29 August 2007

Kenya: Banks Crucial in Realising Vision 2030, Says Kimunya

Nairobi — The financial services sector is expected to play a key role in the realisation of Vision 2030, Finance minister, Mr Amos Kimunya has said.

Kimunya, however, asked the institutions to make it possible for more Kenyans to operate accounts and transact business through banks.

He said the Government would continue to improve the business operating environment through a number of incentives.

"We are facilitators and there is no turning back. The Government is embracing ICT, giving out subsidies besides other mechanisms to bring down the cost of doing business in the country," he said.

He asked financial institutions to not only embrace the latest technology, but also support investments in the information technology sector.

"The internet is gradually reshaping the banking industry. The completion of laying the fibre optic technology in the country would revolutionise the sector," said Kimunya.

Citing the example of the Nairobi Stock Exchange, Kimunya said, the bourse was far ahead of the banking sector in terms of technology and was now at par with other market powerhouses like the New York Stock Exchange.

The minister was addressing chief executives of different banks on "ICT, Banks and Vision 2030" yesterday at a Nairobi hotel.

Treasury PS Mr Joseph Kinyua said tourism, agriculture, trade, business processing opportunities and financial services would play a pivotal role towards the attainment of the Vision 2030 goals.

Information and Communication PS Dr Bitange Ndemo said the process of laying the fibre optic technology was on course. He said investors had pitched camp in the country to embark on supply of ICT services once the cable laying process is complete.

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