needs to his Masters degree. Following its completion, his understanding of the promotion of mineral development significantly improved. He was also equipped with confidence that has seen him promoted in the public sector and propelled to his current position.
His development impact has resulted in the following contributions to the mining sector in Kenya:
– The repeal of the Mining Act Cap. 306 of the Laws of Kenya
– The introduction of the Mining Act, 2016
– The drafting of the current Mining Policy
– The development of a Mining Cadaster system that aimed to upgrade the physical and analogue system of mining concession management and old control maps
He has also been able to ‘pay it forward’ by supervising students who came to the Department of Mines and Geology in their practical attachments.
His current position as the Head of the Kenya Chamber of Mines ensures that he continues to influence the improvement of the mineral sector, this time by lobbying for a better business environment. He attends various forums through which he shares the knowledge he has gained from the Scholarship with broader stakeholders. Moses has been equipped with skills, knowledge and experience that have seen him make a positive impact on both the private and the public mining sectors.