Obituary: Nokokure ‘Noko’ Murangi

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The SADC Secretariat announced the untimely death of Nokokure Murangi, who was its Director of Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (TIFI).

Murangi died in a car accident at around 22h30 hours on Good Friday, March 21, 2008. The accident occurred on the Trans-Kalahari Highway near Lone Tree, about 150 kilometres from Gantsi.

SADC Executive Secretary, Dr Tomaz Augusto Salomao, in his own capacity and on behalf of the SADC Secretariat, expressed heartfelt condolences to the Murangi family and friends. Speaking at a memorial service held at the Secretariat in Gaborone on Tuesday, Salomao described ‘Noko’ as he was popularly known as a down-to-earth individual who was nevertheless sharp-minded and committed to his work.

Nokukure Nelson Murangi was born on the 14th September 1962 at Okatuuo village in Namibia. He did his O’ level Certificate at Swaneng Hill School from 1979 to 1982 in Botswana when he was in exile.

His professional qualifications were as follows:

Diploma in Business Administration in the United Kingdom, 1982-1984.
BA major Economics and Political Science at Hampton University (USA) 1984-1988.

BA Economics Minor Political Science at Southern Connecticut State University 1988-1990.

MSc Economics/Sociology in Connecticut State University completed in 1991.
Post-Graduate Diploma Foreign Trade Management at Maastrich School of Management (Holland) 1994

MA International Law specialization International Trade Laws and Intellectual Property Rights Law at the Australian National University Law School 1994 to 1997.

He completed a LLM Economic Law with the Joint Programme University of Namibia and Stellenbosch University South Africa 2003 (part-time).

Murangi joined the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Namibia in 1997 as Trade Promotions Officer for SACU and EU-ACD Relations.

He was promoted to Deputy Director – Trade Policy and External Relations and he was in charge of Namibia’s Bilateral, Regional and Multilateral Trade Negotiations 1998-2003.

In 2004 he was recruited as Commonwealth Regional Policy Advisor to SADC, where his responsibilities included advising SADC on Regional and Multilateral Trade Policy issues.

He was appointed as Director of Trade Industry Finance and Investment on January 1, 2006 a position that he held until his untimely death.

His responsibilities amongst other things was to manage and provide strategic directions to the Trade Industry Finance and Investment and implement the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) within the framework of the common agenda and its objectives.

He played a pivotal role in the preparatory process relating to the launch of the Free Trade Area this year and the Customs Union scheduled for 2010.

The late Murangi participated in major negotiations, meetings and conferences such as the SACU agreement (2002), served as Deputy Chief in negotiations for Namibia in the SACU/USA Free Trade Area negotiations. He participated and carried negotiations leading to the COMESA Free Trade Area as the lead Namibian Trade negotiator in the Committee of Trade and Customs.

Murangi also participated in the initial legal framework of negotiations context of SADC Trade protocol. Among other trade negotiations he played a role in regular WTO negotiations, and the Economic and Trade framework agreement between China and Africa Economic in (2000).

Honours & Awards received by the late Murangi:

National Model Award, Howard University (1985), Residence Hall Scholarship Award, Hampton University (1984 to 1985), participated and represented Ghana at the Model United Society Old Dominion University 1986.

Represented Halton University International Student Body at a Conference on Namibia held at Institutions-Adolphus College, Minnesota (1987).

‘Noko’ will be missed dearly by colleagues, team members and in all the SADC forums where he displayed his dynamism, eloquence and diligence.

He was laid to rest at his home village of Okatuuo in Namibia on Sunday March 30, 2008. May his soul rest in peace.

– Courtesy of Mmegi

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