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Former Principal Secretary


Dr. Wilson Songa, MBS

Dr. Wilson Songa has 17 years of experience in the national agricultural research system and 14 years in senior management and administration in various institutions in the agricultural sector. While at the Kenya Agricultural Institute (KARI), he rose to the position of Senior Agricultural Research Officer and competitively won many multidisciplinary research projects supported by various development partners and later served as the Coordinator of the KARI Crop Protection Program. Dr. Songa then served at the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) for 5 years and rose to the position of General Manager In-Charge of Phytosanitary Services.

 While at KEPHIS he was appointed a member of the Interim Committee for Phytosanitary Measures (ICPM) International Standards Committee of 20 and ICPM International Working Group of seven at FAO, Rome, Italy in May and October 2001 respectively. Dr. Songa was appointed as FAO Training Consultant in Contemporary Phytosanitary Measures and Procedures in technical cooperation projects (TCP) to strengthen Phytosanitary services in Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan, Nigeria, and Eritrea. Dr. Songa initiated the harmonization of Phytosanitary Measures and Procedures and chaired the East African Community (EAC) Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Meeting held in Nairobi in September, 2000. He also participated in the first meeting for the harmonization of the Plant Protection Legislation for the Africa Region held in March, 2001 in Pretoria, South Africa.

 Dr. Songa has 36 publications in refereed journals, technical reports and refereed conference proceedings.

Dr. Songa was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Pest Control Products Board (PCPB) in July, 2003. While at PCPB he initiated collaboration with the United Kingdom to learn from the EU pesticide registration process. His visit to the UK Central Science Laboratory (CSL) for residue and pest control product formulation analysis for registration purpose resulted in capacity building collaboration with significant enhancement of services to our horticultural sector in particular.

 Dr. Songa was appointed the Managing Director of the Horticultural Crops Development Authority (HCDA) in 2004. While at HCDA Dr. Songa was instrumental in mobilizing resources and support from development partners for the capacity building required for fresh export farmers to meet the European Good Agricultural Practice (EUREP GAP) standard that became effective on 1st   January, 2005. With his experience in Phytosanitary Measurers and Procedures he was appointed the Pest Risk Analysis Consultant for the Technical Cooperation for Developing Countries (TCDC) Regional FAO/TCP/RAF/2923 Project for management of fruit flies in March, 2005.

Dr. Songa was then appointed by the Public Service Commission of Kenya as the Agriculture Secretary in July 2005. As the Agriculture Secretary Dr. Songa was in-charge of the technical services in the Ministry of Agriculture. In his capacity as the Agriculture Secretary he also chaired the Agricultural Sector Technical Steering Committee consisting of the Directors of the 10 Agriculture sector ministries, development partners and private sector representatives. Dr. Songa was responsible for implementation of the Strategy for Revitalizing Agriculture (SRA) from 2005 to 2009 and the Agricultural Sector Development Strategy from 2010 to June, 2013.  In performance contracting the Ministry of Agriculture was evaluated the best government ministry in 2005/6 and second best in 2009/10.

Dr. Songa was appointed the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) Wageningen, the Netherlands from 2008 to 2011.While at CTA Dr Songa initiated review of the institution strategy to more precisely focus on the rural development needs of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.

He was the Kenya country representative on the Board of Trustees of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) located at ILRI in Nairobi from 2008 to 2013.

He was a member of the Board of Agriculture and Climate Risk Enterprise (ACRE) Africa from March 2014 to January, 2016. Dr. Songa joined the Board of Directors of TechnoServe Kenya in June, 2016.


Dr. Songa was decorated by His Excellency the President of Kenya with the conferment of the Order of the Grand Warrior (OGW) on 12th December, 2004 and with the Moran of the Burning Spear (MBS) on 12th December, 2008.


On the 9th April, 2016 Dr. Songa was awarded and conferred as Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Certified Public Secretaries of Kenya (FCPSK), in recognition of outstanding performance, contribution and support to the nation of Kenya, the ICPSK, the CPS profession and enhancing governance to the Kenya public at large.


Dr. Songa was appointed Principal Secretary, Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development in June, 2013 and held the position until November, 2015. Currently Dr. Songa is a Senior Advisor – Strategy & Partnerships for Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) and the Agriculture and Climate Risk Enterprise (Acre Africa) from February, 2016.

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