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Raphael Tuju, EGH (born 30 March 1959) is a Kenyan politician and a Presidential Candidate in Kenya's forthcoming general elections. With a successful background in the private sector, Tuju joined politics in 2002 and has served the Government of Kenya in various capacities since that time.
His most recent appointment was as Advisor to the President of the Republic of Kenya, on matters related to Media and the Management of Diversity.He also served as Kenya's Foreign Affairs Minister from end of 2005 to end of 2007.Between 2003 and 2005, Mr Tuju held two other portfolios; Minister of Information and Communications and Minister for Tourism and Wildlife.
Tuju was a member of parliament (MP) for Rarieda Constituency from 2002 to 2007, in which time he is credited with the building of five (5) new secondary schools to increase high school enrolment in the region. He also implemented a major water project for the Rarieda people and introduced an innovative mobile hospital to decrease infant mortality as a result of malaria and HIV/AIDS.
Tuju holds a Master of Arts (MA) Degree in Mass Communication from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom. He has a successful track record in the private sector as founder and Director of a communications company and has interests in the real estate sector. Of his noteworthy accomplishments Tuju says, “In my younger years, I worked as a Television Producer with several documentary films to my credit and earning the distinction of being the first TV Producer in Africa to win an International Emmy award for a TV production. I mainly addressed health and human development issues in my communication career with HIV/AIDS and Gender Empowerment being the main subject matter and in which I am credited with some of the major ground breaking mark in Kenya.”
Tuju was awarded the second highest civilian title in Kenya, E.G.H. (Elder of the Golden Heart) by President Mwai Kibaki for his many years of service to the people of Kenya in the area of health, human development and public service. When the National Rainbow Coalition took power in 2003, Tuju became information minister. By 2005 he had become well known for his feud with then roads minister Raila Odinga. He was believed to be in danger of losing his political career, but on 8 December 2005, he became foreign minister in a cabinet reshuffle. Tuju was elected as a member of parliament from Rarieda constituency in the December 2002 parliamentary election.
Prior to the 2005 referendum vote in Kenya, Tuju formed the Progressive People's Party (PPP) with a view to swaying votes away from the "orange No campaign". He joined Narc through the LDP. This was seen as an act of betrayal by his Rarieda constituents and by extension the Luo Nyanza populace of which he was a member.
During plenary discussions at the 29th Assilah Cultural Festival at the city of Asillah in Morocco, under the theme: Africa and Europe; Challenges and Obligations of each other held on 5 August 2007, Kenya Foreign Affairs minister, Raphael Tuju, stole the limelight at the forum with his straight talk deriding European governments for bad policies that inhibited trade with Africa. He accused European regimes of ramming punitive policies down the throats of poor African nations. He told Europe to either put up with Africa or continue applying, in futility, "short term and desperate measures," like, tongue-in-cheek, "erecting a huge wall like the famous China masterpiece or reinforcing border patrols to keep away intruding African immigrants".
Tuju delved into a raft of unjust tariff and non-tariff barriers that would stifle the growth of Africa and widen the resource gap with Europe. He particularly expressed displeasure at the recent move by some EU countries to impose stiff regulations on Kenya that were bound to stifle the country's vibrant horticulture industry. Kenya is the biggest exporter of flowers, accounting for 26 per cent of the world's market. The draconian carbon miles policy and another requirement for fumigation of Kenya's flower exports, said Tuju, were discriminatory and aimed at unfairly curtailing the dominance of the country's products. On the other hand, Tuju argued the fumigation of Kenya's flowers was calculated to reduce their shelf life and hence cheapen them at the world market. He also took issue with discriminatory sports policies such as the one imposed on the country's athletes by the United States, limiting the number of entrants in a competition.
Tuju, running as a candidate of Kibaki's Party of National Unity, lost his seat in the December 2007 parliamentary election. He was replaced as Foreign Minister by Moses Wetangula in the Cabinet named by Kibaki on 8 January 2008.
Highlights of career path 2012: Launches his new political vehicle for presidency, Party of Action – POA. 2008 – 2011: Advisor, Office of the President, with special emphasis on media and management of ethnic relations. He also served as Special Envoy of the President on various missions. 2005 – 2007: Minister for Foreign Affairs – Member of Parliament – Chairman of NARC Kenya – the biggest member of the PNU (Party of National Unity). 2003 – 2005: Minister of Tourism, Minister of Information and Communication 1992 – 2001: Founder Director of Ace Communications – Worked as Lead consultant in the design and implementation of several public communication programs for a varied Clientele that include WHO in Geneva, World Bank, DFID of the British Government, USAID, UNDP just to mention a few. – Was Producer and Director of several documentaries, Radio and TV commercials for international agencies, public sector institutions and private sector bodies. – Was a columnist for Local Newspapers notably the East African Standard. – Also worked as an Anchor for TV News in the late 1980s and early part of the 1990s on a part-time basis. Tuju is married and has three children; two daughters and a son. He is an alumnus of the well-known Starehe Boys’ Centre and School.
- "Kalonzo VP in Kibaki’s new Cabinet", The Standard (Kenya), 9 January 2008.