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Professor George Albert Omore Magoha (born circa 1952), is a Kenyan consultant surgeon, academic administrator and technocrat, who serves as the Cabinet Secretary of Education in the Cabinet of Kenya, effective 26 March 2019. Immediately before his current assignment, he was the chairman of the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC), from 2016 until 2019. George Magoha has previously served as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Nairobi from 2005 until 2015. He is a Professor of Surgery at the University of Nairobi’s College of Health Sciences. He concurrently serves as a Consultant Urologist at Kenyatta National Hospital, the teaching hospital of the university.
Early life and education
He was born in Kisumu in 1952. He moved in with his older brother, John Obare and his wife Agatha Christine Obare, in Nairobi, on account of his (Magoha’s) asthma, at a young age.
He attended Dr David Livingstone Primary School, in Nairobi, the capital and largest city in Kenya. He then attended Starehe Boys’ Centre and School, where he completed his O-Level studies. He then studied at Strathmore School, for his A-Level education, graduating with a High School Diploma.
He excelled in his university entry examinations. He was awarded a scholarship to study human medicine at the University of Lagos, in Nigeria. His studies took him through the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, the University College Hospital, Ibadan, both in Nigeria and the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, in United Kingdom. He is trained as a specialized urologist and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Ireland.
George A. O. Magoha
||1952 (age 68–69)
||University of Lagos
Lagos University Teaching Hospital
University College Hospital, Ibadan
Royal College of Surgeons
Royal Postgraduate Medical School
||Surgeon, Professor, Academic and Administrator.
||Administrative Skills, Body of Work
||Cabinet Secretary of Education in the Cabinet of Kenya
Career of George Magoha
At the turn of the century (late 1990s to early 2000s), Professor Magoha was appointed chairman, dean and principal in the College of Health of Sciences and later deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Nairobi, in quick succession. In 2005 was appointed the vice-chancellor of the UoN, having scored the highest among the applicants.
His most remarkable achievement at the UoN was instituting discipline among the academic staff, non-teaching staff and the students. A the time he assumed office, apparently staff members never worked, lecturers missed classes and some even lost student examination marks. Student strikes were notoriously common and had damaged the institution’s reputation.
By meeting openly with students to discuss their issues, he created a safety valve for ventilation and preventing them from rioting. For the 10 years he served as the vice chancellor, the students went on strike fewer times than before his time in office.
In 2016, with his record as a no-nonsense education administrator, he was appointed as the Chairman of the Kenya National Examination Council, by President Uhuru Kenyatta. His immediate task as the Chairman of KNEC was to reform the council to arrest the widespread academic dishonesty and corruption in the administration of national examinations. He is credited to have dismantled cartels that had propagated exam cheating for years and restored credibility of exams in Kenya.
On 1 March 2019, he was nominated as the Cabinet Secretary for Education in the Kenyan Cabinet, and was sworn in on 26 March 2019, replacing Amina Mohamed, who was transferred to the Sports docket.
Professor George Magoha is the author of a book, Tower of Transformational Leadership, published by Kenway Publications in 2017. It is an autobiographical account of his experience as a leader in various roles in medicine, surgery, academia and the community. As of May 2017, he was the chairman of the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board
Succession table as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nairobi
- Preceded by Crispus Makau Kiamb – 2002 – 2005
- Vice Chancellor of the University of Nairobi – 2005 – 2015
- Succeeded by Peter Mbithi – 2015 – 2019