Top 25 Most Powerful Women in the C-Suite Impacting Business 2022

Catherine Muraga is an IT professional with over 15 years of experience, wrung from working in diverse industries including manufacturing, aviation and banking.

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Catherine Muraga

MD, MICROSOFT AFRICA DEVELOPMENT CENTER

Supporting women in technology is critical to uplifting the technology sector, allowing everyone to contribute.

Catherine Muraga opines in a post on LinkedIn that she is a product of her village and the reality reminds her to always do the same when an opportunity beckons, for others, along her journey. Catherine posts further that the true measure of success is the depth of impact one creates for those they work with and around.

Over the past years, there has been a keen interest in empowering women and championing them to take the top leadership positions in the quest to achieve gender equality. This has resulted in an increase of women taking up top c-suite positions including in the sectors and industries that were hitherto boy’s club.

Of note, 2022 has seen an exponential increase of Kenyan women taking CEOs positions in leading fintech and services companies and other strategic industries, both locally and internationally.

One of this is engineer Catherine Muraga, who recently took up the position of Managing Director for Microsoft’s engineering hub, African Development Centre (ADC). She replaced long serving Jack Ngare, who is now at Google Kenya.

Catherine is an IT professional with over 15 years of experience, wrung from working in diverse industries including manufacturing, aviation and banking. Prior to joining Microsoft, Ms Muraga led the Engineering team at Stanbic Bank Kenya and South Sudan.

Embarking on her new assignment with her usual passion and gusto, Catherine recently joined other ICT industry leaders at the launch of the Industry Digital Talent Program that was hosted by the Safaricom PLC CEO, Peter Ndegwa.

On this occasion, Ms Muraga spoke about how the Microsoft Africa Development Centre is collaborating with Kenyan/African partners, academia, governments, and developers to drive impact and innovation in sectors important to the continent. ‘And while we have made some progress, I am cognizant that the responsibility for ensuring effective transformation in digital skilling cannot be assumed by just a few players but must be collaborative’ she opined in her presentation.

According to the 2021 global survey by Stackoverflow targeting software developers across the world, ‘there is a growing number of developers with no university degree and have instead focused on acquiring software development skills,’ she observed. She posed the question, ‘Could taking up courses in coding provide a career path for some of the thousands who missed the university cut-off?’

In the same presentation, Catherine added that the survey also indicates that 53% of developers wrote their first lines of code between the ages of 11-17 years, posing out loudly the question, ‘What path are we creating for this young, curious demographic in our market?’.

Catherine stated that, ‘I encouraged the youth to embrace becoming learners — having a growth mindset. Then applying that mindset to constant learning about the global shifts, the world issues and how technology can play a role in resolving these —ultimately—making a difference in the world.’

Ms Muraga added that Microsoft is supportive of initiatives such as this by Safaricom PLC and will continue to partner with both the private and public sectors to enhance digital skilling for our young people.


Other notable activities include hosting the first Women in Engineering forum 2022 at Stanbic Bank Kenya.

‘The forum is a gathering of Women in Engineering (Technology, Data and Analytics, Operations and Cyber Security) within Stanbic, where we get to share and discuss issues close to our hearts, while building each other’s ambitions and motivations. I’m optimistic that this will be a strong forum to empower each and every woman within and outside our organization,’ she submitted during the forum.

Ms Muraga opened up by stating that her work is inspired every day by these women in her team, who have continued to prove that gender should not be an obstacle to being extraordinary and exemplary in their work and lives. The Kenya forum was immediately followed by a similar engagement in Uganda.

Ms Muraga is an alumnus of Columbia Business School Digital Strategies for Business, Oxford University Fintech Programme, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Africa Nazarene University-Kenya.

Catherine’s ICT journey started in 2003 when she joined ISP Kenya as a Network Engineer, then EABL as Team Leader-IS Support. She then served at Kenya Airways as Manager IS, first in automation then in service delivery.

Ms Muraga then moved to Stanbic Bank Kenya, exiting as head of IT Operations, to serve as Director IT and Operations at Sidian Bank. Her career would take a turn for the better when she returned to Stanbic Bank Kenya as Chief Information Officer, then Head, Engineering until June 2022 when she joined Microsoft.

Ms Muraga is, all intents and purposes, a respected high flying tech leader with a passion to apply technology to create business outcomes or impact lives positively.

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Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Kenya’s Dr Hanningtone Gaya, holds a PhD in Commerce in Business Management from Nelson Mandela University (NMU), is viewed as an authority in country branding and is the founder chairman of the Brand Kenya Board.

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