Those who knew Dr. Kibe Muigai talk of a happy go lucky chap who never had the infamous chip on shoulder the much learned folks are well known for. Instead, they talk of a down to earth, fun loving and the quintessential expert on sustainable urban development.
His colleagues at the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) describe Kibe as an amiable at a personal level and a thorough professional who had facts and figures at his fingertips.
UN-Habitat Executive Director Ms. Maimunah Moh’d Sharif Kibe said, “He will be remembered for his passion for his selflessness and ready words of encouragement to those around him. His ability to connect people was admirable. My heartfelt sympathies to Kibe’s family and friends.”
Kibe joined UN-Habitat from UNHCR in 1999 as an Urban Management Adviser based in Tanzania where he supported UN country programmes and worked with municipalities in entrenching environmental planning and management (EPM) approaches. He also consolidated the framework, action plan and investment opportunities for a Sustainable Urban Development Programme which was adopted for coordinating development among actors.
Kibe moved to Somalia in 2000 as UN-Habitat’s Chief Technical Adviser where he transformed an initial service delivery project into a national broad based urban management and governance programme.
In 2002, Kibe moved to the headquarters as Human Settlements Adviser under the Sustainable Cities Programme (SCP) where he was instrumental in the design and implementation of the participatory environmental planning and management (EPM) processes. He worked on the then popular SCP tools and was particularly active in promoting the EPM process in the Africa region where he successfully lobbied for prioritization of urban environment issues into national frameworks and offered technical assistance for institutional capacity building.
Kibe was instrumental in the Urban Environment Forum (UEF) which was later merged together with the International Forum for Urban Poverty (IFUP) to create the World Urban Forum (WUF). He was responsible for the Sustainable Urban Mobility initiative and was key in formulating and piloting the Cities and Climate Change Initiative which has grown tremendously over the years. Kibe also worked under the Urban Development Branch and more recently at the Urban Land, Legislation and Governance Branch before his separation from UN-Habitat in 2017.
Kibe was a champion of good urban governance. He developed and delivered lectures on sustainable human settlements development from the governance and environment angles. UN-Habitat is grateful for the contribution of Dr. Kibe Muigai to its work from 1999 to 2017.