Stephen Mbithi Mwikya
Dr Stephen Mbithi Mwikya is the Chief Executive Officer of the Fresh Produce and Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK), an industry organization which brings together 150 companies that grow and export horticulture (fruits, vegetables and flowers) from Kenya (82% to the EU). The sector directly and indirectly supports the livelihood of about 4.5 million Kenyans (11% of the population), and has a total value of 3 billion US$, exports alone accounting for 1 billion US$. About 70% of all fruits and vegetables and fruits (350 million US$) comes from smallholder farmers (less than 1ha land) who are able to meet stringent export market standards. Dr Mbithi has been in this position for the past 5 years, after serving for a similar time and at similar position in the fish industry in Kenya. He graduated from University of Ghent, Belgium with masters and Ph.D degrees in post harvest technology and standards, and has taught in university for 7 years. He has been an international consultant on trade and standards (SPS) in several organizations, including UNEP, COMESA and several African countries. In 2007, Dr Mbithi was awarded OGW (Order of Golden Warrior) honor by the president of Kenya, for outstanding contribution to private sector development, and facilitating reforms in the public sector through performance contracting tools. He also sits on the GLOBALGAP committee on standards drafting in Koln Germany as the Africa and smallholder Ambassador. Currently, he is the coordinating CEO of Horticulture Council of Africa (HCA), which brings together 13 industry associations in 11 African countries.