Co-operative Bank’s chief executive Gideon Muriuki will receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Co-operative University of Kenya to recognise his contributions to banking and the co-operative sector.
The university said in a notice that Mr Muriuki will receive the degree at a February 25 graduation ceremony to be held at the institution’s main campus in Karen, Nairobi.
This will be his second honorary doctorate degree award after the 2011 Ph.D. in Businesses Leadership from the privately-owned Kabarak University.
The Co-operative University, which provides education and training with emphasis on co-operative development, said the degree is in recognition of his contribution to the country’s co-operatives sector and its principal banker Co-op Bank.
“This conferment of Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) is in recognition of his distinguished career in the banking industry, immense contribution the co-operative sector, exemplary service to the nation, successful turnaround and great expansion of the Co-operative Bank of Kenya,” the university said.
The university also cited Mr Muriuki’s “great leadership during Covid-19 pandemic by offering critical relief and support to over 15 million members of the co-operative movement in Kenya and the outstanding contribution to the development of rural finance in Africa.”
Co-op Bank pursued growth in the middle of the pandemic, acquiring Jamii Bora (now trading as Kingdom Bank) in August 2020, a transaction whose success got a major boost from unprecedented financial support from the CBK.
The buyout of Jamii Bora raised Co-op Bank’s workforce to 4,628 in 2020 from 4,422 in 2019 at a time when most of its rivals laid off hundreds of employees to cut costs.
Mr Muriuki was last year named “CEO of the Year” in the 2021 African Banking Awards by the EMEA Finance magazine.