Farhiya Ali: From Oxfam to public service
Farhiya Ali, nominated Senator from Wajir County, is the first born of seven children and a mother of three girls. At the time of her nomination, she was the Director of Operations for Oxfam in Kenya, a position she had held for over five years. Farhiya worked with Oxfam for 22 years serving in different capacities in Kenya, Somali and South Sudan programmes. She is also a board member of the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC), a team that has overseen the transformation in the management of national exams in the Country.
Farhiya went to Alliance Girls High School where her passion for social change and justice was nurtured and holds a Global Executive Master’s Degree in Business Administration (GEMBA) from United States International University (USIU), Kenya, a Degree in Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Nairobi, and is also a Certified Public Accountant of Kenya (CPAK).
Farhiya started her career as an Accounts Assistant for a security firm then later joined Oxfam as a Project Accountant for the Wajir office in 1995. She ascended in ranks at Oxfam, all attributed to her passion for social change, commitment to serving, hard work and unquestionable integrity.
While working with Oxfam in the field offices in Wajir and South Sudan, Farhiya saw women bear the brunt of droughts, and lack of essential services with women walking for more than 150 kilometres to access a health facility. These experiences fuelled Farhiya’s commitment to serve the society, especially the pastoralist communities that she comes from. In her work with Oxfam, she has a track record in enforcing compliance and accountability systems and processes; championing value for money in the use of Oxfam’s resources. Farhiya has successfully led Oxfam’s adoption and implementation of robust finance and procurement systems that have driven efficiency and effectiveness in resource management. Farhiya is known for her stand of zero tolerance for fraud; “Nobody has a right to take what belongs to a poor person. Stealing is unacceptable ……… and to steal from the poor is actually a disaster” says Farhiya.
Farhiya is passionate about ending injustices that cause poverty and the inclusion of girls and women in a fair, progressive society. In her new appointment, Farhiya is keen to influence equitable allocation of national resources to poorer counties including Wajir County and oversee the utilization of these resources in a transparent and accountable manner. Farhiya views her new role as a platform to drive change from within with the aim of ensuring that the Wajir community has access to essential public services and county governments are aligned to the priorities of the communities she represents. Things that she has been advocating for as part of the Oxfam team. Farhiya holds the opinion that there is enough for everyone but the reason people are poor is because of greed by a few. She also wants to lobby for an innovation fund to help actualization of brilliant development ideas starting with her County and this can be replicated in other parts of the country.
Oxfam celebrates and congratulates Farhiya Ali.