10 February 2016       Download

New RVR Group CEO Isaiah Okoth will continue to build on the successful operational turnaround at Rift Valley Railways
Rift Valley Railways (RVR), the national railway of Kenya and Uganda has appointed East African business leader Isaiah Okoth as new Group CEO effective March 1st. Okoth, who is the former East African General Manager of GE Healthcare, will be taking over operations from Carlos Andrade who has been at the helm of RVR for the past 4 years.
After undergoing a successful US$ 287 million capex and turnaround program RVR is now entering into a new phase of growth with new leadership. Andrade, who has been instrumental in the rollout of the railway’s capex program and the improvement of its operational efficiency, is stepping down to pursue new opportunities and will align with Okoth in order to complete a smooth and thorough handover.
“An experienced international business executive and architect who has successfully positioned global companies for growth and profitability, Okoth will be a valuable addition to the RVR management team and we look forward to having him on board,” said RVR Chairman, Titus Naikuni. “The entire team at RVR is aligned to continue operating efficiently as the new management team takes over,” he added.
“Now that the railway’s intensive capex program is nearing its end and its technical turnaround is almost complete, I look forward to working with the entire team at RVR to take the company forward to its next phase of growth turning RVR into a regional champion that will positively impact the economies of East Africa by providing seamless logistics solutions to facilitate intra-regional trade,” said Okoth.
Okoth is a Kenyan national who has business experience in over 40 countries in Africa, Europe, North America and Asia. He has previously held positions with MSG Global Solutions in Germany and Microsoft Corporation in Kenya and holds an MBA in corporate finance and business strategy and marketing from Warwick Business School in the U.K. as well as an MSc. in telecommunications Engineering from Regensburg University in Germany.
RVR is Qalaa Holdings’ primary investment in the African rail transport sector with a 25-year concession to operate the Kenya-Uganda railway. Since the start of the USD 287 million capital investment and turnaround program that began in January 2012, RVR has invested in modern rail operating technology, rebuilding infrastructure, expanding haulage capacity and developing modern rail operating skills in the company’s 2,000 strong workforce. The time that it takes to move a container by rail from Mombasa to Kampala has been reduced by more than half and trains are running on time for the first time in decades. RVR has also overhauled more than half of its fleet of locomotives and purchased 20 additional locomotives in addition to hundreds of new wagons.
“Today RVR is seeing improved safety and reliability, increased capacity and a significant improvement in the overall efficiency of the operation,” said Karim Sadek, Qalaa Holdings Managing Director and Head of Transportation and Logistics. “RVR also provides a unique door-to-door transportation and customs-clearance service that can help local exporters from Egypt, Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan tap into new markets and grow the volume of intra-regional trade,” he added.