NAIROBI — London-headquartered strategic communications consultancy Woodrow has appointed former Ogilvy leader David Karega to lead its practice in Africa.

Karega (pictured) had been at Ogilvy Africa since 2019, latterly as deputy managing partner for PR and influence. In his time at Ogilvy, he delivered campaigns for the Electoral Commission of Ghana, Bolt, Twitter, Standard Chartered Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and has also led communications work for the Mastercard Foundation and the Global Fund.

Before joining Ogilvy, Karega spent nearly six years at Hill+Knowlton Strategies, working out of Kenya, London, Uganda and Rwanda.

In his new role as head of East and Southern Africa, based in Kenya, Karega will drive Woodrow’s expansion in the region, where the agency has recently won contracts with philanthropic organisations, including a major project with Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Karega’s brief is to establish the 30-strong company as a leading strategic communications consultancy in the region, building a strong local team and culture, and bringing a fresh offering to businesses and public bodies in the region, as well as international clients looking at opportunities across the continent.

Woodrow has worked across Africa for some time; its Kenya office is currently working for clients across Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, Namibia and South Africa, and recently concluded campaigns in Mozambique and Zambia.

Karega will report to Woodrow CEO and founder Charlie Tarr, who has led campaigns across the region for companies, non-profits and sovereign governments on issues and crises ranging from Ebola to the al-Shabaab attacks on the Westgate mall in Kenya in 2013 and the Covid-19 response in Somalia. Current clients in the region include international conglomerate Janus Continental Group, and Hormuud Telecom, Somalia’s largest private company.

Tarr said: “David brings dynamism and experience to the team, and we’ve been bowled over by his energy, enthusiasm and belief in our mission. Woodrow has worked on campaigns of vital significance across the region, and with major new client wins, expectations are heightened, and we relish the opportunity. On a personal note, he also shares my strong desire to give back to young professionals in Kenya and beyond – more to come on that soon.”

Karega added: “I’m honoured and excited to be leading the talented Woodrow team in East and Southern Africa. Our offering is really resonating in this market and it is fantastic to be part of a consultancy on the rise. As we continue to deliver impactful communications work on the continent, my vision will be to cultivate a culture of creativity, innovative storytelling and continuous learning that will help our clients achieve stronger relationships with the audiences that matter to them.”

Tarr said the firm – named as one of PRovoke Media’s fastest-growing UK agencies in 2022 – had just completed its strongest quarter yet, with revenue up 43% on the previous quarter.