Capital FM (Nairobi)

Kenya: Make Mortgages More Affordable - Kibaki

President Mwai Kibaki has called on mortgage providers in the country to offer affordable and flexible long term credit to enable people purchase or construct homes and commercial properties.

Speaking during the official opening of the Kenya Medical Association (KMA) Centre at Upper Hill in Nairobi, the president observed that the total mortgage market in the country has few active accounts.

"The fact that the total mortgage market in Kenya has less than 20,000 active accounts is unacceptable for a thriving economy such as ours. The mortgage sector has massive potential for growth, especially among the low and middle income earners," the President said.

The Head of State encouraged local financial institutions to work with all relevant stakeholders to make mortgage financing available to more Kenyans.

President Kibaki called for more local and foreign institutions to invest in the country's real estate sector which assured them of attractive returns.

He said the government has spearheaded a wide range of measures aimed at promoting the growth of the housing sector. These measures included the continuous review and formulation of housing sector policies, legislative interventions and massive investment in infrastructure development.

"As a result of these measures, the annual supply of housing units has increased from 30,000 in the year 2003 to over 100,000 currently. Indeed, the construction sector has played an important role not only in delivering well designed and high quality buildings but also creating much needed employment for our people," the president noted.

He also noted that in order to spur further growth of the housing sector, the government is developing appropriate legislations, policies and regulations that include the development of a maintenance policy which will eventually culminate in the development of a national building maintenance policy and the preparation of Built Environment Bill that will, among other things, review existing laws and regulations some of which are outdated.

Once in place, the president said, these policies and legislations will facilitate the delivery of quality houses in a clean and safe environment and make the housing sector in the country more vibrant and lucrative.

Regarding the KMA Centre, the president said it was not only a significant achievement for the Kenya Medical Association, but also an important step in our efforts to transform Kenya into a regional business hub.

He added that the provision of high quality offices, business parks, hotels and shopping malls will attract and maintain multinational and regional institutions in the country.

"Indeed, modern facilities will also enable us to attract a growing number of tourists especially in the conferencing sub-sector," President Kibaki observed.

The Head of State further urged the health professionals to keep abreast with the latest technological developments and embrace cost-effective technologies to manage emerging health challenges in order to improve the national health indicators.

He encouraged other professional associations and groupings to emulate KMA and invest in projects that will empower their members as well as contribute to the economic development of the country.

At the occasion was the Medical Services Minister Anyang' Nyong'o appreciated government for development of both infrastructural and human resources that translated to economic development in the country.

Other speakers were Public Health and Sanitation Minister Beth Mugo, Chairman KMA Elly Nyaim and the chairman Kenya Medical Investment company Stephen Ochiel.

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