Dr. Karanja has over 29 years’ experience in public sector both locally and internationally in the fields of development economics, rural development and finance, agriculture and livestock development, and project formulation and management. He started his career as an extension officer at the Ministry Agriculture and Livestock Development. He also worked as a Planning Officer in the same ministry. Later he joined Coffee Research Foundation (CRF) as a Research Officer/Agricultural Economist where he rose to Senior Agricultural Economist and Head of Economics Department. During his tenure of eleven years at CRF, Dr Karanja worked in various capacities including working with Cocoa Board of Ghana, International Coffee Organization (ICO) and the Intra-Africa Coffee Organization. During his tenure at CRF he worked as a member of various committees, task forces and commissions that spearheaded the reform of the coffee industry in 1990s.
He was a research fellow at Tegemeo Policy Research Institute in 2002, where he undertook policy research on liberalization of the dairy industry, among others. Dr. Karanja joined the World Bank in 2003, as an Agricultural Economist and later promoted to Senior Agricultural Economist in charge of World Bank agriculture portfolio in Kenya and in the East Africa region. Duties include preparation and supervision of World Bank lending operations in the agricultural and environment sectors (worth over US$300 million) as a task team leader, undertaking and supervising policy analysis on various rural/agricultural issues, co-ordination activities with other development partners and the Government of Kenya.
Dr. Karanja has undertaken numerous consultancies and participated as a facilitator and resource person in various courses and seminars organized by consultancy firms, private and public institutions on various socio-economic issues. He has published over 26 papers and book chapters in both international and local publications. He has been given several awards and fellowships. In performance of his duties, Dr. Karanja is widely travelled in Africa, Europe and Americas. He has attended many international meetings and conferences. Some of the countries in which Dr. Karanja has undertaken assignments include Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Ghana.
Dr. Karanja has served as chairman of Board of Governors and Board member at St Francis Girls High School, Mang’u and Mukuyuini- Secondary School. He is a member of Lions Club of Thika & Kilimambogo and is a life Member of the Red Cross, Kenya chapter.
Recent Consultancies and other Engagements (Jan 2015-to Present) 1. October 2016- to Date: Member of the Presidential Coffee reforms implementation Committee. 2. March – April 2016: Member of the Presidential Task Force on Coffee Sub-Sector Reforms. 3. Evaluation of Supply and Demand of Artificial Insemination (AI) and Related Services in Kenya and in East Africa- Consultancy for Kenya Animal Genetic Resources Centre (KAGRC) 4. Preparation of East African Agricultural Productivity Project (EAAPP) implementation completion report- Consultancy for GoK- Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. 5. End Term Evaluation of Sustainable Empty Pesticides Containers Initiative (SEPCI) Project – Consultancy for Agrochemical Association of Kenya (AAK) 6. Preparation of Kenya Agricultural Productivity and Agribusiness Project (KAPAP) Implementation Completion Report- Consultancy for GoK- Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. 7. Study on Resource Mobilization Strategy and Public Expenditure Review for Sustainable Land Management in Kenya- Consultancy for Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.