The Star (Nairobi)

27 October 2012

Kenya: President Kibaki to Root for Two Key Economic Bills

President Kibaki has said he will push Parliament to pass two key bills that are expected to unlock Kenya's economic potential. He said the Special Economic Zones Bill and the Public Private Partnership Bill have been lagging for years, partly disabling growth prospects.

The cabinet approved the Special Economics Zones bill in August 2009 but Parliament is yet to pass it into law. If passed the law will see the transformation of the Export Processing Zone to Special Economic Zones setting the stage for more foreign direct investments and creation of jobs.

The Public Private Partnership Bill was passed on to Parliament last December. The PPP law is expected to create a conducive environment for private sector participation in the provision of public services through investment of capital, managerial skills and technology.

"As the executive we will also be pushing parliament to pass the Special Economic Zones Bill and the Public Private Partnership Bill to ensure that Kenya takes advantage of emerging opportunities," Kibaki said while opening a National Economic and Social Council meeting .

He noted that realisation of the Vision 2030 is heavily dependent on these two laws. A project like the Konza Technology city is relying on the private sector to invest but they need to gain confidence that government will play its part.

"The country is at a stage where we need to take full advantage of the gains made in the past ten years. I am convinced that the country is ready for industrial take-off by leveraging on our resources like minerals and our hard working people," Kibaki said. But he still emphasized on the need to have a food secure country.

"However, as we plan to industrialize, we should not lose focus on agriculture because we need to provide food to our people," The National Economic and Social Council was established eight years ago to improve policy formulation and enhance public private sector cooperation.

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